Monday, March 30, 2009

Food for Thought

Yesterday at Sunday School, our teacher made a comment that has stuck with me.

Straying away from God is natural, staying grounded and close to Him takes work.

That is such a great statement. We sort of think it is the straying that would take work, that it would be obvious and we could easily avoid it.

It is true, staying grounded and close to God does take a lot of work, it is GREAT work, but it is hard. It is a daily thing, needing to pay close attention to giving God quality time and effort. Keeping holiness at the front of our minds so we make good choices moment by moment.

You have to be focused and intentional. Satan will use distraction as a means of straying away from God.......have you ever been on a floaty in the lake or just relax a little bit and before you know it you are way out there, far from shore. I think that is just like Satan, when you aren't paying attention, you slowly drift, little by little. You don't realize it, because you are busy enjoying the view and drifting off in your mind, heart, and in your life-being distracted by life and all there is to do.

Proverbs 10:25 The righteous stand firm forever.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Series of Unfortunate Events

What is with the messes lately?

I can't get away from them.

Last week I spilled Cranberry Juice down the front of the inside of my fridge. It took FOREVER to clean up. It was a sticky mess.

I think I cleaned up 5 episodes of cat puke last week alone.

Yesterday my son broke a plate as he was getting it down from the cupboard and it shattered in a million pieces all over, at the same time he flipped the spoon I had been using to stir the chili in the crock pot and it flung chili all over the walls and cupboards.

Then, not 2 hours later.......I was trying to hurry and make muffins for my family and I was digging in the spice cupboard and the container of corn meal fell out and spilled all over the counter and the floor. That stuff makes a MESS.

Earlier this week was the biggest mess of all; my son begged to make muffins all by himself, I agreed...he did a great job UNTIL he went to place the filled muffin pan into the hot oven and he dropped the muffin pan UPSIDE DOWN in the oven......the spilled muffins were all over the inside of the oven and the oven door BAKING!!!!! I'm still trying to fully clean up that mess.

These messes don't include the time last week when the neighbor's dog got into our trash and drug it all over our garage and yard. The time my diet Pepsi spilled on the carpet, and cleaning up the toothpaste on the bathroom rug.

Wonder what today will bring?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

These are the Days!

Wow parenting isn't for wimps!

Being a stay at home mom and homeschooling mom can kick your buns some days. I feel like I talk talk talk talk all day long.....

Braden please don't sing opera at 7 a.m.

Brooklyn please stop bugging the cat.

Stay on task.

Get your work done.

Is your math done?

Go outside and play.

Yes, you can have a snack.

On and on and on it goes......sometimes by the time my husband comes home from work at night, I'm so talked out I just feel like going straight to bed and staring up at the ceiling with a blank stare....and I don't want to chat. :)

In the mornings, I need a few minutes of quiet before my crazy begins.....the kids don't see it that way, they like to start the morning by jumping right in, being LOUD, slurping their Cheerios, and SINGING OPERA. It takes a lot of willpower for me to just be calm, count to ten (or twenty) and just ask them to be quiet for a little while.

Right now my kids are playing with a balloon in the hallway, being loud, diving, laughing........I'm thankful they are healthy and can play and that they have energy. I suppose in a few short years I'll have a house full of quiet, when they are gone and moving on with their lives. I'll be thankful for the noise while I have it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Birthday Sharer


This is my beautiful niece Hailey. We share a birthday together (March 21).
This year she will be 16 years old.

Hailey lives in Wyoming and I live in Michigan, but we try really hard to keep in touch through emails, phone calls, and text messaging. :)

One of the many reasons I love to go back home to Wyoming is to see Hailey. She has such a funny sense of humor. She is meek and quiet, she loves God with her whole heart. She is passionate about horses and photography. She is a loving sister to her 8 brothers and sisters. She makes an awesome lemon merengue pie! She is thoughtful, wise, patient, helpful, and a perfect example of how a teenager doesn't have to be rebellious and sassy.
Hailey, I will always cherish the summer you and I got to take a long evening horseback ride in the mountains all by ourselves at the ranch. What a great bonding time that was! We both love the outdoors so much and to share that with you was really special.

Hailey hates to be the center of attention, so she is hating that I'm highlighting her on my blog today (Hi Hailey) but I wanted to honor her and tell her I love having her as a birthday sharer. And as a private, inside joke, Hailey...I'm sure you are asking yourself "WHY" as you read this post today. :)

I love you so much Hailey, happy 16th birthday!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Truth Project

Every Tuesday our family gets together with 4 other families from church to have a meal and then the adults participate in Focus on the Family's THE TRUTH PROJECT.

Each week each family trades off bringing a part of the meal. This week we had "breakfast night" and our family brought the main dish (egg bakes) and the 4 other families brought drinks, side dishes, and dessert.

We have 12 kids between all of us, and I love that kids are welcome and can see their parents praying together and doing a Bible study together.

We all eat dinner and then the kids go downstairs to play and we have 2 girls from our church that come each week and eat with us and then they babysit all of the kids.

We share prayer requests, pray, then we watch The Truth Project DVD for that week. There are 14 weeks total, we are on week 6. This is an OUTSTANDING study. They are about an hour long. After we watch, we discuss what we just learned. We always have such great conversations. Our family looks forward to this night each week. It is so great to spend time with other people who are like minded and learn together.

To learn more about The Truth Project, you can go to Focus on the Family's website at enter The Truth Project in the search bar.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Repent and Be Baptized

Acts 2:38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call."

This is my daughter -age 10 being baptized by our pastor. This is a horrible picture. We video taped it and you can see really well on there. She is reading her testimony in front of the church congregation here. I especially loved that our kids, who are twins, wanted to be baptized at the same time. Our son comes next.

Here is our son. He started his testimony off with, "Jesus says to be baptized, so I want to be baptized." He knows it isn't for salvation, but it is an act of obedience, a public declaration of your faith.

I thanked God all night long, that I had the privilege as a mother, to see my children take this step.

Our family attended a different church for 12 years. My husband went to church with us, but was not saved yet. Things started to get stagnant at that church. The pastor rarely seemed to open his Bible and teach from it, we heard more personal stories than truth from God's Word. God started to speak to my heart about changing churches, but after 12 years at the same church I was afraid. People get comfortable and resist change. I was afraid my husband wouldn't want to change churches, since this was all he had known. But God kept after my heart. I KNEW we needed to leave, and God very clearly spoke to my heart one day, saying, "The salvation of your husband and children depend on this move." Then I knew we had to leave.

I approached my husband and told him what I was thinking, but didn't tell him what God had spoken to me. He told me he had been feeling the need to change churches too. AMAZING!!!!!!!!

We prayed so hard that God would lead us to the right Bible preaching church, one that boldly, without hesitation preached the truth. I desperately didn't want to be homeless- and church hopping, I needed to find our church home right away.....and God was so faithful. He led us to the church we currently attend, and the MINUTE we walked in, we both knew that was our church home. Our pastor is a godly and wise man, who boldly preaches the truth each and every Sunday. We are all very involved there and have developed very meaningful relationships.

God is faithful and His purpose prevails, because last night I felt like His promise to me, "The salvation of your husband and children depend on it" came to pass. A year after stepping foot into our new church, on Christmas eve. my husband was saved, and he was baptized on March 7, 2007. My children accepted Christ when they were 7 years old, and last night, on March 8, 2009 they were baptized.

What is God telling you to do that you are resisting? Maybe you are fearful, maybe you don't know all of the facts so you aren't moving......I'm here to tell you, when God speaks to you, OBEY right away.....great blessings are in store.

Psalm 33:11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I've fallen and I can't get up!

Yesterday it was 64 degrees in Michigan and very nice! I had endless energy. I got so much done.

Today it is cold and rainy- I can't get off the couch. I've taken 3 naps so far. I'm not even kidding.

Now, to give credit to myself- I did get up at 5:30 a.m. like I do every single Saturday morning, to go to Bible study. I get home at 9:30 and usually I am motivated and ready to go.

Not today. Nope. I can't get it together. Our whole household is lazy today, including the pets. It is the perfect day for that I guess. Rain does that to people.

My husband went over the kids' math from yesterday. We homeschool and my husband is in charge of the math. 5th grade math is over my head. He has a math and physics degree, so it is up to him to teach fractions and percents. This is his accomplishment for the day-doing math with the kids. Math gives me a head pain!

I did do some Bible study and we watched a movie together. But beyond that......NOTHING.

I don't really plan to get off of the couch anytime soon. My husband and I planned to go on a date tonight, but he is still in his pajamas. :) He just came upstairs and suggested we get pizzas and call it a night. Now you are talkin!

Don't forget to SPRING FORWARD. There is no SPRING anywhere around me today....not in the weather or my steps. At least something will be springing!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'm a Rebel

I'm a rebel. I don't mean to be ...I just am.

I think people will gasp when they read the list of things I've never done- I'm almost anti-American.

1. I've never had coffee ..and don't plan to at this point in my life. I'd probably like it with all the fancy creamers, but why start now?

2. I've never watched LOST (this show seems to have a huge number of fans-I'd maybe like it, I just don't want to get sucked in-so I never started watching. I'm a bit curious about the hoopla.)

3. I've never watched The Bachelor. (Again...anti-American-it seems everyone watches this) I thought the idea of it was dorky so I never started to watch......again, to not get sucked in.

4. I hate Sushi (blah)

5. I've never watched 24. Again, huge fan base-I always have Bible study the night it is on, so I never could watch.

6. I really don't like TV all that much....I'm sort of ADD with TV. Too many other things to do. I barely can sit and watch a movie with my husband. My mind wanders and I miss half of the movie. Every so often, I enjoy one, but rarely. ( I do love the Jason Bourne movies and I focus and pay attention during those. :) )

7. I don't really like meat. I eat chicken and turkey a lot, but I'm not into red meat. Steak sort of grosses me out. Sometimes I'm in the mood for it, but not very often.

8. This one will shock America. I don't really like to shop. GASP! If I have a purpose, a need, I go and get exactly what I need, maybe browse quickly, but that is the extent of it. I NEVER just go to the mall and wander....I always have to have a purpose and goal. I go right in, get what I need and GET OUT.

9. Now...BOOKS....I could browse and shop for books for HOURS. (And I do.)

10. kids have no clue who popular teen stars are.....and we are trying to keep it that way. They have never even heard of Brittney Spears (she isn't a teen-I realize), they don't watch Hannah Montana, I don't even know who to mention in this post because we just don't watch those types of shows.....they do know who Lassie is, Laura Ingalls, and Tom and Jerry :)

I have my own addictions. Diet Coke, pasta, reading, exercise, Peanut M&Ms, Chinese Food......

To add to the random blabbing- my kids (age 10) are getting baptized at church on Sunday night. I'm so excited for them. They asked to be, after hearing a sermon on the book of Acts. It sparked great conversation. We took them to baptism classes at church so they would learn the reasons why you should get baptized, what it means, and what it doesn't mean. They prepared their testimonies and spoke privately with the pastor. They are ready. We feel they fully understand and it is of their own choice- so they are ready! I'm praying that this will be a special thing between them and Jesus. I pray they will feel His presence.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

God's Will

I LOVE Sundays. I love learning more about God and I love worshipping Him. I really love being around like minded people who love God too. Our church is such an inspiring place to be. As big as it is, everyone really makes an effort to get to know other people and try to notice the new people.

Today in Sunday School we were asked, "How confident are you that you are in God's will at this time of your life?"
1. Not at all confident
2. Fairly confident
3. Very confident

For once I felt I could answer that with a VERY CONFIDENT. I know I'm doing what I am supposed to be doing right now. That feels really great. I don't have a lack of peace about any areas in my life right now.

I know I'm supposed to be homeschooling my kids. I know I'm supposed to be at the church I'm at, in the Bible study I'm in. I know I'm supposed to be in my role at church (on the medical response team, leading a women's Bible study in the summer, and teaching Sunday School for kids in the summer.) I know I'm supposed to be growing in my relationship with my husband, working on submission and respect. I know I'm supposed to be a prayer warrior and growing spiritually. I know I'm supposed to be guiding my children and protecting them from worldly things. Teaching them diligence and values. My family is my primary ministry during this season of my life. I can't let anything distract me from that.

When I don't have peace about an area, that is when I know I'm suppose to change directions and seek God's direction again. But, for now, I love the peace that comes from being right where I'm supposed to be.

Our Sunday School teacher said many people don't even know God's will for their lives, so how can they know if they are in it?

Colossians 1:9 helps to sum up God's will for us:
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience...............

Find out what God's will is and then ask yourself often if you are in it. I love walking so closely with God that I know when he prompts me to change direction, pull out of something, add something in, change something, do something. I love the gentle ways he convicts me of sin, or urges me to pray for someone. I'm trying to tune in and hear his still, soft voice.