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Showing posts from September, 2011

Elephants

I am an open book.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  You can see right through me.  Three phrases that many of you might think describe me.  Well, yes and no.  It is true that I am more open than many and that I often talk about the elephant in the room, but there is an elephant in my heart that I casually mention here and there, but not even I knew how big he was until recently.  His name is Pride.  I have been praying that God would take him out of my heart because there is not room for him, but let me just tell you - if you have been warned not to pray for patience, then I beg you - don't offer up your pride to God.  He will take it.  I am joking, of course, about not bringing your pride before God - but not about the cost of doing so.
     About two weeks ago I noticed that Pride had moved into my heart, and I'm not talking about the good kind.  Now, he (Pride) had lived there for a VERY VERY long time, but I just never really noticed him.  Eventually I realized he was…

873-890

873. The word of God encouraging me to come before Him with PRAISE and THANKSGIVING
874. The ability (though I don't always use it) to do so - no matter what is thrown my way.
875. Asking God for help in front of and with my boys
876. The process of learning how to put off the "old man" and put on the "new man"
877. The growth that comes with teaching your children concepts that you are still learning yourself
878. Blake greeting me every morning with arms spread wide
879. Simplifying
880. Flower toast (butter two sides of a slice of bread, use a cookie cutter to cut a flower, put both parts in pan, add an egg where the flower used to be, flip it...wahlah!) Protein + Fiber + Big Smiles :)
881. Confession and forgiveness
882. Blake and Cole wanting me to cook everything on the table so they can "help"
883. The pan my Aunt Marie bought me that makes that possible
884. Simple recipes
885. Swinging in our hammock with Blake crawling all over me
886. The joy the boy…

852 - 872

852. A new friend reaching out
853. The common ground fair with 3 adults and 3 kids (wow, 1 on 1!)
854. Babysitting for the weekend barely working out, but God providing the perfect solution(s) - thanks Laura & Jen!!
855. A friend who cares enough to say whats on her mind
856. Blake sliding (or trying to slide) down a hill on a piece of cardboard
857. Cole imitating his big brother
858. Getting the the Parenting Matters conference on time (barely)
859. Being surrounded by humility
860. Old friends who encourage as they grow
861. Inspiration
862. Hope
863. Being on "the same page" with folks I just met
864. God's grace
865. Knowing I have a lot of growing to do, but not being in a hurry...a day (or a step) at a time
866. Feeling (and understanding the difference between)conviction vs condemnation
866. A new day
867. Matt and blake sitting together on a boulder in a large pond
868. Rest
869. Blake, Cole & Daddy building a river
870. Toy dump trucks
871. "chance" encounters
87…

Psalm 100

1 Shoutforjoy to the LORD, all the earth.
 2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
comebefore him with joyful songs.
 3 Know that the LORD is God.
 It is he who made us,
and weare his[a]; we are his people,
the sheep of his pasture.
 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
 and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
 5 For the LORD is good
and his love endures forever;
 his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 99

1 The LORD reigns,
   let the nations tremble;
he sits enthroned between the cherubim,
   let the earth shake.
2Great is the LORD in Zion;
   he is exalted over all the nations.
3 Let them praise your great and awesome name—
   he is holy.
4 The King is mighty, he loves justice
   you have established equity;
in Jacob you have done
   what is just and right.
5Exalt the LORD our God
   and worship at his footstool;
   he is holy.
6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
   Samuel was among those who called on his name;
they called on the LORD
   and he answered them.
7He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud;
   they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them.
8 LORD our God,
you answered them;
you were to Israel a forgiving God,
   though you punished their misdeeds.[a]
9 Exalt the LORD our God
   and worship at his holy mountain,
   for the LORD our God is holy.

829 - 851

829. Snuggling & reading to the boys first thing in the morning (while feeding Avonlea)
830. Actually doing my morning stretches
841. How much God loves me even on the mornings that I don't have it in me to do either
842. Avonlea eating rice cereal - she is growing so fast (perhaps thats ugly/beautiful)
843. Blake singing about the 10 commandments
844. Playing the game - Mommy says (like Simon says)
845. Blake and Cole entertaining themselves for hours with a squirt bottle
846. Two friends "just happening" to stop by at the same time (neither knew the other was coming) and pouring out some much needed encouragement
847. Looking forward to getting away with Matt and learning more about this crazy adventure of mommyhood at the Parenting Matters conference
848. A chat with a friend about "piecemeal-ing" our lives - figuring out that we will NEVER be just like anyone else - no matter how much we respect them - and that in actuality we take little bits and piece…

806 - 828

Sometimes I let things build up and say things that are discouraging to my husband, I'm afraid this morning was one of those mornings. This morning I'd like to focus my gifts list on him because I want him (and all of you) to know how blessed I am with who God has given me as my spouse...

My husband is an incredible blessing to me in so many ways...

806. He is creative, talented and a hard worker
807. He shows me his love in wonderful ways around our house....he's made me a:
          - pantry above my stairs
          - a rack to hang my dishes
          - book shelves
          - a laundry room that is set up in a "weird" way, because he knew it would be easier on me
          - an incredible wood floor & carpeted stairs (he learned how to lay a wood floor and carpet just by talking to an employee at Lowes
          - a ceiling fan (well, he installed it)
          - a room upstairs (even though he would have preferred staying downstairs)
          - an inc…

Ugly/beautiful blueberries

Just how we all long to start our mornings... an entire $9.00 bag of frozen blueberries spilled ALL over the kitchen floor.  But, this time the morning went quite differently than it would have a few months ago.  I can't remember the exact conversation, so I'm going to tweak it a bit, but it was something like this...

BLAKE - "Mommy, why you not mad?" (I had dropped the blueberries, not him).
ME - "Well, mommy is trying to learn how to think happy thoughts even when bad things happen."
BLAKE - "Why?"

ME - "Because God gives us SO many great things to be happy about...sometimes even things that seem bad are really good - like spilling blueberries."
BLAKE - "Did God make you pill the bwueberwies?"
ME - "I don't know, but I know that He gave us the blueberries."
BLAKE - "Why?"

ME - "He gives us LOTS of things - like food to eat, and toys to play with, friends to hug"
BLAKE - "Because He wuvs u…

806-813

806. Waving at our wonderful Morrill friends from the back of our bean bag truck
807. Visiting and sharing things I love @ the Morrill Harvest Festival
808. The boys kissing Avonlea (one boy on each of her cheeks) over and over again as she giggled contentedly
809. Avonlea being an angel as she hung out with me in our bean bag/jockey tent
810. Friends who helped
811. The way Cole says thank you when he means to say ok
812. Ugly/beautiful - our oven breaking/we can buy a new one because of our tax return
813. Ugly/beautiful - the fly that is flying around my head DRIVING ME CRAZY - i'm sure there must be something beautiful about it...but I can't think of one right now - any suggestions?

Psalm 98

1 Sing to the LORD a new song,
 for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
 have worked salvation for him.
2 The LORD has made his salvation known
 and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
3 He has remembered his love
 and his faithfulness to Israel;
 all the ends of the earth
have seen the salvation of our God.
 4 Shout for joy to the LORD,
all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music;
 5 make music to the LORD with the harp,
 with the harp and the sound of singing,
6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
shout for joy before the LORD, the King.
 7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
 the world, and all who live in it.
 8 Let the rivers clap their hands,
 let the mountains sing together for joy;
9 let them sing before the LORD,
 for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
 and the peoples with equity.

795 - 805

795. Praying with the boys
796. "Bear" - Blake's favorite stuffed animal joining our prayer circle
797.  Blake and Cole's love of their children's Bible - or "Buble" as Cole calls it
798. Cole wandering around the yard with a bucket hung over his elbow
799. An incredibly steam cleaned van thanks to Jamie @ Community Cleaning
800. Bartering
801. Getting my dishwasher fixed - oh, how I missed it!
802. Matt, Blake, Cole and Avonlea swinging on the hammock
803. Growing daily (and I don't mean around the waist) - even when it hurts
804. Enjoying Avonlea
805. Figuring out that LESS = MORE in SOOOOO many areas - especially toys


Psalm 97

1 The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad;
 let the distant shores rejoice.
 2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
 3 Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side.
 4 His lightning lights up the world;
 the earth sees and trembles.
 5 The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
 before the Lord of all the earth.
 6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
 and all peoples see his glory.
 7 All who worship images are put to shame,
 those who boast in idols— worship him, all you gods!
 8 Zion hears and rejoices and the villages of Judah
are glad because of your judgments, LORD.
 9 For you, LORD, are the Most High over all the earth;
 you are exalted far above all gods.
 10 Let those who love the LORD hate evil,
 for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
 and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
 11 Light shines[a] on the righteous
 and joy on the upright in heart.
 12 Rejoice in the LORD,

781-794

781. Cole "joining" the worship team
782. Visiting with new friends on a Sunday afternoon
783. Friends with learners hearts
784. Blake - "Mommy, black is not my color"
785. Chatting with a dear friend from my Chop Point days
786. Pressing on towards the goal - even when the goal is a counter full of dishes
787. Little boys with swords
788. Castle cakes
789. Realizing I forgot my stroller and a friend just "happening" to show up with an extra one
790. Avonlea's peaceful nature
791. Learning to say "yes" to God even when it feels like an interruption
792. My family that loves me - specifically my mom, my Grandma and my sister
793. Advil
794. Finding out I have LOTS in common with a friend and fellow poster, Tanja
795. Singing with my church family - and meaning the words with all my heart.

Hope

As I read through my last post,  I realized that the message I was trying to share wasn't perfectly clear. It is really very simple.  Three words, actually.
I have HOPE.
     Yes, life is hard.  Yes, some days are worse than others.  But - and this is a big BUT, no matter what goes wrong - whether my kids disobey, whether my attitude stinks, whether I can't find a matching pair of shoes in my entire house - I have hope.  I will always make mistakes, so will my husband, my children and my church family - but we have someone in our lives that does not make mistakes.  He is perfect, forgiving, compassionate, loving and FULL of GRACE.  He paid the price for our mistakes with his life.  He is more than just a Christmas story - He is Jesus Christ, our Savior.
     Have you ever really sat down and though about the word Savior?  Savior from what? Do we really need saving?  I know I do!  I am so thankful He paid the price for my mistakes.  He doesn't stop there though - He saves us …

Psalm 96

1 Sing to the LORD a new song;
 sing to the LORD, all the earth.
 2 Sing to the LORD, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
 3 Declare his glory among the nations,
 his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
 4 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
 he is to be feared above all gods.
 5 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
 but the LORD made the heavens.
 6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
 strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
 7 Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations,
 ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
 8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.
 9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of his[a] holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
 10 Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.”
 The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
 he will judge the peoples with equity.
 11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
 let the sea resound, and all that is in it.…

Struggling

This week has been really hard for me.  I've been struggling.  Kids fighting, toys everywhere, dinners burning, bad attitudes, constant accidents (from falling down to wetting pants), miscommunications with my husband, a never-ending to do list, no "me time". Noise. Noise. Noise. I'm wiped.  I wake up early, spend time with the Lord, count blessings and think to myself - today I am going to have a positive attitude, not let things get to me, enjoy my children, train them (but not let it get to me when they don't seem to be responding), and allow God to work in me and through me no matter what happens.  At 5:00 am I think - I have this all under control and wonder - why doesn't everyone have more children?  Then they wake up.  They read books for a little while and then I head into their room - we sing, play, read the children's bible and tidy up their room.  Doesn't that sound sweet?  It is - and their are lots of great things about it...but th…

770 - 780

770. Taxes DONE!
771. My church family - both at Morrill and in general
772. A desperate call to a friend - her wisdom and encouragement
773. Making it through an entire day - sounds simple...but lately it hasn't been
774. Blake's arms extended for a hug (the first thing he does every morning)
775. The boys running to me, laughing and saying "MOMMY!" after spending a few hours apart
776. A chiropractic appointment with no temper tantrums
777. A dear friends blog - My Journey to Authenticity
778. An incredibly encouraging video - http://lysaterkeurst.com/2011/09/yes-to-god-webcast-replay-on-demand/
779. Comforting Avonlea with the word Shhhh - and associating it with the word Shalom (peace)
780. Trying to cherish the noise and remember that I don't have to deal with the very lonely thought - "the silence is killing me"


Psalm 95

1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
 let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
 2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
 3 For the LORD is the great God,
 the great King above all gods.
 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
 and the mountain peaks belong to him.
 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
 6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
 let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
 7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice,
 8 “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,[a]
 as you did that day at Massah[b] in the wilderness,
 9 where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did.
 10 For forty years I was angry with that generation;
 I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’
 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall ne…

762 -769

762. Blake - "Cole, wanna read the bible?"  Cole - "Thank You."  - as well as the fight that followed when Blake changed his mind.
763. A successful MESSY MONDAY - we browned meat, boiled eggs,  made flour, whole wheat bread, zucchini bread & oatmeal cookies
764. Morning Focus Ideas - I am hoping to get the kids as involved as possible in each of these...
     Messy mondays - baking & cooking ahead
     Thorough Tuesdays - cleaning the house
     Where-about Wednesdays - appointments & errands
     Thursdays - something for or with friends at my house - babysitting etc...
     Farmer Fridays - Farmers Market and/or Grocery Store
765. Naptime/Worktime Focus Ideas - I have so much work to do during naptime that I often don't know where to start - sometimes I have so much work to do that I don't do anything
     Monday - Matt's Missions - he emails me regularly with business things that need to be done
     Tuesday - Taxes - going to try my best to ca…

Psalm 94

1 The LORD is a God who avenges.
   O God who avenges, shine forth.
2Rise up, Judge of the earth;
   pay back to the proud what they deserve.
3 How long, LORD, will the wicked,
   how long will the wicked be jubilant?
4 They pour out arrogant words;
   all the evildoers are full of boasting.
5 They crush your people, LORD;
   they oppress your inheritance.
6 They slay the widow and the foreigner;
   they murder the fatherless.
7 They say, “The LORD does not see;
   the God of Jacob takes no notice.”
8 Take notice, you senseless ones among the people;
   you fools, when will you become wise?
9 Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?
   Does he who formed the eye not see?
10 Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
   Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?
11 The LORD knows all human plans;
   he knows that they are futile.
12Blessed is the one you discipline, LORD,
   the one you teach from your law;
13 you grant them relief from days of trouble,
   till a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the LORD will…

Psalm 93

1 The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty;    the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
   indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.
2 Your throne was established long ago;
   you are from all eternity.
3 The seas have lifted up, LORD,
   the seas have lifted up their voice;
   the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
4 Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
   mightier than the breakers of the sea—
   the LORD on high is mighty.
5 Your statutes, LORD, stand firm;
holiness adorns your house
   for endless days.

Hurry up!

Hurry up.  Faster.  Come on.  Not right now.  Maybe later.  Are you coming? We don't have time. We're gonna be late. No. Quickly.

These words come out of my mouth on a regular basis.  I have been trying to slow down and enjoy the gifts that God pours out daily, but I can't believe how often I hear myself using these phrases.

Are a 1.5 year old and a 3 year old really supposed to be in such a rush? I'm thinking about making a chart and recording every time I use the words I mentioned above. No, I know myself - I will quickly feel like a failure. Maybe I'll do the opposite.  I think I am going to try to keep a tab on the following words:

Yes, we can do that.  Wow!  That's awesome.  Want to try? What do you think that does? Why do you think God made that? OK. Check that out.  Look at this.  Yum, smell this.  Isn't this great? Want to try? Look. Slow down, silly.  Glad we didn't miss this.  Which one is your favorite? Want mommy to help?

Father God, you pou…

God's Best

When Avonlea (4.5 mos) wakes up in the mornings, she is very hungry.  I sit down to feed her right away.  Often, she is so hungry that I struggle with her to get her thumb out of her mouth. I take it out of her mouth and try to offer her the real thing.  She goes for the thumb again.  Sometimes it takes two or three times before she latches on and eats until she is fully satisfied.

Oh how often I do that to God.  He has something amazing for me. but I think I know whats best.  My prayer this morning that I will take my thumb out of my mouth, seek and find what he is offering. Only He truly satisfies.

752 - 761

752. Going to bed early & waking up early
753. Reading books & snuggling with Blake & Cole
754. Back to pre-baby weight!!!
755. Edible flowers
756. Having big boy conversations with Blake
757. Finally learning and acting upon the "less is more" concept
758. Making smoothies with a sweet friend, 2 eager students & 2 messy little boys :)
759. Hammock time with the boys
760. Blake saying please, thank you & may I without being reminded
761. Parenting humbling me daily

Psalm 92

1 It is good to praise the LORD
   and make music to your name, O Most High,
2 proclaiming your love in the morning
   and your faithfulness at night,
3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
   and the melody of the harp.
4 For you make me glad by your deeds, LORD;
   I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
5 How great are your works, LORD,
   how profound your thoughts!
6 Senseless people do not know,
   fools do not understand,
7 that though the wicked spring up like grass
   and all evildoers flourish,
   they will be destroyed forever.
8 But you, LORD, are forever exalted.
9 For surely your enemies, LORD,
   surely your enemies will perish;
   all evildoers will be scattered.
10 You have exalted my horn[b] like that of a wild ox;
   fine oils have been poured on me.
11 My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries;
   my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes.
12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
   they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the LORD,
   they w…

Psalm 91

Psalm 911 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”3 Surely he willsave you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will onlyobserve with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will…

752 - 763

752. Meeting new people - specifically the encouraging ladies I met last night at my Jockey party :)
753. 2nd chances (yes, this one has made the list in the past...and probably will again.
754. Productive mornings
755. God's grace
756. Blake - "Momma, why is Jesus the King?"
757. Learning new things from Blake...literally.  He has showed me how to do multiple things (with his toys) that I couldn't figure out how to do.  And, he's only 3!
758. Staying home all week (except in the evenings)
759. Long conversations with my husband
760. Tough conversations with dear friends
761. Getting a bit down, but God QUICKLY lifting me back up
762. Experiencing a patience that I know is not my own
763. Early morning prayer chats.