Thursday, July 29, 2010

Headed to the Lake

I have spent the day packing up for a little weekend adventure at the lake. Smores, campfires and a lot of laughter. Praying you all have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Satan's Whisper

"As soon as the snake saw his chance, he slithered silently up to Eve. "Does God really love you?" the serpent whispered. -taken from the Jesus Storybook Bible

I spent my quiet time tonight reading and studying Genesis 3. After reading and making notes I read the story again, this time from the Jesus Storybook Bible.

It may be a children's story, but the phrase above resonated in me. "Does God really love you?" the serpent whispered.

The very first sin was committed out of Eve's doubt in God's love.

I read a post today from my friend Tracie talking all about how Satan's whispers are trying to destroy us.

At times it seems that Satan's whisper is louder than God's, but I realize that it is only because I am giving Satan the opportunity. I am lending him my ear.

On night's like this one that I am camped out at my computer with two different Bibles open and a notebook and pen in hand, Satan doesn't stand a chance. When I read God's Word, I am filled with the ability to stand firm.

Satan wants to destroy us, but God clothes us.

Even when God sent Adam and Eve out of the garden that day, he clothed them. Not only with garments of skin, but with a never failing love.

Don't let Satan whispers fill you with doubt.

God really does love you.
God really will protect you.
God is always by your side.

I am joining ifellowship over at Seeds of Faith today!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Someday You Will Be Best Friends

There are days that I wonder if we will make it through the day.

There are times that I think you will never be friends.

There are playtimes that turn into wrestling matches and no one ends up a winner.

There is some screaming, some crying and days filled with drama.

There are also playtimes filled with laughter.

There are days when your imagination takes you to far off lands.

There are days that you play for hours without me playing referee.

These days give me glimpses of your future.

Someday you will learn that no matter what, you will always have each other.

Someday instead of causing each other to cry, you will be helping each other through tears caused by others.

Someday you will be best friends.

There are times that I do wonder why God has blessed me with three girls. There are times I wonder if we should try just one more time to have a boy. But then God sends me a day when I get a glimpse of the bond that happens between sisters. That is a gift that they will someday learn to treasure.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

I am linking up with Emily from Chatting At the Sky for Tuesdays Unwrapped. What gifts are you unwrapping today?

Failures Leading to Gratitude

I had a week of successes and failures. When I stop to look back at the week it was filled with many more successes than failures, but it seems the failures always seem to take over the mind.

It was a crazy week. My emotions were on overload as we finally were able to move into our new home on Wednesday. We had a lot of help and we unloaded quickly and efficiently. However, when everyone went home we all kind of melted down.

Beds were not put together. We were not sure where the bedding was even at. In my mind I had pictured this wonderful first night in our new home filled with a time to praise God and thank Him for all of our blessings.

That isn't exactly what happened and we all went to bed frustrated.

Last night was filled with more unpacking and a couple of hours in which my husband and I thought it best for us not to speak to each other because like I tell my girls, "If you don't have anything nice to say that don't say anything at all." So we didn't.

Luckily before bed we were able to relax a little, take a few deep breaths and we didn't go to bed angry.

I let myself get too busy and I didn't open my Bible until Sunday night. I turned to Psalm 62. I should have read this in the middle of my meltdowns.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.

Thankfully I had some quiet time to reflect on all of the successes of the week and I am grateful for so many things.

holy experience

#26 Friends and Family that helped us move into our new home.

#27 My mom and sister who helped me put together my kitchen so I could cook again.

#28 Old chairs that need new life.

#29 A day away with my girls filled with shopping, friends and more shopping.

#30 Sunday morning service that restores me.

#31 Opening a box filled with books.

#32 Tucking my girls into their new rooms, saying our prayers and watching them fall asleep.

#33 A husband that has patience with me and knows when to walk away until later.

#34 Pioneer Woman Sheet Cake. YUMMY!

#35 Sunday suppers and my mom and dad's house. (and being able to ride bike home instead of getting in a car for a 200 mile drive).

What are you grateful for? I am joining the Gratitude Community counting 1000 reasons that I am grateful.

Monday, July 19, 2010

That's How We Roll

We haven't had a lot of time together lately. She is busy with new friends and summer activities. I am busy trying to work through all the details of our move.

Tonight we snuck out of the house and slipped our rollerblades on. We talked, we laughed, we tried to stay focused enough so we wouldn't fall.

We talked about friendship. We talked about Jesus. We talked about the impact she can have in life by living out her faith in her friendships. Our time together was really special.

I am talking about spending quiet devotional time with my girls today over at the MOD Squad Blog. Last night I realized that sometimes we can learn the most when we have fun together. Keeping the lines of communication open by spending time doing something that we love.

I am linking up with Emily at Chatting at the Sky sharing this special everyday moment at Tuesdays Unwrapped. What gifts are you unwrapping today?

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Comfort of Home

After being at my mom and dad's house for almost two months, we will be moving into our new home this week. It has been a blessing for us to be able to stay here, but it will be good to let them have their house back.

I am focusing my Multitude Monday Post on my amazing mom and dad.

holy experience

#16 Experiencing the Magic of Disney with them in May.

#17 My mom loves doing the dishes.

#18 My dad's amazing cooking and my mom's baking.

#19 Waking up in the same house I grew up in. A comfort during a very stressful season.

#20 Their patience with our piles of clothes, toys, etc. in the middle of their home.

#21 Sitting at the table with my mom late at night. Her with a book in her hand while I type away at the computer.

#22 Sharing the kitchen with my dad to prepare a supper for the whole family.

#23 The love they show the girls even when they are driving us all crazy.

#24 The love they show each other.

#25 The excitement they have in their voices when they tell people that we are moving home.

Thank you for everything Mom and Dad. I love you!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Girlfriends Getting Real: Meet Tracie

I am so excited to share one of my absolute favorite sites with you today. tsj photography is one of the first sites I visit when I wake up every morning and I am always so glad that I did.

I love Tracie's heart and she shares it openly in her posts. She is also an amazing photographer. I just haven't quite convinced my hubby that we need to take a 10 hour road trip for a photo session with her.

She is a mom to four girls. She is a word traveler. I live vicariously through her adventures on her blog. She is amazingly creative, too.

She shared a great post on Thursday about having the "Home Court Advantage" with your kids and their friends over at the MOD Squad Blog.

Take some time to check out her blog and don't forget to browse through her portfolio. Then you will know why a 10 hour trip for a photo shoot would be so worth it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Household of Faith

It is hard to believe that next week, after almost two months of being in limbo, we will finally be moving into our new home.

We have been on quite an adventure for the past seven months. We are excited to get settled in and start a new chapter.

We have called four towns home in our 10 years of marriage. Each one has molded us and shaped us. We grow a little more with each step along the way. Although everything is new and different, one thing remains the same.

But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua 24:15b

I am joining Sonya for Thankful Thursday. I am so thankful for our new home!

Created for Him

I woke up really early this morning to get some quiet time in with Him.

But as I read in Genesis the story of Adam and Eve, I couldn't get him out of my mind.

It has been a couple of tough months for us. I can see the stress on his face. I can hear the stress in the tone of his voice. I feel helpless most of the time because he is the provider. I am at home just trying to make things run smoothly here.

However today I was stopped in my tracks as I read in Genesis 2:18:

The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make a helper suitable for him."

As I sat here thinking about this verse I made a mental list of how I am made to be his helper.
  • I can help him by keeping our home orderly so that when he walks through the door he feels welcome and leave work at work.
  • I can help him by providing healthy meals that nourishes him and fills his belly.
  • I can help him by being financially responsible and only spending on needs instead of wants.
  • I can help him by providing him with love and intimacy that he can only get from me.
  • I can help him by raising our girls to love to Lord and respect him by showing them this through my life.
  • I can help him by rising early to pray for his day and to spend a few moments with him before he leaves for work.
I am created to be his helper. But lately in the passing moments of lunchtime and suppertime I don't feel like I am helping him at all as he eats and goes back to work to finish all that needs to be done.

So this morning as God stirred me awake when I really wanted to stay sleeping, I am going to remember my role as his helper. It was not good for man to be alone. And I love this man.


If you are stopping by from Seeds of Faith's iFellowship, Hello to You and Welcome to Girlfriends Get Real.

If you are a regular visitor, I thank you so much for your comments and encouragement. It is so wonderful to read your words everyday.

I would love to hear more from all of you about your marriage and how you are a helper to your husband.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Soap in the Mouth (Well Almost)

This is my baby. She is the only person I know that can make me laugh and want to tear my hair out in the matter of minutes. Those big brown eyes have gotten the best of me on more than one occasion.

She is full of spunk and she makes me very tired. I could write a book about the four short years she has been a member of this family.

After everyone was asleep last night and the house was quiet I sat in the chair thanking God for my three girls.

The drama almost makes me crazy, but I really wouldn't want it to be any other way.

I would love to share something extremely profound today, but instead I am going to share a little of my mom moments with this little girl.

She almost got her mouth washed out with soap for telling her sister that she hated her. (I have never actually used the soap. . .I can't imagine what it would be like to follow-through).
Later in the day I was giving her a bath. I had the shampoo in my hand and she said, "Is that the soap you were going to wash my mouth out with?"

I said, "No I was going to use the body soap so you better not ever say the word hate again."

She responds, "What about stupid?"

"No" I said, "You can't say stupid."

"What about dumb?" she asks.

"No, you can't say dumb either."

And so it goes in our house. Never a dull moment, but I love it.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

I am unwrapping the precious moments of my girls childhood today with Emily at Chatting at the Sky. They aren't always easy moments or fun moments, but I cherish them all anyway.

In the Beginning. . .

I got no further than the "About the Cover" of this book. . .

When I realized that I needed to completely refocus my Bible time. Francis Chan explained a simple concept and it stopped me in my tracks. I went on to the first chapter and I realized that I needed to start over at the very beginning. I pulled out these three things and I turned to Genesis 1:1.

I am on a journey to seek God. I know many Bible Stories and scriptures that have been taught to me. It is time for me to really dig deep and discover the truth of God's world for myself. It goes back to a statement from Focus on the Family's Truth Project, "Do I really believe, that what I really believe is really real?"

I am excited to share my thoughts with you. Right now I haven't gotten any farther than the first verse. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1 I think I will spend some time just letting that sink in.

He was there from the beginning.
He created everything.
He created me.

holy experience

I also want to add to my gratitude list.
I just celebrated my 33rd Birthday yesterday and I have so much to be grateful for.
#11: 33 years of health and happiness
#12: Sitting around the campfire eating smores with my girls.

#13: The world's best smore maker.

#14: Father-Daughter Hiking Trips

#15: Family Game Time

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Quality Time

Time. . .

It does not ever seem like there are enough hours in a day. There are always a few things left on my to-do list when my head hits the pillow. I have so many things I want to plan, to read, to create, and to write.

However, there is one thing that has been heavy on my heart over the past two weeks.

Quality Time
. . .with my family
. . .with my Bible
. . .with my Savior

As I am looking at this list of projects I want to accomplish, the things that should be my top priority often get set aside.

Over the next few weeks I will be moving into our new home, enjoying summer with my girls, and refocusing my prayer time and Bible time. I will be writing when I have some time, but I am not going to be writing every day.

I want to take the time to savor a cup of coffee with my mom in the mornings before we move out of their house and into our own home. I want to spend my days exploring with my girls, playing at the park and reading under a shade tree.

I just wanted to let you know that I may be a little sporadic over the next few weeks. Instead of being connected to my computer for awhile, I am going to be connected to my Bible, a notebook and a pen.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mom's Day Off

I am headed out of town for a little mom's day off.
On my agenda: book stores, coffee shops, good food & old friends.

If you haven't checked out the new MODSquad Blog yet, you should. Today, Stacey is sharing a prayer guide for mothers.

One thing that I think about often is praying for my girls and their journey in life.

In Julie Ferwerda's book One Million Arrows she quotes Andrew Murray. He says, "Let us stop praying that our children will be saved if we are not willing to offer them for His service."

I will be back tomorrow, refreshed and relaxed. Laughter is good for the soul and I know my day will be filled with laughter.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tuesdays Unwrapped: Family

Last Friday night we sat on our front porch for the last time.
Next time we go to the house we will be handing the keys over to its new owners. I walked around this house we called home for four years. Thinking about the memories that we made in this place.

The countless hours I spent standing at this sink doing dishes. . .

Sisters sharing rooms. . .

Sharing many meals with our good friends around the table. . .

Goodbyes are never easy. But, it was time for us to go. This weekend we were reminded of why the moving vans were packed and our house is empty. It really comes down to one word. . .
Here are a few memories that we made as we celebrated the Fourth of July with our family.

Two full days of family & fun. Lots of laughter. Tired kids and parents.

I am joining Emily at Chatting at the Sky for Tuesdays Unwrapped. Today I am unwrapping the amazing gift of family.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Unwilling Warrior

I have not had the chance to read much lately, but I wanted to share with you the newest book on my shelf. If you enjoy historical fiction this is a new series for you.
Andrea Boeshaar brings you the first book in her Seasons of Redemption series. Unwilling Warrior is a great first book to introduce the main characters. You are left guessing a little on some of the secondary characters, but maybe they will be developed more in future books.
You may be able to guess the end to the story, but it is still a great read. Read more about the story below. I look forward to reading the next book in this series. For more information about the author Andrea Boeshaar go here. Go here to purchase a copy of the book.

About the book: Valerie Fontaine is frightened. Her mother has passed and the War Between the States is raging. She braves the distance and leaves her finishing school in Virginia to be home with Daddy in New Orleans for Christmas.

Benjamin McCabe has a noble dream of photographing the Civil War--until his brother is lost during a battle. He has no idea his quest to find the missing brother will lead him into the enchanting presence of a New Orleans socialite.

And neither could have guessed how their lives would be forever changed.

I was given a copy of this book from Rebecca at Glass Road PR to review. Thanks Rebecca!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sharing Our Freedom In Christ

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"

The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household."Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family. Acts 16:25-34

Evangelism has never been easy for me. I love the Lord, but it is not always easy for me to share that with others. It is so much easier for me to write the words of my heart than to speak them.

I think one of the things that I have struggled with is how to explain to others that although they will be given the gift of eternal life, that does not mean that life will become easy. It does not mean that they will not struggle, that loved ones won't get sick, or that they will be showered with "earthly blessings".

In fact, when they become believers, they will face many trials, they will have to stand firm in their faith at times when the world continually knocks them down.

As I was thinking about the freedom we receive in Christ I thought about this Bible Story of Paul and Silas in Prison. They were beaten without a trial and put into prison for commanding a demon to come out of a woman.

As they sang praises to God while they were chained in prison, in the midst of their persecution, an earthquake shakes the prisons foundations and sets all of the prisoners free. They do not flee, but instead stay to tell the jailer about Christ.

Paul and Silas were not focusing on their persecution. They were focusing on saving others from suffering eternally. The trials we face on this earth are minor when we focus on the treasures we will receive in heaven.

Do you struggle with sharing the Freedom we receive in Christ with others? Do you have a story to share on spreading the Good News of the Gospel? Let me know, I would love to feature your story this month.