I love Sunday and the fellowship of being with other believers, I always have. Today was a long Sunday morning. Our worship pastor asked me a couple of weeks ago to sing a particular song. ("Outside These Walls") This is one of the first few songs I wrote and I am constantly questioning it. Is it good enough, should I re-word this part, yada, yada, yada. So, the past few weeks I just really had to pray through this one. (Deep down, I knew that God had orchestrated this song for today, but my stubborn side was strongly suggesting that it be another song, one I felt more comfortable with.) I asked a good friend to be brutally honest and tell me if I should "tweak" anything. Thank goodness that person knows me well enough to say "that is the song and those are the words GOD gave you to write, you don't need to second guess Him. Do the song with confidence." I so needed that reminder that it's not Stephanie writing a song. It's God writing the song, I just get to be the pencil. And it was the song that God had planned for today. Every piece of music, every part of the sermon, it all pointed to Jesus and reminding us that an hour on Sunday morning isn't church. It's what we are doing outside the walls, in our every day life that is the church. So to my girlfriends who are changing diapers, you are being Jesus to that little one! To my friends who are homeschooling you are being Jesus to your children. To my friends who are mommies and hold down jobs outside the home, you are Jesus to each co-worker and boss. May we bring glory to God with every step we make and every breath we take. I've been challenged to remember that this week. Remember that song from several years ago "we are his hands, we are his feet......." I can't remember the name, but may it start at home and ooze to all around us. Let's make a difference in Jesus name this week!
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Here is a picture of the birthday girl with big sis and baby cousins!
We had a great 6th b'day party today for Emma. We were so excited to have the babies here for the first time. The girls, all 4 of them, giggled and played non-stop. Emma took great joy in showing Mia and Morgan how to open presents. Uncle Matt and Aunt Megan gave Emma the best pool toys. Daddy Mack and Grams found wonderful new swimsuits for both of the girls. They are ready for the pool to be open. (Daddy put Chloe over the fence so she could check the water, it was a crisp 50 degrees!!!) We had quite the fashion show of new clothes from Grams and Daddy Mack, complete with a fairy wing karaoke microphone! As you know, Emma is our little Artist and Grandmother hit the jackpot with some really cool modeling clay and supplies! We can't wait to get started. Emma has started sketching some ideas for "sculptures!" Mamaw and Papaw sent a beautiful hat and matching purse in an adorable hat box! Chloe knew just what little sis wanted and picked out a great Tinker Bell nightlight, a basket for the bike, and a couple of DVD's. What would Daddy and I have done without her insight?!!!
The fact that my girls are no longer babies, is becoming more and more reality to me. I watched them today and took a walk down memory lane thinking back to Emma's first birthday. Chloe was very sick with a stomach bug and we weren't sure she would be out of bed! But God heard our prayers and she was well enough to get dressed and visit for a little while. Emma had been walking about a week and had very little hair!!! They wore coordinating outfits with matching hats and sweet little sandals. It was cool, so we had to put socks on their little feet, covering their little pink toenails!! It was precious. Today, Emma graced the staircase in her princess dress and birthday bow, Chloe threw on a sundress and opted for no shoes. They both fixed their own drink, and plate of food. They are earning money by doing extra chores around the house, and asking for help in saving, and asking what they should tithe. It's amazing how fast they grow and change. I miss those baby girls, but I love this age. I love that they both know Jesus as their personal savior. I'm amazed at the deep love they already show for our Lord. I love that we can actually have a discussion about more than a toy or movie. I love that they like to spend time with us. (Granted that will change in the next few years!) I love that even on their worst, hormonal day of the year they still want to cuddle with us at bedtime. I love that when they sense Daddy or Mommy is having a bad day, they go to their room and pray for us, and that when asked why they do that they say: "Cause that's what you do when someone is having a hard time." I love that they "get it", that being a Christian is more than a lot of talk and going to church on Sunday morning. It's not always easy to make the choice that will please the Lord, but blessings follow obedience. Thank you Lord that they are learning this early. May it continue to take root in the deepest part of their being.
Posted by ocean mommy at 3/24/2007 06:21:00 PM
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I ask all my girlfriends, can an 8 1/2 year old have PMS. (See I can type this, but there's no way I could speak these words out loud!!!) OH my goodness have we been emotional this week. Bless our souls if this is a sign of things to come. Poor, poor Chad. All alone with 3 females. (I guess this is why he was so particular about getting a boy dog.)
This morning we talked about guarding our mouths and tongues. We had an awesome discussion about how we could guard our mouths, using our mouths to speak healing words instead of harmful ones. Then we had a powerful prayer time. And I mean powerful, we prayed hard. They poured their little hearts out and asked God to help them guard their mouths. I was so humbled by it all.
Then, it starts. The huffy and puffy walk. The poochy lip disease made a come back. Now, granted she didn't SAY much, but her actions spoke much louder!! She was "guarding" her words, but her body was speakin' some sass!! I can't tell you what triggered it, other than I asked her to get ready for her spelling test. I'm such a mean teacher!! Anyway, after the silent treatment, and a few tears we made it through our spelling test, and our big unit test. Then it starts again. Complete disappointment in herself. (She missed 1 spelling word and made a 96, which was just unacceptable) When I gave her the unit average of 99.5, that just sent her over the edge!! "Can I do extra credit?!!!" was her response.
I really had to bite my lip to keep from laughing out loud. I sent her upstairs to take a long hot shower, and suggested she just spend a little time alone with God. Later, we talked about how she made the choice to let the enemy control her actions this morning. She even said, that we had such a good devotion time she didn't understand how she could blow it, the same day!!! I told her that even adults do this over and over again. We all make mistakes, we all do things that grieve God. That's why it's so important to study His word, to ask Him to show you where you're wrong and to forgive you of anything in you that grieves Him. I heard someone say once that you know you're growing in your relationship with the Lord when the time of the sin and the time of the confession grows smaller and smaller. It was so cool to hear her say, "I knew I was acting wrong and that I needed to fix my attitude. I wanted God to forgive me." After a sweet prayer time together, she's back to her old happy self. Until one of us looks at her wrong!!
Oh my poor, poor husband!!
Posted by ocean mommy at 3/21/2007 03:41:00 PM
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
This is the Keepin It Real Crew from Sept. 2006.
My friends Angela (backrow first gal from left) and Leigh (sitting on stool first gal on left) are the sisters I talk about in the post below. Pretty beautiful girls aren't they!!!
Posted by ocean mommy at 3/20/2007 05:03:00 PM
I just had the best morning. Two of my very favorite sisters in Christ and their little ones, drove down from Chattanooga for a visit. They were so brave to face Atlanta traffic!! We ate, drank coffee had a few cookies and talked non-stop. It was wonderful. You know, I didn't realize how much I missed those girls. I even found myself a little teary after they left. Each one of us have two children, we are all stay at home moms, 2 of us homeschool and the other is praying about that for next year when her oldest starts kindergarten. But the strongest bond we have is our love for Jesus and our passion to see women experience freedom in Him. We have all been through some tough stuff, and God has done some AWESOME things, miracles in each of our lives and marriages. We know that we can not take a single step without HIM. I think what I love most about these girls is that we can speak truth to each other. You know, as iron sharpens iron.....! I love that about them. Prime example. I've been praying about going to this conference in May. It's on the other side of Atlanta and with all the job change/financial issues, I just feel a little selfish asking Chad to pay for me to go. Plus, I really feel kinda weird going to this. Don't get me wrong, it would be an awesome opportunity to expand my writing skills and meet other songwriters....., I just feel strange "promoting" myself. Okay, that probably makes no sense, but I'm moving on. Chad has said GO, my parents have said GO our good friends and former worship pastor says GO. I haven't even filled out the form or picked out a song to submit. My sweet sister Angela knows I've been praying about this and asked if I was still looking into it. I say I don't know, list my excuses and listen to them say GOOOOOOOOOOO!! Then they spoke some precious things to me that pretty much kicked my rear into gear!! They know me, they know I can't write a note without Him. (Believe me, I've tried and it wasn't pretty.) So, when I get through posting this blog, I'm downloading the registration form and seriously talking to Chad about this and if he's still okay with this, I'm going for it. Scared to death, but I'm going to do this. If you're reading this, pray, pray, pray that I will get over the fear and just obey. Blessings follow obedience!!! I preach this to my children, now I've got to live it for them.
Posted by ocean mommy at 3/20/2007 04:27:00 PM
Monday, March 19, 2007
Posted by ocean mommy at 3/19/2007 07:36:00 PM
Posted by ocean mommy at 3/19/2007 07:27:00 PM
Chad and I recently found that we hear "That's not fair", coming out of our daughter's mouths. This really bugged us, and I began to ask God to give us wisdom on how to handle this. Our Sunday School class is doing a parenting study and we have talked a little about this and we got some great ideas there. Then, Chad got a letter from Ransomed Heart Ministries that talked about not forgetting all that God has done for you. Hmmmm, there's God again. Showing up in numerous places with the same message. He's speaking in themes again. I just love it when He does that!! The two just went hand in hand with what we've been dealing with so I thought I'd share a little of what we're teaching the girls right now.
That's not fair is thrown around every time something doesn't go our way. Adults as well as little ones. Our hurts are just bigger right? Well, it's like the old saying goes, puppy love is real to the puppy. May not be true, but it's real. Life is the same way. Stuff happens that isn't right, isn't what God intended and life can hurt. We've recently used Joseph as an example. Remember him? His big brothers were so jealous of him they threw him into a pit. Then they sold him. Long story short, Joseph found himself in a very unfair situation. I'm sure he felt physical and emotional pain. He was human so I guess at some point he asked God why. God used him in each and every place for a greater purpose. Later he was used to provide for the same family that had thrown him into a pit and sold him!! Joseph didn't ask for that life. The same way we don't ask God to allow traumatic things to happen in ours. What Joseph did, was consistently walk with the Father, good times and bad. He allowed God to take those hard times and use them as a avenue to show HIS greatness. Will you do that? Will you allow God to take the hardest times, maybe the times you are most ashamed of and use it to show His greatness?
Chad has challenged the girls to make a list every day of 5 things God did that day for them, or a particular thing they are thankful for that day. The idea is to acknowledge what God has given. We are so quick to remember all the junk from the day. All the cross words spoken to us or about us. The past pain whether it was brought on ourselves or something we were innocent in or a victim off, but we are so quick to forget the things God does each and every day.
Friday morning as I read my Proverb (16:4a) I was reminded that God works out everything for His own ends. My mind immediately went to the New Testament where we are told once again that ALL THINGS work together for good. So the obvious question being posed to me is this one. What is the "Thing" in my life right now that I need God to work out? The ultimate question is: Can I let go of the "thing" long enough for Him to get His holy fingerprints all over it, or do I like hanging on to my "thing"? Deuteronomy 1:26-32 was recently referenced in a teaching on a similar issue. Pretty much the Children of God are complaining again and Moses reminds them of all that God has done for them and then says in verse 32 "In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God. Or "In this thing, you don't trust the the Lord your God". After everything Jesus has done, I promise you can trust Him with your thing. Will you let him? Oh what freedom waits for us when we surrender our hold on our "things".
Posted by ocean mommy at 3/19/2007 10:32:00 AM
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Posted by ocean mommy at 3/18/2007 12:11:00 AM
Saturday, March 17, 2007
This is my attempt to journal between the girls, laundry, school, the dog, writing, more school and finding time for my man. I'm already tired, and I've only typed 30 words or so. Let's just start with the name of this Blog, or BLOB as LPM Bloggers call these things.
"Notes from the Soul". If you know me you know that I can't go a day without two things. (NO I'm not listing coffee. Although a day without that is not a good thing for my family) First, my time with God. I just can't function without some alone time. Lately, that's harder and harder to find. My girls keep getting up earlier and earlier. So when they have their "alone time" (we are much to sophisticated for naps now!) I'm getting as much as I can. I love my devotional time with the girls in the morning and often times, God shows me some pretty powerful stuff during that time, but I still crave those moments when it's just He and I. There are times, I just can't get enough. So, I'll pose this question: When do you find time for the Lord? Early AM, or late PM. I go back and forth. Although sometimes my late PM actually is early AM. There are plenty of places in the Word that say "Early in the Morning............."
The second thing I can't go a day without is my piano. This is probably my first passion. After my parents, it's the first thing I remember loving. Before I knew Jesus as my personal Savior, there was my piano. Before, I fell in love with my husband, there was my piano. It's funny to me, almost from the beginning of our relationship I think he knew there would always be this other thing in our relationship. He has lovingly accepted that as part of me. Never asked me to give it up or cut back, just loved me through it. I can't tell you the number of times, I get a call to fill in or play for something that I agree to first and then say, "Do you mind if I play........." He always smiles as if to say "I know you've already agreed, go do it and do it well". I've got to quit doing that, I am getting better, but...........
So there's the reason for the name of this blog. Notes - my musical reference and From the Soul- because that is where the content of this will come from. Sometimes funny, sometimes serious. But that is me.
Posted by ocean mommy at 3/17/2007 08:01:00 PM