Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Gift of a Sister

"A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit and a golden thread to the meaning of life." Isadora James

I love this.

This is a gift from my sister. It's wonderful. I enjoy being the gift giver so when I receive one, it's so special. I have it in the perfect spot as you can see below. It is on my favorite table, which belonged to my mother-in-law. I have a photo of JeannieHopes and I. I was in first grade. Then there is a photo of Amanda and Kayla.

I love this.






Today, two of my favorite people are coming for a visit. I can't wait.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Where has the time gone?



Christmas Photo 2009 taken in June (Niagara Falls, Canada).




Christmas Photo 2002. Daniel was not even four months old. He could not sit up but the photographer some how propped him on this little chair. Isn't he sweet? Boy does he look like my Dad or what?!




My little girl. Where does the time go?

Snowy Fun This Month

The snow is a visual of God's Glory, His Love. But then we mess things up and make the pure white snow dirty with our sin problem. So God will send His son, Jesus, Forgiveness. He will "rain" on us and wash away our sins.












If we have had two snows already what does the rest of the winter promise us?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

"Thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS." Luke 1:31


Why Did Jesus Come to Earth?

God sent Jesus to earth because He loves you.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Jesus came because we are all sinners and have no remedy for our sin.
Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

Jesus came because the sin in our lives must be paid for.
Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus christ our Lord."

Jesus came to die to pay that price for you.
Romans 5:8 "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

You can ask Jesus to be your Saviour, and claim HIs promise of eternal life.
Romans 10:13 "for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Z is for...

Zzzz

FINALLY. Ok, now I stole this one from Renee. If you haven't met her, please take a minute to stop by and read about her Special K's. I have downsized on my blog reading, but she is still in my favorites.

ZZZZ, is for sleeping. It's another one of those things you take for granted until it is taken from you.

My little lady had her days and nights mixed up. Kayla, my neice, who is six weeks older than Amanda, was sleeping through the night at six weeks.

By the time I went back to work (at eleven weeks), Amanda was sleeping at a better stretch. We would feed her and put her down at 8 pm. Then she would get up one time. It would be a different time but at least it was only one.

Our day started at 4:45 am so we liked when she woke around 2 am. She would suck the bottle down in record time and then go right back to sleep. This went on for 10 months. There was much advise about putting cereal in her bottle. I tried that twice. One night it worked. Then next it didn't. She was FAT and didn't need the cereal so we went back to straight-up formula. THEN, at 10 months old, she rolled to her belly and we never had another sleepless night.

When our little man came along, we were those parents who said "He slept through the night since he came home from the hospital". Don't you hate those people? We did the first time around. LOL.

My children are sleepers. Amanda was eleven in June. Daniel was seven in August. They go to bed each night at a decent time. When I say decent, I mean before 9 pm. The last two nights it was 9 and 9:30. Daniel had two melt-downs this morning in an hour. They NEED their sleep!

I am blessed by sleeping children!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

T'was the Night Before Christmas

When all through our land,*

*Not a Christian was praying*

*Nor taking a stand.*

*See the PC Police had taken away,*

*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*

*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*

*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*

*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*

* December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.*

*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*

*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*

*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*

*Something was changing, something quite odd! *

*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*

*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*

*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*

* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*

*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*

*You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*

*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*

*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*

*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*

*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*

*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*

*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*

*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*

* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*

*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*

*The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*

*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'*

*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*

*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*

*Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS ,

not Happy Holiday !*

*******************************************************************************
I did not write this nor do I know the author personally.

Y is for...

Yardley Pediatrics

Amanda arrived 3 weeks early, the day after my maternity leave began. In those 3 weeks I had "plans". Plans to get the nursery set up, read a book about how to breast feed, AND find a pediatrician.

Needless to say, none of those things got done. Well, they did but not on my time schedule. Actually, the breast feeding book never got read. After 2 days, I gave up. It wasn't meant to be. Nothing natural about that!

While in the hospital, the young pediatrian named "Curt" someone came in to visit Amanda. He said he had a friend who was part of Yardley Pediatrics. I called them and that's all she wrote.

We have been with Yardley since June of 1998. I love them. The doctors are great. The nurses are great. AND the receptionists are great. Sometimes, that can make or break your relationship with a practice.

I am blessed to have a wonderful pediatric staff.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

X is for...

X-tra hugs

Yes, it's a stretch using the "X" in extra. But xylophone and x-ray? How about Xerox or Xenon?

So you will just have to settle with x-tra hugs.

Again, I "googled" hug because I wanted to know how many hugs the average person received each day. I couldn't find it. If you find out, please let me know. Maybe I was just looking in the wrong spot.

I try to hug Amanda and Daniel before school but sometimes Amanda gets out of it because she is eleven, almost not cool! But Daniel will make up for it by giving me two or three hugs. He might even run out in to the hall after I've dropped him off to give me an X-tra one.

Then I walk in to the Plum room and it's just hug galore ALL Day. I get so many little hugs that I couldn't keep count if you asked me to.

How many hugs do you get each day?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

This Christmas

Try these 21 things:

Mend a quarrel
Seek out a forgotten friend
Write a love letter
Share some treasure
Give a soft answer
Encourage youth
Keep a promise
Find the time
Forgive an enemy
Listen
Apologize if you were wrong
Think first of someone else
Be kind and gentle
Laugh a little
Laugh a little more
Express your gratitude
Gladden the heart of a child
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth
Speak your love
Speak it again
Speak it still once again

~ANONYMOUS

W is for...

Wee Care

Oh well, I could write a book on this topic. I had heard of this "daycare" because two of my neighbor's children went there. I didn't even know where it was but I knew it was part of Langhorne Terrace Ministries.

Then the day came when my Love said those words that every SAHM will hear (maybe) "Get a job" I thought about where I wanted to work. The hours would have to be compatible with the school hours of 9 to 3:30. It had to be flexible in case the children got sick and I needed to take off or they had a day off from school. I thought about working nights at Kmart but the retail industry was/is so bad.

One day I was walking home with another mommy and she said she was a teacher at a pre-school. She said she had summers off. That was another thing to factor in. So I started praying about pre-schools. One morning at church I saw someone who worked at Wee Care. I didn't really know her or her role but I mentioned it to her. Her response was to pray about it.

About a month later, I submitted my resume. During the interview with the Pastor, the director and the Admin. director, I was told that they were praying for someone married who would be a good influence on the other ladies. They were praying for me. I can't even explain how that feels.

Wee Care is the only place that was placed on my heart. Wee Care is the only place I applied. Wee Care is the only place that I want to work.

It's a combination of the admin. staff, the co-workers and the children.

I am BLESSED to call Wee Care part of my family.

Monday, December 21, 2009

V is for...

Vanilla

I don't know if I would say that I am blessed by vanilla. But I do think that I am blessed by my scents of smell and taste. I know several people who tell me that they can't smell. I thought that if you couldn't smell then you couldn't taste anything either. Maybe that's just a myth but I thought the two go hand in hand.

Well, I "googled" it and found out that "70 to 75% of what we perceive as taste actually comes from our sense of smell. Taste buds allow us to perceive only bitter, salty, sweet, and sour flavors. It's the odor molecules from food that give us most of our taste sensation."

Interesting.

What are some of your favorite smells? Vanilla is my first answer always.

So maybe I am just thankful for Various senses.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

U is for...

United States of America

When I "googled" the term, a lot of different things came up. I went to the "Wiki" and it talks about foreign relations, military, economy, income, human development, energy, language, education, religion...etc.

I was looking for one word that comes to mind but I didn't see it as I scanned the huge article. The word is freedom. That's what I think of when I describe the USA.

I asked Daniel if he knew why we are suppose to memorize scripture. He said no. I told him that in some countries, the penalty for reading the Bible is death. If we ever lost our freedom and our Bibles were taken away, we would have scripture tattood on our hearts.

Freedom is something that we take for granted until we are reminded of what is going on in other countries.

I am proud to call myself an American.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

T is for...

Teachers

I am blessed to be a teacher first of all.

I am not just a teacher of art. Actually, I am anything but.

It's a gift that God has given me. I can teach you to tie your shoe, go to the potty, spell a word or cook scrambled eggs. It's patience most of the time.

I can teach.

But I am thankful for the other teachers, the ones that teach my children. Because frankly, I am not sure I could do it. I've prayed about homeschooling Amanda but God has not placed that on my heart. I am not sure if that is Him actually saying "you can't handle it". Not sure.

Daniel. Well, I just want to say "thank you God for giving me teachers that teach my son." I KNOW that I could NOT do it!

To all the teachers out there...thank you for getting out of bed each morning!

Friday, December 18, 2009

S is for...

Sisters

definition:

close woman friend, especially of another woman

I have more sisters than I can count. I have work sisters. I have friend sisters. I have church sisters (these are my sisters-in-Christ).

Men do not understand sisterhood. Have you ever seen "Divine Secrets of Ya Ya Sisters"? I haven't seen it in years. Actually, I only saw it once, when it first came out in the theater. I think it was ten years ago.

A true sister loves and accepts you for who you are, all your faults and failures.

I am blessed with many sisters.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

R is for...

Rain

When someone asks you what your favorite sounds are, what do you say? My answers are always the same three:

1. My children giggling

2. A train in the distance

3. Rain

When life gives me unpleasant situations, I call that RAIN too. Rain reminds me that I need to appreciate the sunny days. I know that the SON is just behind the clouds. God will provide my umbrella in the rain.


Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings
You glory And I know there'll
be days When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to
praise You Jesus, bring the rain

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Q is for...

Quiet Time

See, I didn't say QUIET because that would negate the "N" for NOISE.

I am blessed with quiet time. Sometimes it might only be ten minutes but I'll take it. I enjoy waking several hours before the children and listening to nothing. I enjoy my break at work and sitting in my car, listening to nothing.

But mostly, I'm blessed with the quiet time to be alone with the Lord. Honestly, sometimes that time is in the shower.

But I'll take it any place I can get it!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

P is for...

Patient Plums

I have two children, Amanda and Daniel. I have 22 other children at "work".

It's funny that it's called work, because it isn't always that. A lot of times, it's playing on the floor with blocks or cars. It's sitting in a small pink chair and pretending to eat a cupcake while we sing Happy Birthday. It's coloring and playing with home-made clay. I get my hair styled and even a shot in the arm.

How can that be work?

I get excited to go to see the Plums. I am always in the building at least 20 minutes before I need to be. And there are their little faces at the window, waiting for me to come in. "Reesa, Weesa...and whatever other names the little ones call me".

It's nice to be famous in the eyes of a two-year-old.

Monday, December 14, 2009

O is for...

October

October is my favorite month. I love the change of weather. I think the trees are at their prettiest. Orange. Red. Yellow. The mums excite me too. (It doesn't take much). I love pumpkins, pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin seeds. My love makes his first apple pie of the season in October. It's the month we found out we were expecting our first child.

I love October.

It's also the month that we've had many hard times. We have had most of our big arguments in the month of October. I've had the opportunity( another "O" word) to examine my faith and myself.

I am thankful for the trials of October.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

N is for...

Noise

1. unpleasant sound: a loud, surprising, irritating, or unwanted sound

2. any sound: any sound or combination of sounds
too much noise in the room

3. outcry: a loud clamor or commotion concerning something

4. complaint: a complaint or protest about something



I am surrounded by noise all day. It however is not by definition noise to me. It is the sound of small children. Learning. Playing. Laughing.

At home, it's the sound of busyness. It's the sound of loud voices. It's the sound of my children.

I enjoy noise. Because it reminds me that I am not alone. I reminds me that I am a mother. I have a purpose.

I am loved by the noise-makers.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

M is for...

Music

"Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation." Psalm 95:1

Amanda and I were looking at songs to download and she said click on Headphones. She liked the tune so we bought it. She listened to it all day. When I heard the lyrics, I realized that I feel the same about music. It lifts me up when I am down.

Anytime you feel alone, put on your headphones
Love, love’s coming through your headphones


But I try to listen to music that is appropriate for my children as well as pleasing the Lord. I love music. I listened to 10,000 Maniacs in my twenties. I listened to Dave Matthews Band in my thirties. But as I listen to one of his songs tonight, I really listened to it. The lyrics were so nasty. I never realized it until right now. It was downright filth. Yes, one of my favorite songs by the group. See how Satan works! Guard your hearts.

I was 33 when I started listening to Christian music, Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith.

I could live without a television but don't take my music away. When I am at my computer, I listen to K-Love. When I am in my car, I listen to K-love. When K-love fades, I put on the country station. But today, we listened to two really pretty songs. However, the third song started like this:

I have my toes in the water and my a** in the sand.

Amanda gasped in the backseat. I said, "yep, it's off!" Then we listen to nothing and talk.

There's too many encouraging and uplifting songs to listen to! I wish I could sing. But at least my daughter can. I am not sure about my son yet. He doesn't sing too often. But they both love music.

Song is my coping mechanism. I sing or hum. How can you be in a bad mood when you are doing one of the two. Give it a try!

Friday, December 11, 2009

L is for...

Langhorne Terrace Ministries - A Place to Call Home

I was invited to go to a ladies bible study with my friend at her church. My story started with a bible study called "Daniel", in September of 2006. How fitting. My four year old just happened to be Daniel. I visited a couple of times. It was not like the Catholic church at all. I really enjoyed it.

I completed my second bible study. This time it was Patriarchs. I loved the woman and was excited to get away with them for a retreat at a place called Sandy Cove in November of 2006.

Just after the new year, I decided that I wanted to come on a regular basis. But when I went to the meeting about joining the church, I had great convictions. You see, I am a church collector. I've been a member at several churches and attended other churches. Over the last fifteen years, I've attended the Methodist, Catholic, Lutheran and Baptist church.

As I was thinking of making the change, my friend was wrestling with her family also making a change. As I was coming, she was going. Strange. But my decision to stay was not determined by her families decision to leave. I later found out that the pastor and his wife were praying for me.

I love the informalness. I love that the Pastoral staff look like normal people, in jeans and polo shirts. I love that Daniel can sit on the floor if he chooses to. I love the music. I love the big comfy seats. I love the friendliness. I love the feeling I get when I finally sit down. It is a feeling of relief. It is a feeling of being at home.

The one morning I was sitting there thinking about those words and I looked down at the program. Printed right on the front was "A place to call home". Wow. Cool.

Sundays are my favorite day of the week because of Langhorne Terrace Ministries.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

K is for...

Kisses

To touch somebody or something with the lips, either gently or passionately

I get many of them. Actually a numerous amount. I get kisses from my Love. I get kisses from Daniel and Amanda. But most of my kisses come from my Patient Plums. I get kisses on the lips, kisses on the cheeks and kisses on my hands. Sometimes I get kisses and boogies.

I love kisses.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday's thought

It's not really words of wisdom in a way that it will inspire you. It is something that you may have never thought of.

"Christians are not insulated from the struggles of life." (Sandy Cove Ministries).

But Jesus never fails.

J is for...

Jeannette. JeannieHopes. My sister. My best friend.

Can we have more than one best friend? Yes. Curtis is my best friend too. (And Jesus, but I didn't have to tell you that, did I?)

Jeannette however is the one person who knows me better than I know myself. She has known me the longest. We've been sisters for 39 years.

Jeannette knows my secrets (which I've told a lot of them right here). She is my go-to person. She is the one to encourage me. She is the one to give me advise. She is the one to build me up when I am face first flat on the floor.

We've had many years of trials where we were sisters first and friends only by blood. But she has always been right by my side. When we are having strife in our relationship, I am crushed. Only do I feel like that with one other person. My husband.

When Jeannette and I are in right standing, I can carry on.

Then one day, we became friends first and sisters by blood.

Well, I've been talking about all she does for me. I didn't even mention how she works full time at a pre-school, goes to school (to be an ocologist nurse), takes care of her family and has time left over to pick up my pieces when they are shattered.

I LOVE YOU JEANNETTE! God made us sisters but we chose each other to be friends!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I is for...

Internet

It has been a blessing and a curse in my life. Too much knowledge isn't always a good thing. I have hurt people by the things that I've written on my previous blog.

I have hurt my best friend, my love.

My daughter has view things that a child should never view.

I've neglected things to waste time on the Internet.

But...

I have "met" many friends who have blessed me time and time again. I have "met" women who are going through exactly what I am going through...or already have. And I may never physically meet them either.

Yet, the best part of it is that the love and prayers that I feel coming to me and my family from across the states. It's an amazing feeling to know that someone is praying for you.

I am blessed for sure.

Monday, December 7, 2009

H is for...

Husband

I met my love a few weeks before I turned 21. My friend's brother went to high school with him. We met in the cafeteria of our college. He was funny and cute too. He first asked me out at the milk machine.

We dated for two and a half years. He was my only real boyfriend. He is the only man that I have ever loved.

After we went our seperate ways in 1991, I "dated" but always had a special spot in my heart for him.

We met up again in 1995. It only took a few conversations for us both to realize that we were meant to be together. A few months later, he proposed. We were married less than a year later.

Marriage is HARD. It is not the fairy tale "happily ever after" that most of us little girls think it's going to be once we meet our prince. We've made a lot of mistakes. We've hurt each other a lot too. But he is the first person I think of and speak to each morning. He is the one that I want to grow old with.

Fireproof has changed my outlook on marriage and God's purpose for it in our lives. It is my favorite movie. If you have not watched it, you MUST.

"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." Ephesians 5:22-24

LOVE this song!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

G is for...

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—" Ephesians 2:8

What is Grace?

An excellence or power granted by God.

The freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.

Grace is getting what we do not deserve.

I was telling my friend how I pray with the children that we can be examples of Christ. When we act poorly, why would Daddy ever want to be a Christian. We just look like big hypocrits. She said, stop trying to be Jesus and let Jesus be Jesus. You just be his grace.

Oh yeah.

"But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!" Romans 5:15

Father God,
Thank you for sending you Son, Jesus to die for my sins. I know that there are things that I have done in my past that I thought I got away with. But now I know that I never did. That He took my penalty. Thank you for showing me grace time and time again.
In Jesus name I pray.
Amen



T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.


Click here and shout it out!

"Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music;" Psalm 98:4

Saturday, December 5, 2009

F is for...

Friend
A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.
2. A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.
3. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.
4. One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement:

What would I do without friends? Friends are like the icing on a cake. They are the added bonus and make the cake of my life sweet. I have childhood friends that I've known for 35+ years. I have new friends that I've just met in the last week. And...I have friends that I have never met! Friends is a wonderful word. A friend is a person with a purpose. Sometimes it may be for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Nevertheless, they hold a special spot in my heart.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Having a tough time

This is where I am with my daughter. Thank you Jesus for letting me lean so hard on you.

Click here to listen.

"For if you listen to the word and don't obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror." James 1:23 NLT


What Faith Can Do lyrics

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you are stronger, stronger than you know
Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining


I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It’ll be alright
Life is so much more
Than just what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing


I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

Overcome the odds
You do have a chance
(That’s what faith can do)
When the world says you can’t
It’ll tell you that you can!

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do
Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise

E is for...

Eyes - This is something that I took for granted until I met a little girl who is visually impared (actually legally blind). Cancer has taken a good part of her eye sight. But it does not stop her. It does not hold her down. She climbs and she RUNS.

I am blessed with sight. I am blessed to see the good in people when no one else does...because of Jesus. I am blessed to be able to see my children's faces EVERY morning as they wake.

Often I pray to have Jesus' eyes. I love this song by Brandon Heath.

"Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

D is for...

Daniel Curtis - He is my heart. He teaches me about love and patience (each morning, usually). He is the one I prayed for each night and God answered my prayers. God gave me a second gift. I love Daniel the reddest.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

C is for...

Christ Jesus - How can I even begin to tell you about my Lord and Savior? He has watched over me my whole life, without me really understanding it. He has been by my side, without my knowledge. Then one day, He pulled me out of the pit and my life has never been the same. I am so grateful for that but in addition, He has given me this wonderful life...parents, husband, children. Too much to even explain. I would be complete just knowing that He is my best friend.

Happiness

"Happiness is not the ultimate goal of my life. True contentment and fulfillment in life are. And they are choices, not arriving from hats or the like."
From MckMama


I fully agree with her. In her post, she was talking about hats, but I would like to insert a few other "things"...DS, Wii, Xbox, cellphone, shoes, cars we drive or houses we live in.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

B is for...

Bertie. That's my mother. I love that we talk on the phone just about every day. Sometimes we talk on the phone multiple times of the day. The men in our lives cannot understand this. She is my mother and my friend. I have been blessed with a wonderful role model.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Twenty Six Days of Blessings

Renee posted Thankful A-Z. I decided to count my blessings at this very special time of the year (not that I don't every day). So I am going to try to post one each day.


A is for...

Amanda Grace
. My soul. My inner me. She is as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside. She teaches me about patience and love each day. God blessed me with the most incredible young lady. I love her the bluest!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

"The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of THANKSGIVING.: Psalm 28:7 NLT

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,”- Hebrews 12:28

"give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (New International Version)

"always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thank You, Jesus,

for teaching us that true power is found, not in fame or fortune, but in our faith - that true peace is found, not in the outer world, but the inner knowing that we're children of God.

Lesson Learned

One of our severest lessons comes from the stubborn refusal to see that we must not interfere in other people's lives. It takes a long time to realize the danger of being an amatuer providence, that is, INTERFERING with GOD'S order for others. "You follow Me!" John 21:21-22

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just a Glimpse

"And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven." James 5:15,16

"I hope I go to heaven" the boy says.
"You will" the momma says.
"Do you know how to get there?" the momma asks.
"Be a good person", the boy says.
"Not quite", the momma says.
"Do good things", the boy says.
"Try again", the momma says.
"Go to church", the boy says.
"Nope", the momma says.
The daddy whispers in his small ear.
"Believe", the boy beams.
"Yes. In Jesus", the momma says.

And she beams to herself as she is reminded of this song.
November 15th, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Faith

To one who has faith no explanation is needed. To one without faith no explanation is possible.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hope

Hope is a journey, not a destination, its value lies in the exploration. Hope is the way we live life and the journey of hope should last until we end.

This quote is from Jessica's caringbridge page.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ten Reasons Why I Do What I Do

This was an exercise that I had to do on Tuesday during the teacher in-service.


1. Because I have five (not one, not two but five) outstanding leaders.

2. Because I have worked in “daycare” centers and there is no better place than WCELC.

3. Because I will make a difference in a child’s life.

4. Because I will bless a co-worker or a parent.

5. Because a co-worker or parent will bless me.

6. Because I will learn something that will make me a better parent.

7. Because I never have that “I don’t want to get out of bed” feeling.

8. Because I have fun AND (this is the funny part) I get a paycheck on top of it.

9. Because I get hugged 50 times.

10. Each day is a new day to learn and teach.

11. Because I love to laugh and sing with the children.

12. Because I know that this is exactly where God wants me to be at this time in my life. I am certain!


What’s missing from my list? The obvious, I love kids. If you were to ask a lifeguard why he does what he does, would ‘because I am a good swimmer’ be on that list? I would just assume that that is the case.

To be an effective childcare provider, there needs to be more. Everyone MUST love children. Can you imagine if someone who didn’t worked with them all day? How about an hour? But what else? Why choose early learning?

How many reasons can you name if someone asked “Why do you do what you do?” Try it. It better be more than one!



Father God,

Thank you for leading me to WCELC. I have never been more certain about anything in my life. I am blessed just walking through the doors each day.

However, I am frustrated Father. You know my heart. You know it all. I know that I am to love, and to learn to love everyone. I know that I need to get along and not complain. I know that most importantly, I need to glorify Your name.

I feel that I am not doing that because I am not being an effective leader. I feel that I am not being a positive influence. Please help me with my frustration. Please help me hold my tongue and say only the words that need to be said.

I am waiting for You to move Father. But if you must, then move me. I am trusting You even when I can’t see the whole horizon.

Help me focus on the major and understand that even in the midst of the stress, that You are blessing me and those around me.

In Jesus name, AMEN.


“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

W.O.W

"Have I not commanded You? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My Girl



Click here to listen to the most beautiful song! Here are the lyrics.

In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me gives me
strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

It's hangin' on when your heart
has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see how happy
she made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes

"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Words of Wisdom - Beth Moore

"God doesn't work for us; WE work for God."

Introducing them - Part Two



I started feeling the anxiety as we were waiting in the office, we were early of course. I closed my eyes and prayed:

Father,
Please calm my spirit. Take my worry from me. Let me say the words that I need to say and let me not say the words that I don't' need to say. Let us remember that it's all about You Lord. Let this glorify Your name.
Amen.

"Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act." Psalm 37:7


Well I've typed this out once and lost it. So here it goes again.

In a word, we were "IMPRESSED". We met with the learning support specialist, the guidance counselor and the four subject teachers.

The Social Studies teacher carried the meeting. She is also Amanda's homeroom teacher. She said she is going beyond what is stated on the 504 plan. It takes many prompts to get Amanda moving. This is first period. Amanda is distracted by everything: her pencil, the sound of the heater, the bird that flew in to the window. Is another bird going to fly in to the window? Is that bird ok? Can I check on the bird? . She works with Amanda during her lunch period. Amanda works on unfinished class work and is given partial credit. Amanda's grade has gone from a D to a C in just a few weeks. This is Amanda's favorite teacher.

The Learning Support Specialist spoke next. She co-teachers with the math teacher. She also has Amanda on Monday afternoons for homework club. She has helped Amanda organize her binders and gave us great information and tips about getting organized.

The Science teacher said that her grade of an F is now a D. Mostly, she has not been doing homework or classwork and the grade has come down. But she is raising her hand and worked very well with a partner. And, he said it was not all one sided. Amanda held her own with the partner.

The Math teacher said Amanda was raising her hand to participate and doing well. Her F is now a D.

The English teacher said Amanda does the announcements and can't believe how talented she is as a speaker for only being in 6th grade.

We sat there listening, asking questions and were pleasantly surprised. Not surprised that our daughter has made a good impression on the teachers. But I think we were surprised that this is the first time that they were against medication. They are doing everything needed to make sure that Amanda can get the job done. They don't know the long term effects of medication so if not needed then why have her on it.

Anyway, I have to get moving. Now that I have typed this twice, I will be late if I don't go now.

May you see the Son shine on this dreary day. He is just behind that cloud. You don't have to look for Him, because He is not hiding. He just wants you to acknowledge Him. Take the time from your To-Do list and thank Him for all He has done for you. I have!

"Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act." Psalm 37:7

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Introducing us - Part One



Today was our meeting with the team of teachers. Amanda has five teachers and the guidance counselor was present as well.

Each one received a document that we put together. Here it is:

We would like to introduce ourselves and give you a picture of our home life. We want you to get to know us, because we are going to get to know you.

(Then we stated our education and work credentials.)

The day begins with breakfast. Amanda is not permitted to leave without eating first. We make dinner each night. Our family does not eat fast food because:
1. It is costly.
2. It is not healthy.

Amanda's diet is a typical one for an eleven year old. She eats fish, chicken and pork. No beef. She has an occasional vegetable but prefers fruit. She loves carbs. We have experimented with her diet by taking her off of all gluten and wheat products. No change in behavior was exhibited.

Adequate rest is very important to our family. The children are upstairs at 7:30 pm to brush their teeth. They are permitted to play for 30 minutes. Lights out at 8 pm. The exception to this is Sunday and Thursday nights. Those are the only two school nights that Amanda has an activity. She is in bed by 8:30 at the latest on those nights. On the weekend, the children are allowed to stay up until 9:30 pm.

Typical Morning
1. Wake at 6:15 am
2. Rise at 6:30 am
3. Dress
4. Breakfast
5. Exit at 7:30 am

Typical Weeknight
1. Homework
2. Dinner
3. Homework
4. Shower
5. Bed

As you can see we are very structured.

The television during the week is almost never on. When it is on, it is moderated closely. The children are permitted to watch The Disney Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery and Food Network. The children are not allowed on the computer during the week.

We do not have Wii, Playstation or Nintendo DS.

We have visited medication on numerous occasions and continue to experiment with drug types and dosage.
1. Third grade - Adderall 10 mg
2. Fourth grade - Adderall 10 mg, 15 mg and 20 mg
3. Fifth grade - Adderall 10 mg and Concerta 18 mg
4. Sixth grade - Concerta 18 mg

Amanda is under the care of our pediatric group. They are consulted on a regular basis. Currently we are in the process of increasing the Concerta dosage.

Amanda has been observed by two psychologists outside of school. She was evaluated in second and fifth grade by the school psychologist. She was also evaluated by the school psychiatrist in fifth grade.

For a brief time last year, we hired a tutor.

Currently Amanda said she does not love nor hate school. She knows she is there to learn and hopes to have fun while doing it.

We have set the bar very low for Amanda. We ask that she try her hardest and do her best. When Amanda brings home a 72%, it is equivalent to an A in our home. We celebrate all grades. We encourage her no matter what the paper says. We could not love her any more or any less if she was a straight A student.

Amanda's self-esteem is low. Her two best friends received the Presidential Award last year for straight A's . She recntly was completing math homework, and we visibly saw the information click. She was beaming. It almost brought tears to our eyes to see what a little encouragement could do for her self-esteem.

We are afraid that with the No Child Left Behind, that Amanda will fall between the cracks and just be pushed on to be the next teacher's burden.

We do not feel that the 504 plan is improving her academic performance. She has not passed math since the fourth grade. What are you prepared to do now?


Oh, the Son is shining on this rainy Tuesday. And I am physically and emotionally exhausted from either the build-up of the meeting or the recent illnesses that have been circling. So...I am going to take a nap on my day off. I'll have the teacher's response later.

If you haven't guessed from "the Son is shining" comment, it went well!

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

W.O.W

"A big difference exists between trying to manipulate God to give us what we want and cooperation with God so He can give us what He wants. The latter is our goal."
Beth Moore

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

If - Words of Wisdom Wednesday

"If God said it, I want to believe it. If God gives it, I want to receive it. If God shows it, I want to perceive it. If Satan stole it, I want to retrieve it."
Beth Moore

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Two Posts in One Day...NO WAY!



That's right. It's me again. My fisherman set the alarm for 5 am but got up before that and forgot to turn it off. So I finally got up at 6, realizing I wasn't going back to sleep. I am listening to KLove and enjoying the quiet while it lasts.

Last weekend (October 2-4) was the Women's Retreat at Sandy Cove. Jeannette was suppose to go but at the last minute, plans got changed and she wasn't able to make it. God knew that. He had her ticket reserved for a special co-worker of mine. I only knew this person casually, small talk. But after the weekend, we bonded. I know that Jeannette will go next time, if it is God's will. No worries, little sister. I love you!

Damaris Carbaugh was the speaker. I saw her perform two years ago and just loved her. Her pores ooze the love of Jesus. It is incredible. She is a great speaker.

Two years ago, it was all about Ray. I didn't make it that way. God did. My friend and I prayed all weekend for him. We shared his story with other women and they prayed with us.

I was wondering how this retreat would differ. And it did. It wasn't about Ray. It was about my relationship with my daughter. That's where my heart is. And the words that Damaris spoke...well God gave those to her, for me.

It's hard to tell you about the weekend. You just have to experience a retreat where over 400 women are there because they love the Lord. But I am going to try and condense it for you. (It may end up as another post if this gets too long).

Journal Entry October 8, 2009

I am an emotional wreck. But aren't I always? I am praying about Homeschooling again. Amanda's interim grades came today:

Health - B
English - C
Social Studies - D
Science - F
Math - F

She said, "See, I'm not failing everything". Help me love her God for who she is! We've been struggling for many years. Third grade was the 1st year on Adderall. She excelled. But that was the only year she did well. I am so torn up. Amanda is not failing. The system is failing her. She is a square peg that they are trying to fit into a round hole. Lord, take me back to Sandy Cove. Remind me of all that I've learned.


OUR LIFE'S CALLING TO GLORIFY GOD

Even our sufferings should glorify the LORD. Am I suffering? I am agonizing over this decision. I am trying to figure it all out. But I'm not suffering like the moms who have kids with cancer.

I was made to make God look lovely. My purpose is to know Christ and make Him known. AND to love Christ and love each other.

Journal Entry October 3, 2009

Father God,
I want to thank you for one more day on this Earth to learn more about You. Thank you for my family and my wonderful husband who worked out final details for me to come. Thank you for the opportunity to spend time with so many unique women - all who have one common thread - the love of You.

Father, help me to trust You more, to let go of my controlling nature. Let me leave all my baggage in a true leap of faith. I want to know You more.

Soften my heart. Show me the compassion - let me understand it completely - what You did for me. So that I may guide my daughter. In Jesus name, AMEN.


I meant to look up a pasage about compassion but found one about fear. Romans 8:15

This is what I was really looking for: You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. Luke 6:36

Then I went to the Saturday session. "Thank Him for the situation." We discussed Ephesians 5:20. He is a patient God. Aren't you glad? Heck yes! I need to be patient too. Then Damaris said something that I had never heard said before, "God never stopped being God. He emptied himself and came down. He humbled himself and was obedient. He agonzied and prayed all night before he CHOSE Judas." He knew. He knew Judas would betray Him. But He still chose Him out of obedience.

"Jesus learned obedience by the things he sufferend: Sometimes we pray about how long we have to put up with something or SOMEONE. LOL. And God says "How long must I put up with YOU?" My grace is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9) MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT.

Jesus' suffering was for me so that I can be free and learn how to suffer like Him. That is, suffer yet still be joyful.

Then we talked about happiness. Happiness requires something to happen. Joy is really what we are looking for. Because we are going to have trials. We need to know how to have joy in our hearts while going through the situation. In order to do that, we have to 'die to self' daily. "Your cross is where you die daily to whatever you dream of". Then she said that if we thought our husband, children, job, etc was our cross, we were missing the point.

God wants us to pursue nothing but Him. He wants us to go down, humble ourselves and love people more. God wants us to BELIEVE more than anything.

"Remove the fear of surrending to You, Lord. Let me yield".

**********************************************************************************
I'm going to stop with my retreat notes here. Session 3 can wait. Let me get back to Homeschooling. Amanda is suffering. She is the one, not me. I just hate to see her like this. Her two best friends are straight A students. One sits in front of the t.v. and does her homework. (And I am not criticizing this. I love her girlfriend!) Amanda sits in the kitchen in silence. I just want you to see that she isn't goofing off and failing. She really is trying.

So Homeschooling comes to my mind again. I lay in bed and try to figure out how that would work with my job. I change diapers at work and try to figure out the details. I lay next to a little boy and rub his back during nap and try to figure it all out. I am a control FREAK.

Can you pray for us? We meet on October 27th with the team of teachers. Thank you, friends.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

*******************************************************************************

This is the verse of the day on BibleGateway I love how that happens!

Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.”-
Proverbs 19:20-21

Fleas





I thought that after the exhausting month of September and the flea issue, I just couldn't get more tired. But I am. This is a mental tired. My mind just never shuts off.

If you haven't heard the story, here it is in a nutshell. Our in-door, never-leave-the-house-for-a-second Cat, had fleas. I took her in August to the vet. She was treated with Frontline and Capstar. They were back in a few days. I treated the carpets for 24 hours. I washed the cat TWICE. Ha, yes, washed the cat. It should have been on youtube! The fleas were laughing at us.

I prayed, I cried out to the LORD asking him to tell me how this situation was glorifing Him. And He said, "You try so hard with all your works to control the situation. And you are tired and nothing has changed. Go to the Big Man and be done". I kid you not. That was my prayer. And that was God's answer. I called Orkin the next day. Reilly went to the kitty hotel at Petsmart. Orkin came and sprayed. Then the service guy said vacuum for the next 7 to 10 days.

I am a slob! I do not vacuum my house. I clean the kitchen. I do the laundry. I make the beds. I do not vacuum the house. I vacuum the living room on Saturday mornings. We have six rooms with carpet. So each night before we went to bed, I vacuumed the upstairs rooms and my love did the downstairs.

Amanda has seen 1 flea since. I didn't see it. It could have been a regular old bug or a nat. But I think that the Bionic Fleas are gone. Whew.

What I learned from the situation is really simple: Take all your worries to the LORD, immediately. He will work out the details. I am so glad that God is control of my life. And that's huge for this control freak.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

W.O.W.

Circumstances will change. People will change. Surroundings will change. But the Bible leads you to the one sure thing: "I the LORD do not change" (Malachi 3:6).

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

W.O.W.

When God is about to do something great, He starts with a difficulty~when He is about to do something truly magnificent, He starts with an impossibility."
~ Armin Gesswein

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

W.O.W

LIFE IS NOT ABOUT WAITING FOR THE STORM TO PASS.. IT'S ABOUT LEARNING HOW TO DANCE IN THE RAIN."
***********************************************************************************
Yes, I am shouting.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ray

"Now show me your glory" Exodus 33:18

My heart has Ray laying heavily on it. Ray has ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. If you don’t know what that is, google it, or just click here. But you may just wish you had never done that. Ray was diagnosed 4 years ago at the age of 34. He has a seven year old son and a two and a half year old. Ray is in the hospital. His trach (tracheotomy)and vent were put in on Wednesday. Please pray for him. Please pray for the family. I feel so helpless. I don’t know what else to do then ask for people to pray for them.

From Beth Moore’s "Believing God"…seasons exist…when God demands everything we’ve got. He seems to say, "I’ve got a great victory in store for you, but if you want it, you’ll have to give Me nothing less than your all. I want 100 percent. This season will take every bit of the focus you’ve got, and you will literally live on My strength to get through it.” This season involves warfare, but this time the heat doesn’t let up. This time you feel as if your life, or someone else’s, depends on it. In times like these, we can’t even think about tomorrow because we don’t know how on earth we’re going to live through the battle today."

I read the above this morning and thought of my friends. I love them so much. Can you please pray this prayer for me, for Ray? Thank you.


Father God,
I want to thank You for one more day with my children, one more day with my family, one more day with my friends, here on this earth. Father, I know that this earth has nothing for me. And I know that there will be a day, when there is no more tears, no more pain and no more fears. There will be a day when the burdens of this place will be no more and I’ll see Jesus face to face.
Your son, Ray is so tired. Please take away his pain. I beg your Father, take away his fear. Let him feel Your arms wrapped around him, holding him. Let him know that You love him more than anything. Please soften his heart and allow him to hear the knock on his heart’s door. Please let him see the light so that he may life forever in heaven with a new body, one that does not hurt any longer. Thank you for blessing MY life with his.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.



"God can say yes to the heart of our prayer without saying yes to the request of our prayer." Beth Moore.

Please God, HEAR MY HEART. Please take away my sadness, anger, bitterness and fear. Please take away Ray’s too.

"God has so much for you, Dear One. And, yes, seasons will come when He requires so much from you that you feel like you can’t bear it. You do have a choice. You don’t have to do it His way. You can choose bitterness, resentment, carnality, or mediocrity. Or you can go for it. With everything you’ve got. You can experience the unmatched exhilaration of partnering in divine triumph. The stakes are high. The cost is steep. But I’ll promise you this: there is no high like the Most High. Don’t miss it for the world." Beth Moore

I’M BELIEVING GOD.

A Dozen Randoms

1. When you go to Walmart, what one thing do you get every single time, besides a funky-wheeled squeaking cart full of frustration?
Balance Bars


2. What is something that people are currently "into" that you just don't get or appreciate?
Texting on cell phones. I am not a fan of cell phones.


3. What is something that really hoists your sail that other people might feel "ho-hum" about?
I am stealing this answer from Tina: Acapella music.


4. Favorite song to sing in the shower or car?
There will be a day by Jeremy Camp


5. A really great salad must have this ingredient?
Sun-dried tomatoes


6. Advice in a nutshell to new bloggers (one or two sentences):
Also borrowed from "T" (sorry, I named you above). Don't name names. Respect other people's privacy.


7. What was the alternate name that your parents almost named you? Do you wish they had chosen it instead of the one they gave you?
Joseph William if I was a boy. Other girl names were Bernadette and Loretta. Yuck to both (sorry if I am offending anyone).


8. What in your life are you waiting for?
Orkin


9. You get a package in the mail. What is it, and who is it from?
Vera Bradley. I ordered clearance items for Christmas gifts.


10. Today--what song represents you?
Broken and Beautiful by Mark Schultz


11. What is one thing that blogging has taught you about yourself?
That I have a love for writing that I didn’t know existed.


12. How are you going to (or how did you) choose the clothes you're wearing today? What do they say about you in general or specifically how you're feeling today?
I chose my favorite Capri jeans, which I can only wear on Fridays at work and a grey t-shirt because they were clean. They don’t say a whole lot about me other than I am casual. I also wore sneakers (and a sweatshirt this morning) now that the season is changing and getting cooler.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." Thomas Edison

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

W.O.W

"Friends are relatives you make for yourself." ~Eustache Deschamps

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

W.O.W. - Believing GOD

"above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one" Ephesians 6:16

Point to your heart and say, "I'm"
Point to your forehead and say, "believing"
Point upward toward heaven and say, "God!"

Five Truths from Beth Moore's book Believing God::

God is who He says He is.
God can do what He says He can do.
I am who God says I am.
I can do all things through Christ.
God's Word is alive and active in me.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Nine Week Hiatus



hi·a·tus
1. A gap or interruption in space, time, or continuity; a break.

I am currently reading a book by Beth Moore, called Believing God. Beth has given us a challenge or a pledge to make a change for a certain period of time. She suggested 9 weeks. Most of her studies are around that length of time. I have chosen to do two things. First, I will give up dessert for this period. (It's not a diet, but I have gained 6 pounds in the last 4 weeks.) However, I have also chose to not blog for this time. (I will read blogs but not do any current posts). This will take me to October 28th. I have pre-posted the W.O.W. Wednesdays, just to give you a little inspiration.

So really, that t-shirt is incorrect. You will find me reading, relaxing, praying, doing 2nd AND 6th grade homework and just spending time with my family. I'll be back in November to update you on how God is using me and my time to bring Him glory.

Until then, be blessed my friends.

First Day of School

Click here to view these pictures larger

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

Why?

Satan is attacking. I don't know why but all I know is that it makes me cling to My Father even more. He is my strength as we deal with this very profound and disturbing issue in our homelife right now. Thank you, Jesus for carrying me today and honestly most days.

From the song "He is" by Mark Schultz and my prayer this morning:
"Father, let the world just fade away. Let me feel your presence in this place. Lord, I've never been so weary. How I need to know you're near me. Father, let the world just fade away. Till I'm on my knees. Till my heart can sing."

A few hours later, God answered with the Key's for Kids verse:
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own". Matthew 6:34

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Loud and Clear

Sometimes God whispers, and sometimes He comes through LOUD AND CLEAR. I was watching the 700 Club this morning. Don't ask me why. I never do. But I was killing time (10 minutes) before we went to a doctor's appointment.

Jimmy Needham was the guest. I wasn't sure if I knew who that was but once he started singing I recognized his voice. He quoted his favorite verse, Romans 8:1. Then he sang this song.

About a half hour later, while waiting for the doctor, I pulled out my "Proverbs for Teachers" book that I got for Christmas from my employers. The title is Repeat Offenders: The greatest fool of all is the man who fools himself.

"Just about the time Christians feel truly sensible in the proverbial sense, reality slashes the soul with guilt. How often do you practice the same pet sin? If practice makes perfect, you would think you would have mastered that sin by now. Which commandment is it? Second? Fourth? Eighth? More than one? Yes, it's easy to be a repeat offender - a fool acting like a fool."

Good thing you have a Repeat Defender. While the devil is quick to point out your repeat offenses - to others, to your conscience, even to God - Jesus remeinds all who care to listen that he took away those sins when he died. God your heavenly Father always listens to your Savior's testimony. Others many be reluctant to forgive, and forgiving yourself can be even more difficult. But before the throne of God, "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1)


I almost fell off of the chair. Wow! That's the message that I heard in the 10 minutes I watched that show. I guess that is what God wants me to hear today...to KNOW today.

He's just great like that!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

"Lord, grant me the courage to walk on ...when adversity is around the corner. Lord grant me the faith to walk on ...when the way is dark and I am lost. Lord, grant me the strength to walk on ...when my legs falter and my body fails. Grant me these things, Lord, and I will fear nothing."
~Thomas D. Willhite

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Reilly






And finally, my favorite, which seems to say....NO MORE, PLEASE!


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Patches



Amanda loved her the entire time we were at Aunt Evia's. We travelled over 600 miles with her. She was a Krier for three nights. I bonded with her. Me, yes, me, the animal not-lover. I can't say hater because I don't hate animals. I just don't like smelly creatures in my house.

Each morning, Patches and I would sit in the kitchen at 5 am and play. She would fall back to sleep and when she woke again, the children were awake to take care of her. We were struggling to figure out what to do with this baby but loving her the entire time.

However, a certain cat named Reilly was not happy. She would get close to Patches and hiss, which is nothing new. She does that to people that she is not comfortable with as well. But on Wednesday morning, we found poop in front of the litter box. We were not sure if the dog had done it as we carried her to the bathroom for her bath. Oh well, not a big deal. I just flushed it.

But then a little while later, we saw some more at the bottom of the steps. Reilly was making her feelings known loud and clear. I told the children that they would have to choose between the cat and dog. We were all crying when I called my mother. She told me to bring Patches over. Amanda really wanted to get rid of her cat, which was heartbreaking. But she knew no one would take a mean six year old cat. She was sobbing in the shower.

I cried the twenty minutes that it took me to drive. But she is better off. Living in a cage while I am at work is not good for a little one like her.

We played and said good-bye and told her we would be back on Friday. This gives us a pressing incentive to visit more often. When we got home Daniel said it was just empty without her. Yesterday, I heard a dog barking outside and just got so emotional. I was in tears as I folded the laundry. Me! Over a silly puppy!

But how can you not love that little face?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

W.O.W - Purpose Driven

"You will enjoy the new insights that Rick Warren has, with his wife now having cancer and him having 'wealth' from the book sales. This is an absolutely incredible short interview with Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life author and pastor of Saddleback Church in California"

In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:

People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body but not the end of me.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your= character than your comfort.

God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.

Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.
And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems.

If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness,'which is my problem, my issues, my pain.' But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her.

It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.

Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.

It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases.


Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.


Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.

Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?

Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do.


That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.
Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.
God's Blessings on you today.


"Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up." Proverbs 12:25

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hands

January 3, 2009



This is a picture of my mom, Amanda and my hand. I just love it. I got the idea to do this from an email that I received. When we visit my grandmother in Kentucky this summer, I will take another photo of the four generations of "Baker women". (We'll do your hands too Jeannette!)

Grandma's Hands - Author Unknown

Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn't move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands.


When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK .

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. "Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking," she said in a clear voice strong.

"I didn't mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK," I explained to her.

"Have you ever looked at your hands," she asked. "I mean really looked at your hands?"

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

Grandma smiled and related this story:

"Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.

"They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.

They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.

"They have been dirty, scraped and raw , swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.

They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.

"They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand.

They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.

"These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of life.

But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ."

I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my grandma's hands and led her home.

When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband I think of grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.

I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.

When you receive read this, say a prayer for me , and watch God's answer to prayer work in your life. Let's continue praying for one another.

Passing this on to anyone you consider a friend. It will bless you both.

Passing this on to one not yet considered a friend is something Christ would do.

Kentucky Pictures