Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sight And Sound Theater

 
 
 
For Christmas, I bought tickets for Noah for my children and Mom. Jeannette bought tickets for herself and Kayla. Well come to find out that Saturday was the opening day of Trout. So Daniel's loss was Aunt Virgie's gain. After the amazing show, we had an early dinner at Cracker Barrel. It was a fun day had by all!
 
 
 
 

 








Saturday, March 23, 2013

What If?

I started going to Bible Study in September of 2006. My neighbor took me and my little man, who was only four years old. I had just bought my first Bible at the age of 36. My friend taught me how to read it. (1 Corinthians 2:12-14)

The name of the study was Daniel ironically. I don't remember a lot of detail about that experience (hence the reason I keep a journal) but I do know that it was something I loved so much that I couldn't wait for a new one to start the following September.

In 2008, I gave up morning Bible Study and attended an evening one. But life was getting busy and as the years went on, soccer or dance practice always seemed to over-ride my activity. In January of 2012, my daycare boss who was always so accommodating to my wishes, gave me Wednesday mornings off and I was able to complete a Priscilla Shirer study entitled Discerning the Voice of God.

I have mentioned that our schedule is PACKED with activities. So when Bible Study was moved from Wednesday to Monday night, I had to just say no. Monday night is the ONLY night we don't have an activity.

When I took the Nanny position, I gave up Wednesday Morning Ladies Bible Study, as well.

But I decided to buy the workbook and plow through it on my own. (I have not been very disciplined to tell you the truth). The study is by Beth Moore and called  James: Mercy Triumphs.

The last two weeks have been quite...quite what? Crazy, emotional, confusing, overwhelming? OK, yeah. (Hooray, Spring Break!)

I have been in the Bible and my study a lot lately. As well as prayer.

It seems like I have done more praying in the last 14 days then I have done in the last 3 months. What do people do that don't have God? Well I think we know the answer to that.

Today's verse on Bible Gateway is from the book of James.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Oh perfect. Just like Him.

I am going to know just blog from my journal. These are the things that I felt very strong about:


What's Weighing You Down Today?

I had four things written in my journal.

Let Jesus lighten your burden until you float to the top, youth renewed, heart restored. He is enough. HE IS ENOUGH!

When your woes are great, His grace is greater. When our sins are vast, His mercy is deep. We cannot exceed Him. We cannot out run Him. Why do we have so much grace yet live in so much lack?

James 4:7      The command is to submit to God. Do we even know how to do this in a fallen world?

Be deliberate in what you resist and what you draw near.

I failed to do this last night and I am paying for it. My heart is sad this morning, struggling not to be disappointed. Garbage in is garbage out.

If it's under God, it's in order. Satan doesn't have to convince you and me to do his will for our life. He only has to tempt us to demand our own! God has something bigger for each of us than our human minds can hug.

Watching the baby at the coffee table got me thinking. The baby represents us and I represent God. Stay with me and let me explain. The baby is standing and holding on. He can't pull up yet. He can't do much YET. But he can hold on. I sit behind him with my arms to each side in case he topples over. He is able to stand for about 5 seconds without holding on. He looks back at me and smiles through the drool and pacifier, as to say "Hey look at me, no hands!" He wants to be so independent and I want him to learn and do things on his own.

We do things and forget that God is just an arm lengths away, waiting to catch us. He wants us to be independent in our dependence of Him.

How many times do we say "hey look at me, no hands" and then do a face plant in to the coffee table?

We can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:3 and Daniel's verse). Click here to listen to Daniel's song.

We need to look up and smile through our fears and failures and maybe then we will see the hand of God ready to break our fall.

Did you like my analogy? Yes. Oh good. Those are the things that I think about as I am alone 7.5 hours each day...just me, Baby R and God. Talk about temptation to do NOTHING all day. I have to be deliberate and intentional with EVERYTHING!

The harder but most biblically appropriate answer is seeking to walk in the spirit. True discernment breeds wisdom.

So I am going to leave you with some really profound statements/questions from Beth Moore. Enjoy your Saturday!

What if?

What if we really believed that, if we seek God's kingdom and His righteousness, everything else of true value would be given to us too? (Matthew 6:33)

What if we understood down to the marrow of our bones that His is the only plan that really does end up prospering us? Romans 8:28

What if we really believe Jesus when He says that those who insist on finding their own lives will lose them and those who lose them for His sake will find them? Matthew 16:25

WHAT IF?

What if we really believed that God is not only great, He is good?!







Tuesday, March 19, 2013

One Step Away

 
Man, do I love this face!
 
 
 
It's that crazy time again. Spring. New activities are starting. Others are ending. Time for the competitions and recitals. It's just something every weekend.
 
 
Blue and Gold Cub Scouts Banquet

Irish Dance Recital
Pinewood Derby Districts
AWANA Games

Today would be the first day of baseball practice. This is what our schedule for the next 2 months would look like.

Sunday - Amanda's music and youth group (5:30 to 9  pm)
Monday - Nothing  (Praise My Almighty LORD)
Tuesday - Baseball (6 - 7) then cub scouts (7 - 8)
Wednesday - Soccer (5:30 - 7 ) and tutor (5- 6)
Thursday - Baseball (7 - 7 ) and Irish Dance (7:30 - 9)
Friday - AWANA (7 - 9) then in a few weeks soccer will start (5 - 6:30)
Saturday - Opening Day of Baseball  - April 13th. Then games for the next 6 weeks.
Sunday - Sunday School (9:30 - 10:30) Church (10:45 - 12:15)
All soccer games are on Sunday afternoons

And we only have two children. And you can see that most of the activities are Daniel's


Really? Who does that to themselves. This was our wacky life last year. I am having a melt-down just typing it all out.

So on Sunday when we received an email about a soccer tournament, I looked at the calendar and said "He can't". OH MY. Did all Holy Heck break loose.

We had a heated discussion (and I always cry). We told Daniel that something had to go. We knew what it would be. It was at the bottom of the list anyway. I love that Daniel loves AWANA first and soccer second.

So, I sent out an email to two of the nicest coaches that we know. We met them three years ago when Daniel started baseball. I called his current coach last night and broke the news to him. Then I announced it on FB.

I'm sad. One Step Away from disappointment. And as you know (if you read my blog on a regular basis) that disappointment is my pit. It's a struggle not to fall in. I love baseball. If I had it my way, Daniel would play baseball in the Spring and soccer in the Fall. But the sports teams want you to play all year around. One year we did.

Talk about insane. We did in-house little league AND travel. Then we went in to summer tournaments and Fall Ball. THEN we did Winter Work-outs. (I am exhausted just typing it all out!)

I called another baseball mommy and talked to her. She has two boys in several sports. She said it does get crazy.

But I am still bummed. We built relationships over 3 years. I just love it!

Last year we had A Character-Building Year with a challenging coach. We learned so many life lessons. And we decided not to play this year. But something happens and Daniel is doing Winter Work-Outs. And he is working specifically on pitching.

My boy is a left-handed pitcher. He is a hot commodity. (And adorable, may I add). And no one is going to see all of the work that the pitching coach did over the winter.

I'm sad. And one step away...

But now he is solely a soccer player. Sweeper position. Soccer is the sport that he is better at. (Well, he is good at both.)

As we were going out the door yesterday, I asked, Are you sad. He said No, immediately. No hesitation. "but others are going to be disappointed". I thought "yeah, like me".

Well, I'm sad, and just one step away from disappointment.

But God is sovereign. Our time is up on the baseball field and we are moving on. And I need to hang on to those truths. And remember that God is just One Step Away.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

What is a 504 Plan?

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8


On Tuesday, I had a minor procedure performed on the back of my right leg. I didn't tell anyone I was going to have it removed that day. I did tell a few people once I found out the spot was "questionable". But I didn't send out a prayer chain email or post it on Facebook. I knew my God had this. I was at peace with it. He was in control.

I have turned over my health to God.

So why is it so difficult to do that with Amanda?

Isn't she just beautiful? She is that beautiful on the inside too. I love her so!



I had a meeting scheduled for Thursday morning. So what did I do Wednesday night? Lay in bed and try to pray but the anxiety would not allow it. Do you know that it is impossible to pray and worry at the same time? Try it. You can't get past the anxiety to reach the peace. You can't.

I woke after just a few not so restful hours of sleep. I snapped at my man. I cried on my friends shoulder. I couldn't even think about food.

After she prayed for me (the friend with the tear-stained shoulder) and filled my ears, mind and heart with wisdom,  I got in my car and this song was playing in my car.

The scripture mentioned on the show I watch while feeding little R was:

"Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33

Yes. Of course.

My verse since she was in 7th grade has been Deuteronomy 31:8. I went to the Bible to read it. That's when I noticed verse 6:

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

So why is it so hard for me to do this?

I give great advice. You tell me your problem and I will have wisdom for you. But taking our own advice is soooo hard.

I just needed to trust God. I believe Lord. But help my unbelief. Help me to give up the control. I love her so but I know that you love her more.

I think that since the 7th grade incident, I am just on guard. I hope for the best but expect the worst. I come prepared with fighting words. Angry words. Unkind words. Nothing that would point people back to You.

And the outcome of the meeting? AWESOME.

Now that Amanda is in high school, she attends the meetings. She told everyone (there were five of us) what she is doing or not doing. She let them know her thoughts and feelings. Suggestions of improving what she is currently doing were made. And updates to the 504 Plan were made as well.

What is a 504 Plan? In a word....accommodations.


Assessment of Special Needs: Amanda has difficulty focusing and retaining information
  • preferential seating closest to the area of instruction
  • provide 2nd set of text books to be kept at home, if available.
  • teacher should use verbal and no-verbal reminders for Amanda to stay on task
  • Amanda will utilize a universal folder for loose papers. parents will help Amanda organize material at the end of each day.
  • Parents will monitor Home Access
  • If teacher does not post grades and assignments on Home Access of individual site - parents can request weekly email update of assignments and grades
  • Amanda will review Homework and notes every day in preparing for upcoming text/quizzes
  • If teachers do not post grades on Home access teacher will notify parents if Amanda's grade falls below a 69%
  • Extended time for classroom texts/quizzes at Amanda's request. Make up time to be coordinated with the teacher.
  • Allow Amanda time to go to her locker for completed work she may have left in her locker.
Then our wonderful and most excellent tutor, Ms. H, added a few things (on paper for me to request).

Amanda will keep a planner - keeping track of all homework/texts/quizzes/projects.

Then during the meeting we added to that. Amanda will have the teacher initial the planner.

The calculator for all subjects and no unannounced quizzes were vetoed. I will continue to push for the NO POP QUIZES request.

So, to sum this up. It's March 16th and we are finally getting on track. This is our normal M.O. I think Amanda would be one of those children that excelled in twelve month programs. By the time we just get it, it's June!

This will be in place by next week. And we will be well equipped for 10th grade.  Ha ha.

Every day is a struggle. But if I just keep focused on the fact that I have been chosen to parent this awesome young lady. If I can just keep focused on the fact that God loves me. And loves her. If I can just keep focused on...oh, funny. Focus is our issue isn't it?

What was I saying?


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Happy Birthday to me!

My day started with a Panara bagel. Then I had a dinner reservation at:
 
 
 
It's artichoke hearts, pimentos and capers. Yummy.

Just a beef stir-fry served over white rice. But still very yummy!
 
Amanda created a strawberry sorbet sauce. Daniel cut the strawberries. You guessed it...yummy!
 
 
This is what 45 looks like. I don't think I look my age. I definitely don't feel my age!

 
Before I ate my last bite, Daniel pulled Amanda and Curtis aside. Then they came in singing Happy Birthday to me!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Answers

  1. In the dictionary
  2. incorrectly
  3. stop picking on me!
  4. The mom-ba
  5. a towel

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Just a few silly things.

  1. Where does Friday come before Thursday?
  2. What word in the dictionary is spelled incorrectly?
  3. What did the apple tree say to the farmer?
  4. What kind of dance do mothers like best?
  5. What gets wetter the more it dries?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Reading The Bible

Come near to God and he will come near to you. James 4:8


I was 38 years old before I even owned a Bible. I didn't know how to read the Bible. I didn't know what the name and the numbers with the punctuation after it even meant.

Maybe you feel the same way. That's why I am here to help.

First before you even begin, you need to pray. Ask the Lord to give you eyes to see and ears to hear. Ask Him to prepare your heart for what you are about to read.

Does the Bible seem cryptic to you? It's suppose to be. Only those who have the Spirit will be able to understand it. It is something to be studied.

But if you draw closer to Him, He will draw closer to you!


Do I know the Bible? Some parts. I have memorized verses. I can recite all of the books of the New Testament. (Daniel knows most of the Old Testament as well). Am I a theologian? No, not at all. If you want to debate the Bible, don't choose me. I will back down. For many reasons. The number one reason is that I know My Jesus wouldn't want us arguing over His Word. So I will leave it at that.

Do I know the Bible? Again, some parts. But what I do know is the Author. I spoke to Him this morning.

OK, after you have prayed, open the Bible to the Book of John. Oh I forgot. If you don't have a Bible, click on this link to an on-line Bible). In the search engine, key in John. (or click here). Do not confuse the Book of John with 1 John, 2 John and 3 John. (I did that the first time I read).

The name is the chapter name. The first number is the chapter in the book and the second number is the verse...John 3:16. Go to the book of John and in chapter 3 read verse 16.

And read. Read slowly. Read it over and over again.

Oopps, I forgot something. Prepare yourself to be attacked. Whenever someone is drawing closer to God, you will experience trials.

Why am I teaching you to read the Bible? Because I see you struggling. And no one should choose to struggle. You might say "I don't choose it". But think about it. Jesus came to set the captives free. He died for YOU, for EVERYONE. Not just us who call ourselves Christians, Believers, Followers, Born-Agains. HE DIED FOR EVERYONE.

We don't need to struggle to get free. We are free to struggle...if we choose.

Listen to this.

I love you. I love you enough to tell you all of this. It hurts to see you struggle, to listen to your heartache. It PAINS ME. It grieves my heart. And I want to help you. But all I can do is pray for you. And I do. I pray for you often. Please know that!

Don't you see that God is crazy about you. He is pursuing you with a love like no other. And all you have to is surrender yourself.

So I guess really the question is, "what are you waiting for?"

Fact: You will meet your maker! Do you have an invitation to the After Party? Because you need to know the guest of honor. You need to have a personal relationship with The Man.

Again, I am saying all of this because I love you. And you need to hear the Truth. If you had the antidote to cure someone's sickness wouldn't you share it? I am just sharing the Good News. I am just pointing you towards the Great Physician.

Do you want to get well? Read this!




Friday, March 1, 2013

Music...my happy place.

I love to blog but I find myself not able to do it with my whole heart so I don't blog at all. (Sad face).

There are so many people on my heart that only songs can really explain what is going on in my head and my prayer life.

For those hurting, this song is so comforting (to me anyway) MercyMe.

"There is a time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance."
Ecclesiastes 3:4
 
For those who are just worn out, this song is simply perfect!
 
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
 
We watched "Here Comes The Boom" three times over the last couple of days. I really enjoyed it. Yes, there were some things that were not appropriate. I think that it is a movie for a 10+ child. I read a couple of reviews. It's so hard to find a movie that is just good and clean. MMA can get violent so just to caution you, there are scenes that would be classified as violent.
 
I loved the line "Without music life would be a mistake". ~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.
 
We are a music family. (I sing. I sing all the time. If you want to call it singing. My family would call it something else for sure.)
 
Music is my "go-to". Some people drink. Some smoke. Some do other things harmful to their bodies that I won't really mention. Some people shop. Some people eat. I listen to music. Every day. For hours.
 
This song is another favorite. I often think about what my memorial service will be like. I hope lots of people come and I hope they cry a lot.
 
I heard this song this week. The band was talking about how the song was written in response to James 1:17 which is my verse for 2013:
 
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
 
I have to confess that I think I have a crush on For King and Country for several reasons:
  1. They are adorable.
  2. They have that Aussie accent.
  3. They are musicians.
  4. And of course they love the Lord!
Click here and tell me that I am wrong! OH, and this one!
 
Yes, music does it for me! I think anywhere I can listen to music is My Happy Place. I love driving when I have Klove on or a good CD playing.
 
Speaking of My Happy Place...Baby R's house really is my true happy place. I was thinking the other day that it is like being on a tropical island from 8:30 to 4. And on this island the temperature is 70 degrees with a cool breeze. And anything and everything I want is at my beckoned call.
 
 
Yep, that's my day. I hang with the most awesome little guy who is happy ALL THE TIME. I watch the Trinity Broadcast Network which shows sermons by Joyce and Creflo  while I feed him breakfast.
 
We listen to praise and worship music. I read from the Children's Bible and then from my Bible. The baby loves it. When I show him the cover of his Bible, he smiles real big. And he wants to hold it.
 
And then I do my Bible study while "R" sleeps. Bliss. Just bliss!
 
We have had quite a time over the last couple of months with school work. Amanda is back on track and being tutored by the most wonderful young teacher. We are truly blessed in so many ways, I can't even count them all. The stress at times has been unbearable. But I have to remember (and continue to remind myself) that God is sovereign. He knew how much we would have on our plate so he removed all daily stress from me. I HAVE NO STRESS between the hours of 8:30 and 4.
 
Who can say that?
 
So again, I love to blog but I find myself not able to do it with my whole heart.

My heart is right where it needs to be however...fully focused on God and my family. (Happy face).