Thursday, July 29, 2010

Who's Jesus?

Tomorrow is my last day of work for the summer. I can't wait to just be with my children. Are they going to drive me crazy? At times. But I am going to soak up every minute of it. Do you know why?

Life is short. I've been reminded of that several times this week. I had fallen twice in three days. By the grace of God, I was not injured by either fall. Then of course, today's heartbreak comes with devastating news about a child that I know. Please keep her in your prayers. That's all I can really say.

So the last two days, I've enjoyed just really talking to the Wee ones. We do a lot of tasking. On the infant/toddler side of the building, there is a lot of feeding and diapering that needs to be done. But on the preschool side of the building, it's just so neat to talk to the children. I floated from room to room yesterday covering breaks. I decided to ask the children one simple question, "Who's Jesus". Here are the answers I received:

He made me.
He's in my heart.
I don't know.
Not YOU.
Jesus.
Bible.
Jesus loves me.
I don't know...God.
Daddy (Dad's name just happens to be Emmanuel)
Jesus loves us.
God.
Jesus went on the boat and He was an American.
Food.
Jesus is God. God is in our hearts.
The Bible.
Up in the sky. Up there.
He's in the desert because there's a pool in the desert.
He lives up in the sky.
He is God's son.
I don't know.

My son said "He is my Savior". Of course. Did you expect him to say anything else?

Today I sat with the Plums and read Proverbs 15:1, A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Then I moved the Bible around the table and they touched the words with their little pointer finger. We sang John 3:16 and talked about sin. They are little sponges. It's the best part of my job. It's my favorite part of the job. I will miss them :(..

But, being a parent takes sacrifice. August will be very tough financially for us. However, there are no regrets with my decision. I will never look back and say, "I wish I had worked more". No one ever does. No regrets. Not one.

So now my question for you is, "Who's Jesus?". What would you say?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

W.O.W

BECAUSE OF YOU...celebrating the difference you make.

All of you reading these words have loved someone, have done someone a kindness, have healed a wound, have taken on a challenge, have created something beautiful, and have enjoyed breathing the air of existence. Every moment you make a difference.

Random Acts of Kindness

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Once upon a time...





Fourteen years ago I married the love of my life…and he still is. All day I felt like I was on cloud nine. When we left the house, I had a feeling that Amanda called “bubbly”. I brought out the wedding album before I left. (I look at it once a year). It’s so funny because everyone is skinny…and the hair! I think back to that morning. When I woke on July 27, 1996, all I could think about was the table arrangement. I didn’t want people uncomfortable at the reception sitting with someone they didn’t know. The food. The music. The DJ. The cake. The dress. What does it all matter today?

Wedding: the social event at which the ceremony of marriage is performed.

Marriage: the legal union or contract made by a man and woman to live as husband and wife.

(www.thefreedictionary.com)

It’s funny that the definition of wedding states the “social event” first and the marriage is mentioned second. My mom and my sister both said “but it was a great party”. Yes it was. I have to agree. But it wasn’t perfect. I thought about all the things that went wrong. No one but me knew it of course. But there were so many things that didn’t turn out the way that I had planned them to.

The wedding cost about $3400. Seven days in Jamaica cost about $3600. Looking back, we should have skipped the “social event” and stayed 14 days in Jamaica. The honeymoon is the best part anyway. You get to go somewhere you probably never will go again because you will never have that kind of money. You know, once the mortgage payments start rolling in, and the children’s expenses, and saving for college.

I reflected all day about weddings. They are over-rated. I know several people who spent a ton of money for the 8 hour “social event” however, the marriage ended in divorce. The best wedding I ever went to was the one where Curtis proposed. It was an extravaganza. There was a private suite for the wedding party and close friends. Then there was a two hour cocktail party. Then there was the seven course meal at the reception. It was fabulous. But sadly, the marriage didn’t survive.

The vows that are promised to each other may be taken too lightly. “For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. Amanda said yesterday, “Mom will you promise me that you will never divorce Daddy.” I said,”I don’t have to promise you anything because I made that promise to God.”

But then I thought, are the vows valued at all any more? Seriously, why get married when you can have the fun, the children, the house…the everything you want. I guess that’s why people don’t get married. “It’s just a piece of paper”. But it’s not. It’s so much more. What we have is a commitment. No, it goes beyond that. It’s a covenant.

Commitment – a pledge to do

Covenant – a binding agreement

You don’t hear that word much. It’s a biblical word. It’s more about what God has promised to bless you with when you worship Him alone.

But then again, do we really know what love is? I think the misconception is that you can fall in and out of love. That love is a feeling. But love is a choice. Are we doing a good job teaching our children about love? Do they think it's the Disney Princess Movie and the happy ending? We make our own dreams come true, whatever those dreams may be.

I don't know. I'm not saying it's been easy. It's not easy. Life is not easy. And I have many friends and family members who have been divorced. I am not judging you. I am not in anyway. We all walk our own paths and make the decisions that we believe are right for us. I've lived in the glass house for many, many years and I am not throwing stones. So please don't be offended.

But...let me tell you a little about love that I learned from one of my favorite books
The Love Dare.

*************************************************************************************
"Love is built on two pillars that best define what it is, patience and kindness."

Patient/Patience
~ is a deep breath
~ slow to anger
~ responds in a positive way to a negative situation
~ has a long fuse
~ has an internal calm during an external storm

Patience makes us wise.


"He who is slow to anger has great understanding but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly" Proverbs 14:29

Patience will foster peace and quiet.

"A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger calms a dispute." Proverbs 15:18

PATIENCE IS WHERE LOVE MEETS WISDOM. I bolded that because it was my favorite part of chapter one. Patience helps give your spouse permission to be human. It understands that everyone fails.

"See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another." 1 Thessalonians 5:15


Few of us do patience very well, and none of us do it naturally. But wise men and women will pursue it as an essential ingredient to their marriage relationship.

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

All I can really say is that God has blessed me. He has blessed me more than I could have ever imagined. And it started with my husband. There is not one single doubt in my mind. I am married to the man that was hand-picked for me by God. He is a good man. He is one of the best men I know. And because of that, he is a wonderful father.

Someone asked me how long we have been married. Then responded, “Fourteen years! All good?” And my response was “oh no”. But more good than bad. We had our rough spells. Everyone does. And we are stronger for it. I look forward to spending the rest of our lives together.

...happily ever after.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Deluxe Cheeseburger Salad

by Pampered Chef:

Best part: around $2 per serving!

Ingredients:

4 sesame seed hamburger bun tops (I used the entire part of 2 regular Redners plain rolls - waste not, want not)

1 small red onion, divided (I used half of the onion)

2 plum tomatoes

3/4 lb 95% lean ground beef

I used our beef that we get from Rohrbach Farms. Rohrbach Farm is located in Catawissa, near Knoebels. My friend's parents own the farm. The meat is delivered right to our door. We ordered twice since March. We have 1/2 a cow! I can't tell you if I used 3/4 a pound because they come individually packaged and are not marked. We made the beef last night and had tacos so this was what was left over.

1/2 cup finely diced dill pickles (I used Clausen Burger Slices...about 4)

3/4 cup ketchup

1 tsp. yellow mustard

8 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce (I just used however many I wanted to).

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I didn't measure this either).

OK...see the pattern? I just pretty much wing it. And guess what? It came out awesome!

Here is my version of the written recipe:


Cut the buns in strips. Toast in the oven.

Cut onion in to rings

Cut tomatoes into quarters lengthwise and slice crosswise.

Cook the ground beef. (However my beef was already cooked so I heated it in the microwave.)

Oh, I was suppose to chop the onion finely. I didn't. Oh well.

Finely dice pickles.

Combine onion, pickles, ketchup and mustard in a bowl.

It says, add the beef. I didn't do that either. I guess I need a refresher class in reading recipes.

In a large bowl, place lettuce. Add beef. Add ketchup mixture. Top with shredded cheese. Serve with toasted buns.

I could have eaten the entire bowl by myself but I had to share with my husband and my father-in-law. The four servings are generous ones too. It was so yummy!

This little recipe book called "Season's Best" recipe collection was $1. It rocks. I have the two that were put out in 2009.

Just curious but what's your favorite Pampered Chef gadget? I can't live without my prep bowls. I use them every day.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I'm Back

and I fell, this morning.

My internet was up and running last night. Yippee! It's been a very peaceful two weeks so, I will keep this as brief and I possibly can. First of all:

We live, we love, we forgive and never give up
Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above
And today we remember to live and to love
We live, we love, we forgive and never give up
Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above
And today we remember to live and to love


Life is short. If you forget that, then let me remind you because I was reminded this morning. Curtis and I were in the shower (sorry for the visual). We were talking about money and all of a sudden I slipped and fell backward, against the shower curtain. He reached out for me but I hit the tub, drug the rod down and was laying on the floor. SHOCKED!

I hit hard. It's not my lower back. It's not my buttocks. It's in between the two areas. What is that called? I'm calling it major sore. I have already taken 600 mg of ibuprofen but will be taking quite a bit more. I am moving slowly. But I have no doubt that I will be extremely sore as the day progresses. I hope to be able to move tomorrow. I have one more week of work and then I am off until September 1st.

Anyway...I hope you are able to get that picture out of your head and look passed to the message. I immediately thanked the Lord. I could have broke my back, my neck, or any bones, maybe even had died if I hit the toilet. That quick, life is changed forever or even over. Vapor. Here today, gone tomorrow.

Go back up and read the lyrics to Super Chicks "We Live". One day we will all just be vapor.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

W.O.W

BECAUSE OF YOU...celebrating the difference you make.

There are people who take the heart out of you, and there are people who put it back.

Elizabeth David

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

W.O.W

BECAUSE OF YOU...celebrating the difference you make.

There are a sprinkling of people who give flowers when you've just come in second who quietly repair the worst muddles, who help when you don't necessarily expect or deserve kindness. Thank you!

Helen Thomson

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I prayed for boundaries

with my Facebook obsession and my internet connection crashed. I know it's God. There is no doubt in my mind. NONE.

Wednesday morning, I was praying about wanting to limit my computer time but just didn't know how to do that. I have to admit, I love Facebook. I visit it many times during the day.

"I need boundaries for FB. I want to set them and keep them. Please let me know what that boundary is."

But I also like email, Keys for Kids (I miss that), Joyce Meyer, Bible Gateway and KLove. But the real obsession is Facebook and PNC.

So how am I posting this? I am at JeannieHopes for the weekend. She so graciously let me post on FB and this is to inform you of my future absense. I have pre-posted the W.O.W. through the end of the summer.

You will just have to call me on the telephone if you want to communicate with me. Oh how primitive!

So God has forced me to have boundaries. He has stripped me of my control-freaking personality. I had to write out checks because I couldn't pay the bills on-line. Outrage! It was time consuming. It slowed me down, which has been the message for the last few days...patience and grace.

Right now in my life, I am stressing over two things. Did you know that when you have stress and worry in your life that it really is very arrogant of us? Actually the line from CRAZY LOVE is "Stress and worry reek of arrogance." Yes, how arrogant of me to think that I need to worry about these things. God's in control, not me.

WORRY: implies that we don't really trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives.

STRESS: says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others or our tight grip of control.

Anyway, getting back to the two areas in my life...money and completing my CDA. I've always wanted a budget but now we are FORCED to have one because we became overdrawn and were charged $72. That cracks me up! I don't have the money to cover the transactions, so charge me money that I don't have.

OK...I know I can't have two masters(Matthew 6:24). So I cling to that verse for comfort.

Saturday morning I woke and looked at the clock...12:45 am. Why am I awake? It's worry about my CDA, which I started in January and is not completed. I know what you are thinking. Why? You are not a procrastinator. But it's complicated. It's not something you can just complete in a weekend. Maybe a month. But God is in control and I am just along for the ride. In the meantime, I am learning patience and grace.

I started journaling and then reading the bible. At this point it's 1:30 am and I am still wide awake and restless. I open to John 3-4. I finished reading at 1:57 am. It wasn't obvious. He didn't scream the message at me. He whispered to me...I am in control and you are in the palm of my hand. John 4:35-38 talks about the harvest. "I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work and you have reaped the benefits of their labor."

Ahh, yes. Thank you for the reminder of all of the hard work that others are doing. And...my name means "The Harvester or Reaper"...

I fell asleep with the Holy Spirit whispering "don't be mad...". I woke with such a beautiful peace about those two areas. God's in control. God's in control. God's in control!

Until next time, whenever that may be...remember:

"Do all things without complaining and arguing (and faultfinding and grumbling)" Philippians 2:14

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

W.O.W

BECAUSE OF YOU...celebrating the difference you make.

When it comes to doing good things for others, some people will stop at nothing.

Dale E. Turner

Monday, July 5, 2010

Crazy Love


I missed the big 200 post. I am up to (I believe) 207. So what!?!

Amanda's "Breakaway" youth group was reading CRAZY LOVE by Francis Chan. She insisted we buy it. Then of course she doesn't. So I decided to read it. I read the foreward, by Chris Tomlin, out loud. He is one of my favorite artists.

Today I read the Preface. I already love it and haven't read one chapter.

Here is a little from the preface:

"I get nervous when I think of how we've missed who we are supposed to be, and sad when I think about how we're missing out on all that God wants for the people He loved enough to die for.

I haven't always felt this way. I grew up believing in God without having a clue what He is like. I called myself a Christian, was pretty involved in church, and tried to stay away from all of the things that "good Christians' avoid - drinking, drugs, sex, swearing. Christianity was simple: fight your desires in order to please God. Whenever I failed (which was often), I'd walk around feeling guilty and distant from God.

My view of God was narrow and small.

We need to stop giving people excuses not to believe in God. You've probably heard the expression "I believe in God, just not organized religion". I don't think people would say that if the church truly lived like we are called to live. The expression would change to "I can't deny what the church does, but I don't believe in their God.' At least then they'd address their rejection of God rather than use the church as a scapegoat.


Then he challenges us. I love a good challenge:

Come with me on this journey. I don't promise it will be painless. Change, as we all know, is uncomfortable. It's up to you to respond to what you read. But you will have a choice: to adjust how you live daily or to stay the same.

Father God,
I want to listen to Your voice Lord not all of those others. If I'm not eating the Word of God then I'm eating the word of this world. Let me be purposeful!
In Jesus name, Amen

Amanda's Report Card

Wow, she finished strong! We are so proud of her.

ENGLISH - C.....D.....C.....C
SOCIAL STUDIES - C.....D.....A.....A
MATH - D.....F.....C.....C
SCIENCE - D.....D.....C.....B
ART - A.....B............
MUSIC - ............A.....A
TECH ED - B.....C............
FAM CONS SCI - ............B.....A
KEYBOARDING - ............A.....A
PHYS ED - A.....A.....A.....A
HEALTH - B.....C............

I made nice columns but this blog is not cooperating!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Freedom



"I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."
~John Adams from a letter to his wife, Abigail

Is it just as John envisioned? Well, kind of, except the solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.

I am blessed to live in a country where I am free AND spiritually free.

What do you think when someone says "Fourth of July"?

Saturday, July 3, 2010