Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day /Simple Pleasure

We have had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. Our grill has been used several times this weekend and I love it! After we spent sometime at the pool, (because we had about an hour of S.U.N. thank you Lord!) Chad grilled chicken and I whipped out some cornbread and green beans. We ate inside since I STILL have not found a picnic table. I really need to get myself together and do that, we've only been here three years....sigh.

Chad took the girls to work a booth in our local Memorial Day parade this morning so I had about 5 hours of extreme quiet. It was heavenly. I fixed myself some Pecan Torte coffee, took an extra long shower and then settled in with my Bible and journal. I guess you could say I had a mini-retreat. It was my Simple Pleasure of the week.

Yesterday our pastor brought a powerful,bold word based on John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." (ESV)

He reminded us of the sacrifice Jesus made for each and every one of us and the freedom we have in Him. He beautifully and boldly reminded our church how blessed we are to live in this country where so many men and women have died so that we can simply start our car and drive to our church.

This morning I started thinking about my story, my spiritual freedom and the path that I've taken up to this point in my life. Just spent time thanking God for godly parents, Sunday school teachers and teachers in elementary, middle and high school that made a spiritual impact on my life.

As I got to my twenties I started thinking about the Bible teachers that have greatly impacted me. Some well known, others were women in my local church. Women who pushed me, challenged me and got all up in my business until I got into small group Bible study. I am so thankful for them. They are part of my story.

One teacher/author that I had the privilege to sit under for a weekend at our church in Tennessee, was Dee Brestin. (Falling in Love with Jesus; Friendships of Women...)

I treasure the book she signed for me not because she signed her name, but because she penned a personal message to me. She challenged me to keep asking God to give me song lyrics. She had spent no time with me one on one to know that was heavy on my heart. The only reason she knew I had written anything was because a friend of mine sang one of my songs, "Whole Again" during the conference. (The timing of that song in the conference is a story in and of itself!) I will never forget walking away and looking down and seeing her words to me. She had spoken them TO me, but to see them written in the front of that was just a powerful moment in my life.

Dee has started blogging! I would love for you to go here and check it out! I know you will be blessed.

I hope one day to be able to look her in the eye and tell her just how much she has influenced my life.

So how about you? Do you have anyone who has guided you in your spiritual journey to freedom?

One more thing. We had family pictures done last week and I want to share two of my favorites!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday Morning Ramblings

It is a morning to remember. Each person in my family slept LATE. Both girls slept past 7:30!! That is huge around here. Everyone has had breakfast and we are all just sort of lounging around for a little while. I love it.

Last night on Twitter, LifeWay shared that the focus passage at the Living Proof event in Wyoming this weekend, was Psalm 66. Since I (and probably you too) have friends at that conference, I wanted to read the passage and pray for my friends. After we tucked everyone in, I crawled into bed and read Psalm 66.

I found myself grinning at God. I started the passage and got down to verses 5-7:

"Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf! He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot, come let us rejoice in him. He rules forever by his power, his eyes watch the nations, let not the rebellious rise up against him."

I am re-reading a little book called "The Red Sea Rules". I told you about it here. Of course the verses in Psalm lined right up with what I am studying right now. Love it when God does that! So cool.

As I read on to verses 10-12 "for you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through the fire and water but you brought us to a place of abundance." I could not help but think of this quote from the very first "rule". (You can find it on page 6)

"The Lord occasionally does the same thing with us, testing our faith, leading us into hardship, teaching us wisdom, showing us His ways. Our first reaction may be a surge of panic and a sense of alarm, but we must learn to consult the Scriptures for guidance.

So take a deep breath and recall this deeper secret of the Christian life: when you are in a difficult place, realize that the Lord either placed you there or allowed you to be there, for reason perhaps known for now only to Himself.

The same God who led you in, will lead you out."

For some reason, the Casting Crowns song "Praise you in the Storm" keeps running through my head. Sometimes it's in those really difficult seasons that we have the opportunity to bring our God a sacrifice of praise.

It's hard isn't it? But how pleased He must be when we make the choice to praise Him regardless of the circumstances. Even when you feel like you have an impossible river in front of you and the enemy behind you, go on and praise Him and watch what He does. What would happen if we took our selfish eyes of off ourselves and became completely enthralled with Him?

His majesty and glory are far greater than the circumstance in front of me today. So far the Lord has been my helper, my guide and my constant source of LIFE! He never changes so I can rest knowing that the same God who led me here, will lead me out and on!

He makes me want to sing...

Psalm 66:1-2
"Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of His name; make His praise glorious!"

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Waiting on the Bread to Rise

Just a few minutes ago I was getting all my ingredients together to bake some bread. As I started measuring these ingredients I began to think about how good this bread will be dipped in the soup I have in the crock pot. Dinner time can not come fast enough!

I like to bake bread but I hate the wait. Like right now, I've done all I can do and have to wait one hour while it rises. The yeast I put in needs to do it's job. As much as I want to get it in the loaf pan and bake wouldn't be very good if I did that. This part of the process is important!

Sounds a little like life doesn't it? Sometimes you reach a point where you have done all you can humanly do. It is the place where you sit down, pray and wait.

I'm in that place in one area right now. I know that I have been faithful to do what God has asked, but my hands are off so to say. I have to trust that God is very much alive, working and moving in this situation, even though I don't physically see the end product - yet.

However, I feel differently. I have a confidence that He is active in this. I feel completely at peace in this wait. And boy oh boy, I can't wait to see the end product. hour wait is up and I need to go press down the dough and divide it into halves and wait a little longer. All this talk about God being alive and active and pressing down and dividing makes me think of Hebrews 4:12

"For the Word of the God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

First Day of Summer Vacation

What a week! Today is the first day of summer vacation and my precious Emma was wide awake at 5:15. I am not kidding. Chad was getting ready to go run and told her to get herself in bed with me. After a few minutes she went back to sleep and is STILL asleep.

I have to admit I'm struggling a little with this particular summer. Chloe will start middle school in the fall and I am just not ready for that! I think I am living my LPM scripture for this two weeks..

Philippians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

While I'm excited for her and know that she will have an incredible experience, I'm just not ready to admit she's old enough for MIDDLE SCHOOL!!! (Big Sigh and change of subject.)

Go check out my friend Heather's answer to prayer. :) Avery Kate is a living breathing answer to prayer!! (If you go visit her blog, you have to scroll down and check out her brown and pink nursery...LOVE IT!)

I do want to thank you for praying for my Freedom's Call buddies. Our Bible Teacher Jill has been in the hospital with Pneumonia. She was released Monday about the time her husband was being admitted for blood clots in his lungs. Yes, she walked out of one room as he was being rolled into the room two doors down. This is just one of many things hitting our ministry right now. We are very aware of where this is coming from and covet your prayers. We are preparing for a weekend conference the end of June and it feels like we are being pressed on all sides. BUT...

We are thanking God for what He is going to do in the hearts of these ladies June 19 and 20. I can't wait to see what He does.

I'm off to Shred and finish up some housework my girls have plans the rest of the week. Our pool opens Thursday and they want to be IN IT RIGHT AT 9:00 WHEN IT OPENS FOR THE FIRST TIME. We'll see how long it lasts, its like 55 degrees here right now!!! That water is going to be too cold for me.

Monday, May 18, 2009

It's Monday and I have no title

How was your weekend? Ours was so uneventful and believe me, we loved every last second of it.

Saturday we really did nothing. Just played around the house, watched the girls ride their bikes (when it wasn't raining) made spaghetti for an early dinner and went to bed EARLY. Heaven.

Sunday Chad beat me home from church and he and the girls started lunch. He made a fabulous marinade and grilled chicken. He even cleaned up the kitchen! About the time he brought the food in off the grill, the rain started.

He and the girls napped while I enjoyed spending time with some ladies as we celebrated a new baby in our Sunday School family. Before we ate, our hostess had personalized and printed scripture for us to read and pray over baby Cameron. It was beautiful. We gave the cards to his mommy to take home and use. Such a precious time. Then we ate... :) Can I just tell you my friend Amanda can just plain cook. (And she grows her own lettuce too!)

I came home to find Chad fixing the girls a snack dinner. He seems to have become the Sunday Chef. I told him he needs his own Food Network show called "The Sunday Chef".

Our pastor taught on contentment yesterday I think I may share some of my notes later tonight or tomorrow. There were a couple of points that just really hit me between the eyes and I don't want to forget them.

It's time to start drying hair and getting little toe nails painted. We have family pictures tonight. We haven't had a "real" photo done in 4 years! Needless to say, my girls have changed a little!!

Oh, guess what....2 more days of school!!!!!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

YIPEEE It's Friday

So the video post? Well...Apparently when you don't push record, nothing records. You think I'm kidding. Seriously. My poor husband. Sometimes he just shakes his head. Anyway.....

Chad and I had a great anniversary yesterday. The girls woke us up with breakfast in bed. (and they cleaned the kitchen while we ate!) He left for work and we got busy on our schoolwork. Once that was done, we all took naps. Yes we did. AND IT WAS HEAVEN. :)

This weekend we have No. Plan. Literally. There is nothing on the agenda. I think we will probably do some yardwork, but after that who knows. I'm thinking if the rain holds off I'm going to plop myself in the hammock and finish up the book I'm reading. (Healing Waters by Steve Arterburn and Nancy Rue a very good read by the way.)

Can I ask you to pray for two of my Freedom's Call ministry team members? A. and J. are both undergoing some medical issues this week and we are asking God to show Himself to them. We need Jehovah Rapha to stretch out His mighty hand and do what only He can do.

I'm going to enjoy this weekend with my family and take a blogging break. There are several things we need to do to get ready for summer. As the girls told me this afternoon, we really need to get the pool toys organized so that we can grab and go FAST when the pool opens this week. :)

I'll see you Monday!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Day

I have been trying to do my video blog thingy but it just isn't happening. Why you ask? Well...

I thought I had everyone trucking away on their school work. Emma was in her snuggie reading "5 Little Peppers" and Chloe was working on her last history chapter. I knew that I had about 20 minutes to throw some towels in the washer, set up the camera and get this thing done and posted.

Just as I am finishing up the video I heard it. The screeching cry of my second daughter saying...."OUCH CHLOE!" followed by Chloe's little feet running down the stairs to tell me..."EMMA IS HURT AND I DIDN'T MEAN TOO."

My mind flashed back to summer 2004 when I heard this same sort of thing only to discover that they had been shoving drumsticks down each others throats. Yes, I'm serious. They told me they wanted to see how far down the things could go before it would hurt. Go on laugh..when I called Chad at work to ask if I should take them to the Doctor, he put me on hold while he called his entire staff in and then had me tell him again...ON SPEAKER PHONE.

Back to this morning...

I in a not so Christian tone, asked "What in the world is going on?" Chloe goes on to explain that they were..and I quote

"Well... First, we were jumping on our beds. Back and forth bed to bed. Second, as I jumped from my bed to Emma's bed, my thumb made contact with Emma's right eyeball. I'm sorry and she'll bounce back."

Made contact. Yes she said that. It was all I could do not say come here so my hand can make contact with your backside...

Meanwhile in the background Emma is moaning, and attempting to walk down the stairs with both eyes closed. (It really was quite funny now that it's over.)

Emma is fine and has,as Chloe said, "bounced back".

There are 5 days of school left and my girls are grounded GROUNDED from all things electrical. And I...I just want to go back to bed and start this day over!!!

Maybe I'll get the video posted Thursday! Until then, I'm going to be supervising my children as they copy pages out of the dictionary.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Saturday I found myself in Isaiah 6. I'm quite sure your familiar with it. (Isaiah sees the Lord seated on the throne...the train of His robe filling the temple...)

I have read this passage lots of times but on Saturday morning it struck me that after Isaiah had seen the Lord, He was very aware of His sin condition. He knew that He had unclean lips(vs 5) and that he lived with people who had unclean lips. He knew he was unworthy to be in the presence of God Almighty. But God made provision for that.

Verse 6 describes the seraph taking the tongs and touching Isaiah's lips with a coal from the alter, and saying "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for." Isaiah had just experienced the majesty of God, but he had also received the forgiveness of God.

This next part is what has me spinning. In verse 8 God says "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"

Isaiah responded with "Here am I! Send me!" I would venture to say it was without hesitation. Here he is in the presence of God Almighty and is still alive! (Verse 5tells us that he says "woe is me, I am ruined". He was probably thinking that since he had seen God he would probably die!)

"Here am I! Send me!" His immediate response was I'll do it! I wonder if he was jumping up and down both arms in the air, or was he flat on his face? Either way, Isaiah had an immediate response of YES. How could he NOT say yes after what he had just seen and experienced?

God reminded me that sometimes, he wants us to say yes before we know the entire plan.

I'm kind of living that right now. Maybe I'll share that later in the week. Not sure if I'm quite ready to blog about it yet. I just know that way back in January he had me say yes to this "thing" and it has captured my heart in a way that I can't begin to describe. It may require a video blog because I'm not sure I can adequately express in words what He has done to my heart.

Friday, May 8, 2009

And The Winners Are.....

I have to say that I have been so excited about this particular giveaway. Praise music and babies make my heart happy! (In fact I got to hold a precious 2 week old little boy yesterday. I barely remember my girls being so tiny!)

Okay..the winners are:

Heather- at Life at Sonic Speed. Heather will be holding her precious miracle baby girl Avery Kate in just 3 weeks!!!! I can't wait!


Jenmom- my precious friend who welcomed her 3rd baby girl just 10 weeks ago. Jen, I'm still waiting to see some pictures!!! I know she's beautiful just like her mommy.

Ladies shoot me an e-mail with your mailing address and the CD you would like, and I will pass your info on to Mandy who will be shipping these to you.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Remember this Lady?

****Tomorrow I'll announce winners of Faith Hope and Lullabies giveaway!! Until then I'll be recovering from this morning's "Shred".(Apparently I have pulled a muscle or something that is supposed to resemble a muscle!) Hop down to the post before this one and leave a comment to register to win!****

Oh boy...I LOVE this photo!! I think Amy Grant is probably my all time favorite Christian female artist.

She has a gift for songwriting and she never ceases to inspire me to stay on my face before the Lord.

Go and check her out on iTunes you will not be dissapointed.

Copy and paste this to get there:

I'll be back Friday with something that God has been putting in front of my face over and over and over...not sure how eloquent and graceful that post will be...but it's what He is showing me.

Monday, May 4, 2009

How About a Giveaway???

I love giveaways, and this one...THIS one I am extra excited about.

About two weeks ago I received an e-mail promoting 2 new lullaby CD's. Since my girls are a little older I knew that they would probably be "over" this, but I kept reading because we have friends who are having babies and I figured I could pass on the info, if I liked what I heard.

I began to listen and let me tell you...I don't like it at all. I LOVE this CD!

Chloe, Emma and I have been listening to Faith, Hope and Lullabies Songs of Worship during our car rides, while we do chores and yes during our school time! This is not your typical "lullaby" music. The instrumental arrangements are wonderful and I have enjoyed it as much or MORE than my girls.

Speaking of my girls, here is what they have to say.

Me: "Emma what is your favorite song on this CD?"

Emma: "Here I am to Worship"

Me: "What did you like about the CD?"

Emma: "It was awesome because it has songs that I know, but without the words and it makes me think about Jesus."

Me: "Do you think all the mommies that read this should get this CD for their children?"

Emma: "Yes. If they want them to have sweet dreams."

Me: "Thanks."

Emma: "No problem...can I have a cookie?"

Me: "Chloe as a 10 year old what did you think about this CD?"

Chloe: "One word: Soothing."

Me: "What is your favorite song?"

Chloe: "El Shaddai."

Me: "Why that one?"

Chloe: "I just like the way it sounded. It made me relax."

Me: "Do you think that all the mommies reading this need one of these CD's for their children?"

Chloe: "Yes, absolutely."

Me: "Do you like it when we play this CD in the house?"

Chloe: "Yes because it is relaxing."

Me: "Thanks."

Chloe: "You're welcome."

If my two girls LOVE this CD, then I would say that your children or grandchildren will love it too.

Here is the deal...
First hit stop on the player in the top right of my side bar.

Listen to a sample of both CD's.

Faith Hope and Lullabies...

Faith Hope and Lullabies Songs of Worship...

Leave a comment telling me which one you would pick if you were to win.

That's it! Oh, if you have a blog and want to...just mention it. I'm serious when I say that you do not have to have an infant in your home to enjoy this!!

I will announce the winners (there will be two!) on Friday morning May 8.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Weekend = No Shred!

Happy Friday!!! I am thrilled to have two days off of the shred! least one day, I'll probably talk myself into popping the DVD in on Sunday afternoon. It's strange, I find myself looking forward to that 20 minutes. Sick isn't it?!?!?

I have a slight confession to make about this whole Shred thing. It's kind of funny, but one of those pride things God continues to work out of me.

A few weeks ago we sold our treadmill. ALL of our hand weights went with the treadmill. Great for the person who bought it, bad for me when I popped in the DVD on Day 1 and realized DUH, I have no hand weights.

I remembered hearing on a talk show YEARS ago that if you didn't have hand weights, to grab a couple of canned goods. Yes. CANNED GOODS. :) So as Jillian gave her pre-workout pep talk, I made a mad dash to the pantry and grabbed two cans of cream of mushroom soup. YES I AM SERIOUS. And so far, it has given the girls a good laugh.

The past couple of days I have felt so proud of myself for getting through the workout and feeling stronger....blah...blah...blah...of course, I'm still using my trusty cream of mushroom soup as my hand weights. Can I just tell you I am laughing at myself big time. :)

Today we made the weekly trip to Target. I decided that since I needed to use that cream of mushroom soup, it was time to purchase some real hand weights. As we turned down the aisle I saw the ones I knew were meant to be mine!

They ARE PINK and get this:


Thank you LORD!

As I put them into the buggy (or shopping cart) I realized something.

There is no way I'm moving on to level 2! Those little weights are going to make me feel like I'm starting this whole process all over again!!!

Maybe I should have just invested in more soup!