Thursday, September 30, 2010

Writer's Workshop!

Mama's Losin' It

I just found a neat blog hop for writers (A.K.A. me!). So happy!!! I'm suppose to pick a prompt and write about it, then link up! I'm choosing prompt #2 But teachers know everything!! Write about a time a teacher disappointed you. So here it goes:

We all know girls like her, you know, the popular one/teachers pet. It was our 7th grade year and we were standing in line waiting to ask the teacher questions about our test. She came up behind me and ripped my test out of my hand. I was furious! I tried to get it back but she held it over my head, I did eventually get it back, but only to hear her scream, "she hit me!!!!" Which, of course, I did not. Our teacher was sitting there the entire time, and had to have seen the entire ordeal, he sided with her and wrote me a detention slip, my first ever, detention slip.

The following day after I had served my detention and was getting ready to leave school for the day, my teacher saw me in the hall and called me into the classroom. He said that he knew that I didn't hit her and he was 'sorry' that he sided with her. But he hoped that I would understand that he had to... I most certainly did not understand. My perfect record of no detentions was ruined, she thought she was better than me, had gotten away with a lie, and I was punished for something that I didn't do. How could I possibly ever understand?

Thankful Thursday!



On this Thankful Thursday I am thankful for finding two amazing blog hops! You see I started writing Word-filled Wednesday posts back at the beginning of August. You can read my first post "Wordless or Word-filled?" by clicking here. When I started doing this, it was just something that I wanted to do. I often thought that it would make a great blog hop, but that was as far as it went. However, I just found out today, that there is a Word-filled Wednesday blog hop! How cool is that!!!

Check it out:






Then towards the end of August I found a Thankful Thursday post and I thought to myself "what better way to follow a Word-filled Wednesday then a Thankful Thursday?!" So I have been writing them ever since. (You can read my first Thankful Thursday post here)I just found out three weeks ago, that Thankful Thursday was a blog hop! I never knew! It is just so encouraging to me to first of all, know that there are others out there writing Word-filled Wednesday, and Thankful Thursday posts, but also to be able to link together and read through them! So I guess that I would say that I am thankful for you! :)

And of course you can read more Thankful Thursday posts by visiting this months host at her blog Grace Alone.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Word-filled Wednesday!

Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' -- Matthew 22:37

This is Kainen's memory verse this week and I thought it went GREAT with what I have been studying, so I thought I would share it with you on this wonderful Word-filled Wednesday!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Loving God

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. -- Deuteronomy 6:5

I came across this verse today while I was reading a book, and it made me stop to think. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. That is true love, agape love. That isn't saying, "Yeah God, I love you," first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed and forgetting about Him for the remainder of the day. That isn't getting so busy that we push Him to the back of our minds, because, after all, there are more pressing matters. Loving God with all our hearts, soul and strength means putting Him first and letting everything else fall into place. Pushing other things to the side and saying that He is the more pressing matter.

That doesn't mean that I will lock myself in my room all day and ignore my children because I am spending time focusing on God. It means that I can love God and let that love overflow onto them. When I start focusing on them is when I start getting frustrated and losing my patience (and my temper). As long as my focus is on God and I am concentrating on loving Him, then everything else goes much smoother. It's just a matter of keeping God at the center of my mind. Loving Him with all of me.

You see I also realized that I can't love God with all of my heart, strength and soul if I am trying to love my kids. Then my love is divided. Most moms would argue with me here, but the Bible says to love God with all of my heart, not part of my heart. So if I'm trying to love my children, then I'm not really loving God with all of my heart, strength and soul. If I do love God with all of my heart, strength and soul, then that love will overflow onto my children and loving them wont be an issue. Does that make since, or am I rambling?

I can try forever to love my kids, and I will always fall short and be frustrated. I'm just not capable of agape love on my own. However, if I strive to love God, then the love I have for Him will overflow onto everyone around me, not just my own children. They will see that in me and there will never be any doubt about whether or not they are loved. They will know that they are not only loved by me, but also by God.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A change in focus

It occurred to me today that I have been going about this all wrong. I will never be able to obtain a love for others that God desires for me to have.... it just isn't possible. The Bible says that we love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). I will never be able to love others just because I want to. However, if I fall in love with God, the love I have for Him will overflow onto everyone around me. It will be uncontainable! I shouldn't be focusing on a list of how to love others, but focusing on how amazing and awesome my God is, and how much I love Him!

I'm not going to stop studying the Scriptures, that would just be silly. But I will be looking at it differently. I wont be looking at it as a list of do's and don'ts but more as a "God loves you this way" be more like Him, kind of way. I love God so much. I want to fall in love with Him more and more each day, and then let that love overflow to those around me. God is so good!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday!



Today I am thankfully excited about the Women Discipling Women (WDW) group that I am privileged to be a part of this year with some of the ladies from my church. Our first meeting was last night, and it was WONDERFUL!!!

It is designed to encourage Christian women who disciple/counsel other women. We are meeting 8 times this year and reading 3 books together. Plus watching DVD's from the WDW conferences at Master's College dealing with College dealing with topics specific to women. I am so thankful for this opportunity!

I am also thankful for the ladies that are in the group with me! One of them gave me a ride, and one of her children will be babysitting my children during the majority of the meetings, as my husband works most of the evenings involved. One of the ladies is gifting me with a TON of her old homeschooling supplies, and just the support, prayer, and thoughtfulness of everyone in the group is amazing.

I can't wait to see what this year and this group will hold for everyone involved. I am very thankful to be a part of it. And I pray that it will benefit not only those of us who are there, but also those who we counsel and disciple.

Last week I found out that Thankful Thursday was actually a Blog Hop! How neat! A whole bunch of thankful ladies! I love it! You can read through their posts by visiting the blog of this months host: Grace Alone.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Word-filled Wednesday!

I love Word-filled Wednesdays! The truth is that everyday should be Word-filled, but I love taking the time to share a passage with you on Wednesdays. As you know I have been studying 1 Corinthians 13, so you have been getting a ton of my thoughts about love this week (and this will probably continue). I thought I would keep my Word-filled Wednesday post short and to the point:

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
-- 1 John 4:11-13

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Without love

As I was reading through 1 Corinthians 13 today I had to stop after the first two verses. You see, I homeschool my children and we aren't having one of our better days. It's one of those days where we have done more arguing than studying... So the first two verses of this chapter really struck me hard today. They hit home in a powerful way.

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. -- 1 Corinthians 13:1-2 (NASB)

You see, what I got out of reading this today was that it doesn't matter how much I teach my children about math, science, history, reading, writing, or even the Bible and faith in Jesus, if I don't show them how to love. Knowledge without love is nothing.

I must admit that I have been a very noisy gong and a clanging cymbal all day today. I haven't been teaching my children about love because I have been so stressed out about all the other things that I wasn't teaching them about. When in truth I could teach them all the knowledge in the world, and inspire faith in them that could move mountains, but if I fail to show them and teach them about love it will all be for nothing...

I have been convicted, and I am praying for God to change me. I ask that you would pray with me as well, for where two (or more) of us agree about anything in prayer it will be done for us.

Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. -- Matthew 18:19

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Finding the balance...or not?

Even though I have just barely started my study of 1 Corinthians 13 I have already become more aware of the way I love (or don't love) others. I found myself in a situation today, where after it was over I knew I hadn't handled it with love. Let me explain:

My husband forgot his phone when he went to work today, so I offered to drive it down to him. When I pulled up in front of his store there was a homeless man sitting out front at one of his outdoor tables. While in general homeless people do not bother me, there was something about this one that didn't sit quite right with me. I called to let my husband know we were there, and we sat in the car (as usual) until he had a chance to come out (he doesn't need 4 small children running around his business, harassing his customers). He wasn't very busy, so it didn't take long. When he came out to the van I asked if he had a minute to sit with the kids so I could borrow his restroom, and he graciously agreed. When I came back out of the store the homeless man asked for a moment of my time (not in those words) and started explaining to me the price of a bowl of beans... I don't know where he was planning on buying a bowl of beans as he didn't explain that part, but apparently they cost a dollar. He was trying to tell me how much something else cost when I cut him off. I simply told him that he wasn't allowed to solicit there, and went back to our van. My husband was oh so proud of me. He said thank you and gave me a big hug. The homeless man left, and I felt absolutely...terrible.

Where was Jesus in my actions? Yes, part of the reason my husband wasn't busy right then was because of this man sitting in front of his store. He was the reason that customers were choosing to go to the other restaurants instead. He was breaking the law by loitering and soliciting where he wasn't suppose to be... but in light of eternity, how did my actions effect him? He certainly didn't walk away seeing the love of Jesus in me. He walked away hurt and hungry. I truly didn't have a dollar to give him, but I didn't even try to be kind to him. I was upset that he was there. I was put out by this man that God loves so much that He sent Jesus to die on the cross for his sins. I don't know the spiritual state of this man, I wouldn't guess that he knew Jesus by the way he spoke to me, but then again, I'm sure that he wouldn't guess that I knew Jesus by the way that I spoke to him either... What's done is done, all I can do now is pray that somewhere he meets up with a Christian who can love him. Someone who isn't too stuck up to take the time to just love him as Christ calls us to in 1 Corinthians 13. And I pray that through this study God will change me so that in the future I will be able to love others this way.

I started this post with a question about finding the balance on my mind. Where do we balance our love for these people? He was breaking the law and hurting my husbands business, and sitting down with him wouldn't have made my husband too happy. My original question was how do we balance that? How do we balance loving the world with life? But I think somewhere along the way of writing my post I answered my own question. In light of eternity, which is most important? I think that is the real question, and in the answer to that question lies the answer to all other questions.

I found this video, and while I have always loved this song, it has a new meaning to me tonight. It is my prayer, that He will change my heart, hold me close and surround me with His love.

Sunday disruptions

This morning my family was all ready for church 20 minutes early! This is like a new best for us! I was totally excited. I needed to speak with one of the ladies at church about babysitting on Wednesday evening and now I could do it before service instead of after when everyone was trying to leave.

After we got the kids in the car, my husband ran back into the house for something, and got a call from work. It would only take a minute he said... Twenty minutes later he was ready to go. He had to walk one of his employees through something and it took longer than expected. No biggie, we were ahead of schedule anyway! We would still be on time!

Than it happened... one of his other employees sent him a text that said she wouldn't be at work today. She was suppose to be there 5 minutes before she sent the text... Long story short we never made it to church. We unloaded the kids and came back into the house.

Sundays like this are hard, but I am thankful that my husband has a job. However, it does encourage me to pray that God opens doors for our family soon. I know that God's timing is better than ours, and I am also praying for patience to wait for His timing. It's so tempting to come up with my own solution, but my own solutions all fall short. I know that His solution will be far more than I could ever ask for or imagine, and even if it's just something simple, it will be perfect because it will be His will.


--Oh and on a side note, my book from Book Sneeze came yesterday!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

1 Corinthians 13



I am starting a new Bible study with a dear friend of mine. We will be studying through 1 Corinthians 13. I thought it would be good to study this chapter because as wives and mothers it's something I think we all need. I struggle with loving my children, the more we homeschool the more I see it, but I know that this chapter isn't written just about wives and mothers, it's a chapter about loving everyone. This is a chapter written about how God loves us. It's a chapter written about how He wants us to love others, not just our families, but everyone we encounter. I am really looking forward to this study.

I posted a video with this thread that I think is beautiful. However, I do want to mention that it leaves out verses 9-12. I do not think the author did this to be malicious in any way, but for the purpose of this video she has left them out, kind of like when most people read Proverbs 31 they start in verse 10... I still like the video, in our study we will be studying all 13 verses of the chapter.

I also wanted to note that I wrote around a month ago about a study in Ephesians that I was doing. I have stopped that for now. The study was one that I was looking forward too, but wasn't edifying to me. It became more of a chore, and I wasn't getting anything out of it. I have put it aside for a future date. I really feel that God is calling me to do this study at this time. This is something that will benefit not only my spiritual walk, but I am hoping it will create a visual change in me that my children and husband can see as well. So it will benefit them in that way.

Expecting the unexpected

I have been feeling for a while that God is ready for my family to make a move. At first this was hard for me, because I don't always like change...I like my life the way it is. I love our house, I love our church, I love the mountains... But at the same time the cost of living in Colorado is so much higher than it is other places. That is from the mountains that I love so much. Also we have no family here, other than our church family. My family is in Iowa, and my husbands family is in Texas. (I would love to live in Texas.)

So anyway, I have been ready for a change now for a few months, and just waiting on the Lord for Him to say the time is right. I didn't (and technically still don't) know how he planned on us moving or even a definitive where too, but I have been fairly certain that it was coming. During these past months we have began homeschooling, which will make moving easier (not why we did it, but it will certainly help). I keep being drawn to Texas more and more, and I really feel like that's where God wants us, but Texas is a big state and I couldn't say where in Texas or why.

My husband use to work for Pizza Hut, for the past oh, 12 years. They got bought out by a franchise this year and things weren't going well, we prayed for something to change because he was just miserable! In February he got a job offer from Quiznos, and it sounded too good to be true. It turned out to be something that he wasn't interested in, and he turned it down, well the vice-president of the company didn't want to loose him, so he offered him a different position. One that we were interested in. It was doing the same job he was doing then, only for just a bit more money (not much, but enough considering Pizza Hut had said no one was getting raises that year). So he now works for Quiznos.

At first Quiznos was a huge blessing to our family. It was such a huge change from Pizza Hut. Then they started hiring people from Pizza Hut to help in their upper management. From there it started going down hill. It became more and more like Pizza Hut every day. Then the guy that hired him got moved to a different part of the company and was replaced by someone else (I guess he was the vice-president of a certain branch of the company). The latest rumor is that the new guy thinks my husband is over paid and his way of handling the situation is to terminate him before February so they don't have to pay him unemployment. My husband called his direct boss to see if the rumor was true, and the answer was yes. His boss said that they haven't made any decisions yet, but that was suggested. This would devastate our family financially, but I'm wondering if it's part of God's plan?

In the past 24 hours I have seen my husband cry out to God in a way that I never have before. That alone has me praising God for this. No matter what happens I will trust God to provide for our family, but part of me is scared of the unknown. I don't know what is in store for our family, but I do know that we are in God's hands and He is more than capable of taking care of us. I love my husband dearly and we will make it through whatever comes our way, with God's help, together.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thankful Thursday!

It's Thursday, today I had an interesting situation that I want to share with you. I shared last week about my whiplash, well I finally got around to calling the chiropractor yesterday. They see new patients each day at ten or two and thankfully the consoltation visit is free! I have an amazing friend whom I am very thankful for, that I called to have watch my kiddo's. She is strapped for cash and was thankful for the opportunity to make some money. So thankfully, I was able to set up an appointment for this afternoon! Wow! Things were just falling into place!

My friend was suppose to be here between 1:00 and 1:30 today, and I waited, and waited... and waited some more. I finally text her around 1:45 just to verify that she was coming. This was followed by a very apologetic phone call from her, where she kept calling me "Katie" (my name is not Katie). She explained that she had gotten a call that morning about a job interview that morning and she really needed the job so she was on her way to the interview right then, she didn't think she was going to make it! (Did I mention she was already 15 minutes late...) I finally couldn't take it anymore and asked why she kept calling me Katie? She replied with "who is this?" (Did I mention we are good friends?) I told her who I was, which triggered another apology and explaination. Apparently she had two babysitting jobs today that she was going to miss because of this interview (or she had already double booked) and she needed to let me go so she could call Katie. She would call me right back.

Now I could be very frustrated and put out by this, but I'm not. It isn't hard to reschedule a doctors appointment. I am really thankful that she has a job interview. Her interview is at a restaurant and I know she would be a valuable asset to their team because I have worked with her before in a restaurant setting. (That's where we met) She did call me back after talking to Katie and said she would call me back after her interview and let me know how it went. I hope she does, because I would love to have her over for dinner tonight. I would like for her to babysit the kids while I went shopping. They would be thankful to spend some time with her, and I would be thankful for some time out of the house. I have heard that Starbucks has brought their pumpkin latte back for the fall already and I was hoping to get one while I was out today... (I don't go to Starbucks often, but I do love their pumpkin lattes and their peppermint hot chocolates!) Oh, and our dog would be thankful to have some food... he is currently out. I also think that I might buy my dear friend a planner to help her keep track of her schedule :) I am so thankful for good friends!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Word-filled Wednesday!

On this word-filled Wednesday I am thinking about how busy at home we are, so I thought the following Scripture was appropriate:

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.--Titus 2:3-5

Why Moms With Kids Don't Have Time



A fried posted this on Facebook today and I thought I would share it with you all. I thought it was pretty funny. Other than being worded rather rudely, it is a great article, and oh so true!You can read a copy of the article online by clicking here.

This is just about regular moms with kids, once you add homeschooling to that list just imagine how busy us moms become! My typical day (in short) is filled with cooking, cleaning, hugging, kissing, diapering, dressing, attention giving, question answering, looking after, looking out for, reprimanding, rewarding, teaching, bathing, constant multi-tasking, and ensuring proper time management for not one but five to six people, and a whole lot of love! This is just the everyday short list, it doesn't include regular things like shopping, going to the library, park, church or other errands that we have to do to ensure everything runs smoothly. Or not so regular things like field trips, meetings, doctors appointments, or family days where we aren't home and have to make up missed work later on.

I might not have a whole lot of extra time (or any) to do things that my friends without kids get to do, but I have a whole lot of love that I wouldn't give up for the world! God has truly blessed me!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Computer Virus


Late last night I booted up my computer only to find it telling me that it had been infected by like 4 different viruses (or a combination of viruses and mal somethings...). My computer even popped up a little box telling me that a virus was trying to invade my computer and asked me if I wanted to stop it... (what kind of a question is that?!) I was thinking that my anti-virus software had expired without me knowing. I knew that we get free anti-virus protection through Comcast (our internet provider), I just hadn't downloaded it yet because my laptop came with a free trial anti-virus program. So I tried to go online to download the anti-virus protection through Comcast, but the only website that I could open was one for another anti-virus company (not the one that I had, or the one that I wanted...) I honestly believe this was part of the virus. It leads people to believe that their anti-virus software has expired and they need to update with this one and this is the only website they can go to, therefore they give it their credit card number and are conned out of their money. When in fact, my anti-virus software hadn't expired, after about an hour of praying and messing around on my computer I had gotten rid of the virus and then reset my computer to a previous state so it was working properly again. Praise God!

Then I decided that my current anti-virus software wasn't good enough, so I went ahead and switched to Norton, which is what Comcast provides us with. Hopefully that will work better. After all of that, I had no clue why I booted my computer up in the first place. I knew there was a reason, but I was so tired, brain fried, and relieved at that point that I just turned it back off and went to bed!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Book Sneeze

I review for BookSneeze

I recently signed up with Book Sneeze, and I thought that I would share a little with you about it. Book Sneeze is a blogger resource that provides free books to bloggers in exchange for them writing reviews about the books. I just requested my first book. The Gospel According to Jesus by Chris Seay. After I read it I will be posting a review for you all to read. I'm really looking forward to this opportunity!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Encouragement

I love being encouraged, don't you? I got an e-mail today that was just someone passing along something encouraging that someone else shared with them about something I wrote. They didn't have to pass that on to me, but they did. It was really encouraging to me! But it also made me stop to think how often do I go out of my way to encourage others? Not as often as I could. I am making a point of it today to encourage others in some way. So I would like to know what you do to encourage others?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Bad haircut(s)



Yesterday I mentioned in my thankful Thursday post that I was going to get my hair cut. Well, I did...twice, and I'm going back again tomorrow. I always get my hair cut someplace cheap. I just can't fathom spending a ton of money on a haircut when we live on a budget, so I usually go to Great Clips. They usually do a good job, and they have a guarantee so if you aren't happy, you can go back and they will fix it for free. Now I must admit I'm not a complainer. Before this haircut I have only went back once before. However, this has been an experience!

I use to go to the salon by my husbands work, but he changed jobs this year. That combined with the fact that I had to get a sitter for the kids led me to go to the salon closest to our home, that I had never been to before. The lady cutting my hair (Betsy) was super nice. She mentioned that we should have taken before and after pictures, beings we were cutting so much off. I had thought of this, and forgotten. This would have been great, then I could have posted pictures from before, after the first, and after the second... :(

Back to Betsy's haircut. Betsy has AMAZING talent! She gave me the best haircut I ever had! However, it wasn't the haircut I wanted... I wanted it short, really, really short. I showed her a picture in a book of what I wanted, but she couldn't picture it on me. So I got something very similar, but not what I wanted. I knew it wasn't what I wanted and normally I would have just asked her to take off another 1 1/2 or so (I wanted it short and I went in with hair past my shoulders), but she had made a comment that I didn't know how to react to. She was talking about her boyfriend making a comment about the fact that she "just cut's hair" and that she hoped he never said anything like that to the person cutting his hair. She went on to say that it's never a good idea to make the person cutting your hair mad, because you don't know what you will walk out the door with... So I didn't want to upset her. Looking back, she was an incredibly sweet woman, and I'm sure it was a silly thing for me to be worried about. I should have prayed, given it to God and given her a chance. Instead, I left with a haircut that I wasn't happy with, planning to see what my husband said, and go back later to have it shortened.

My husband said that it was my opinion that mattered, and he knew it wasn't what I wanted. So I went back. According to their website they were open until 9pm, so I was able to go after he got off of work. Well, I walked in the door and the guy sitting there said they were closed... I politely told him no they weren't, their website said they were open until 9. He walked me to the front door and showed me the sign that said they were temporarily closing at 7pm, and it was now 7:20, he also explained that there was another Great Clips just down the road that really was open until 9, and I could go there if I needed to. So I had to ask if they would take my voucher to get my haircut fixed. He said they would, then started probing me. He was the store manager and wanted to know more about my experience in his store... I felt kind of silly explaining it to him, and I assured him that Betsy had an amazing gift for cutting hair, I just wasn't sure how to react to her comment. He assured me that she would have reacted well, but she shouldn't have made that comment with someone in her chair. He told me that she worked again the next day if I wanted her to fix it. Well, my husband worked the next day, so that wasn't possible. Off I went down the road to the next Great Clips.

They were busy! There were 4 people in line ahead of me, but since mine was a re-cut I got moved ahead (that kind of made me feel bad). The lady cutting my hair there asked me tons of questions. She wanted to make sure she got it just the way I wanted it! I loved that! I walked out extremely happy! Then I woke up this morning... One of my dear friends asked me to post a picture of my haircut on Facebook for her to see, that combined with wanting to have something to show the people at the salon next time I went led me to photograph my haircut. It is probably the shabbiest haircut I have ever had! The front looks GREAT(Photo at top of post)! But the back... see for yourself:






I took pictures in two different rooms, so it's not just the lighting. Some are self portraits in the mirror, the others were taken with my sons help... So tomorrow I'm hoping to go back again, and have Betsy fix my haircut.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

This Christmas

Today I visited a blog that was all about Christmas. A few years ago, I would have LOVED it. However, God has been changing me, and while this was a beautiful blog centered on Christ, it held many of the traditions that my family will not be partaking in this Christmas. You see, last Christmas season I struggled with several aspects of Christmas and wondering why we do the things we do. Do they really honor God? Or are they just man made traditions, encouraging us to focus on ourselves? So while it is still really early to be posting about Christmas, I thought that I would share a little with you about how we will celebrate Christmas this year.

This Christmas we will not have a Christmas tree. I struggle with surrounding the tree and kneeling down before it on Christmas morning. It seems to take away from the true meaning of Christmas to me. I am not against a gift exchange, so this year our gifts will be spread around a manger scene. The focus of our morning will be the baby lying in the hay, because the reason we give presents is because it is the celebration of His birth. In our family we celebrate birthdays by giving presents and having cake, so we will also have our traditional birthday cake. This Christmas instead of kneeling before a man made tree admiring our gifts and fighting over who gets to pass them out, we will kneel before our Savior. We will say a prayer and thank Him for coming to this earth to die for our sins, and thank God for the greatest gift of all.

Do you have any Christmas traditions that help you keep your focus on Christ? I would love to hear about them!

Thankful Thursday!

Today I am thankful for so many things!

I am thankful for good friends whose words spark ideas that they never intended! You see almost 2 years ago now, I slipped on some ice and fell down the stairs in front of my old house while carrying one of my daughters. Thankfully she wasn't hurt. I cracked my elbow, not bad, the urgent care doctor actually missed it, and they had to call me later to tell me that it really was cracked and I wasn't just being a baby. However, within a day or two it was painfully obvious that I also had whiplash. My neck hurt worse than I ever thought possible. I remember lying down on the couch and not being able to get back up because of the pain in my neck. It was horrid! I never went back to the doctor though. Somewhere in my life I heard someone say that there is nothing doctors can do for whiplash... I don't know if I imagined it, or what, but I truly believed this, so I never went back to the doctor. The ladies at my Bible study prayed over me, and after a few weeks the pain in my neck was gone, and I went back to living a normal life.

Since then I have been suffering from migraines off and on, and they had been growing increasingly worse last spring until they were completely incapacitating. My mother-in-law kept telling me that I started getting them after I fell down the stairs and they must be related. So when I finally went to the doctor I told them what she said, and they found that my migraines are being caused by my whiplash that is still there, and rather severe. So they put me on medication and suggested I see a chiropractor. I am very thankful for my mother-in-laws words, because otherwise we might have never found the cause of my migraines.

I am also thankful for my mother-in-law because we would never be able to afford chiropractic care that isn't covered by our insurance. She sent us a check to cover the payments so that I could go and get the treatment I need. She is such a blessing!

I have not yet been to see the chiropractor. The end of the summer was so busy, it just wasn't possible. So I still have whiplash, and lately my neck has started hurting really badly. I couldn't figure out why! For a year and a half it hasn't hurt, and now it is hurting again? That didn't make since! So I mentioned it to a friend, and she thought it might be related to homeschooling. We just started homeschooling 3 weeks ago for the first time, and she thought that it might be straining my muscles more than they were use to. I don't think that's it, but I really think she was on the right path. So I am very thankful for her words because they made me think!

What has changed? I use to keep my hair short...really short. But the last time I had it cut was Christmas. I had decided to grow it out. I have very thick, heavy hair, and I think it is putting more strain on my neck than it is use to. The pain in my neck is growing progressively worse, because my hair keeps getting longer and heavier, causing my neck to work harder... I would have never thought about this without my friends words, even though they were unrelated, I am ever so thankful!

So today I am going to get my hair chopped off! I am thankful for my neighbor who has volunteered to come and watch the children for me while I go to the salon.

I am so thankful today!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Word-filled Wednesday!

My mouth is filled with Your praise and with Your glory all day long. -- Psalm 71:8

Is your mouth filled with praises to God and the telling of His glory today? My goal today is to live this verse. What a wonderful Word-filled Wednesday! I hope you are all doing well!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Blessed beyond measure



I am blessed beyond measure, and so often I fail to realize that. My husband has been working tons of hours lately, and he happened to have most of yesterday off (not the whole day, but most of it). Then he got to take this morning off too. Yesterday we went for a drive in the mountains, and went hiking at Gross Reservoir. It was just delightful! While we have been there many times before, we had never hiked on this trail before and I really enjoyed it. We came over the hill to a beautiful overlook of the lake, then hiked down to it. The hike up was a bit of work, but oh so worth it.











Then today, Paul didn't have to go to work until after church. We attended church as a family for the first time since the beginning of the summer, and it was wonderful! The sermon was on Ephesians 3:14-19, my favorite passage in the Bible. The girls went to the 2's and 3's class for their first time, and the boys stayed in the sanctuary instead of going to children's church. All of the kids did great! The girls played with play dough and had a Bible lesson. The boys were really just kind of a mistake. I have been considering keeping Ty in the sanctuary, but hadn't made a decision. Some how we missed their dismissal, so they stayed with us. They were really bored. I know Kainen isn't ready for it yet, and with us homeschooling, I really feel they need this time with other children. So it was simply a one time thing that they stayed with us this week. At least for now. Paul and I haven't discussed it further, but I am sure he will want them to socialize, as that is one of his concerns about homeschooling...

Paul is back at work now, but I do realize how blessed I am to have a such a wonderful husband who is willing to work hard for our family. I'm blessed that I have such beautiful, healthy children to take to church and hiking! It was just such a wonderful weekend. I might not have gotten my cleaning, baking, or really anything on my to do list done, but I wouldn't have it any other way! God has blessed me beyond measure, and I am oh so thankful!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thankful Thursday!

I'm so thankful that it's thankful Thursday! This is going to be a personal challenge to me, because I don't think I am thankful enough... It's much easier to look around the room at everything going wrong and take on a negative attitude. This thankful Thursday came at just the right time, just when I needed to be reminded to be thankful. Philippians 4:6 tells us to Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. That is something that I need to work on. To thankfully give my requests to God. So today, on this thankful Thursday, I am thankful for homeschooling. The opportunity that I have been given, no matter what the future holds, I am thankful for homeschooling today.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Word-filled Wednesday!

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

This verse turned the tide for me today. I honestly had forgotten it was even Wednesday I was so discouraged. I had a rough morning that wasn't followed by encouragement, but discouragement from others. Which, by the way, was discouraging! Then I read this verse. While the people that discouraged me might be important people in my life whose opinions are important, and do matter. God is with me. He is going before me, and if I am truly following the path He wants for me and my family, then their discouraging words are just that. Discouraging words.

Instead of letting those words discourage me further, I need to have faith in God and not be afraid of what will happen in the future, but focus on today. I need to be strong and courageous, and remember that God will never forsake me! So that's my Word-filled Wednesday post! I hope that your Wednesday was Word-filled as well!