Friday, February 26, 2010

A New Start : my book list

Like my BFF, Heather, I really enjoy reading.  My problem, however, is that I have a difficult time finding TIME.  That word is so small, but has such BIG connotations.  Whoever thought when we were single, or even married without kids that we would actually THINK that we didn't have TIME to do something.  HA!  I had NO IDEA what having no TIME meant until I became a mom... of one, and then of two very busy boys, and of course, being a wife takes time out of my reading schedule too.  I mean, come on, someone has to do the dishes, cooking, laundry (gathering, cleaning, folding, putting away), shopping, bathing of the children, picking up of toys in an ORDERLY fashion, and cleaning of all things in our home.  And because I have SO MANY books on my reading list, I quickly get overwhelmed, and then instead of reading one at a time I just put more on the pile and turn my back to tackle them later.  But today there will be a CHANGE!  I am committing to reading for 30-45 minutes a night.  That way I can knock out some of the awesome books that I have waiting for me.  Even though I'm starting my list late for the year (almost being March) I figure that now is as good a time as ever to begin.  My list will be getting longer as I add to it and remember all of those that were supposed to be on my list.  And as for that time issue - I've always been told the easiest way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.  Thankfully, I'll be reading... elephant doesn't seem very tasty to me. :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

1000 Gifts: A faithful GOD

Tomorrow my youngest goes in for surgery.  This is his third surgery.  All have been minor issues - ear tubes - 2 times, and now the removal of a lump on his chest under his left arm.  Even though my head knows that this surgery is minor - he is still my baby, my child, and this. is. surgery.  He will be put under for a few hours - surgery for about an hour and then recovery time.  But even though this surgery is heavy on my heart, I serve a. BIG. GOD. He knows all of my concerns, my anxieties, my fears, my inadequacies, and loves me anyway.  He cares for me the way a Father would care for daughter.  His favorite daughter.  :)

With all of the comfort that He shows me I praise HIM and give Him thanks.

0227.  seeing the words and knowing that they are true -"As for God, His way is perfect." Ps 18:30.

0228.  the awesome responsibility of teaching my boys that service to others = worship of the Almighty when done with the right heart.

0229.  a pastor, a friend coming to pray over us tomorrow at the surgery center.

0230.  experiencing the washing of my feet by my father-in-law who watched my boys while I supported others in their grief

0231.  reading through God's Word and discovering something new everyday.

0232.  a husband who makes dinner for a tired wife - pancakes for everyone!

0233.  healing

0234.  the celebration of life!

0235.  the birthday of an excellent Mom - one who taught me everything I know... Happy Birthday tomorrow Mom!

0236.  hearing the giggly laughter of my boys. 

0237.  knowing spring is just around the corner.

0238.  Bunco - not the game - but the fellowship of great gals who love the Lord.

0239.  sitting in the palm of His hand and resting on His chest with the knowledge that He has it ALL. UNDER. CONTROL.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Washing Feet

Last week in Bible study we (my boys and I) studied Jesus washing the disciples feet.  I explained afterward that anytime we do something for someone else with a good attitude and kind heart that we do it for Jesus.  We show that we love Jesus by loving others.  Well this week we had an opportunity to put feet to our lesson. 

I have a friend in my Sunday School class who had a death in her family.  It was sudden and completely unexpected.  So immediately, when I got the news, I set to making dinner for her and her boys. As I made the dinner I was reminded of the lesson about the footwashing.  I explained to my boys that we had an opportunity to serve Jesus by doing something for someone who needed love. I told both the boys that we were going to wash some feet.  I likened the making of the meal to the washing that Jesus did for his disciples. 

When it was completed I took the meal, and my Chops, and we got in the car and drove to the house.  Hopefully, it left an impression on my two young ones.  I pray that they grow to have a heart for others.  That Jesus may be glorified.

Monday, February 15, 2010

1000 gifts: a few minutes

0216.  friends who commit to pray - a lifting up unto the Lord

0217.  questioning the sovereignty of the Lord Almighty and His response by showing you His faithfulness in His Word

0218. the beautiful sunshine of a new day.

0219.  quiet solitude

0220.  sleepy boys

0221.  a faithful furry friend coming in to wake you up with kisses

0222.  snuggles

0223.  "Mom, Can you read this to me?"

0224.  a valentine dinner with friends 

0225.  hubby feeling really sick - but resting a having a quick recovery

0226.  the true realization that this world has nothing for me - pursuing what is permanent.

Phil. 3:12-14 
12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

BSF day

I love talking with my boys.  I have stopped turning on the radio in the van while we are in the car together just so I can chat with my usually always running boys.  The most treasured conversations, lately, have been on the way home from Bible Study Fellowship.  Each child learns the same lesson about Jesus that the women do, which is a great way to start discussions in the van on the 20 minute trip home.  On more than one occasion my children have quickened my heart, either in conviction or in elation as I realizing they are getting IT.  You know the IT - the most important thing for any Bible believing momma - that their children would follow in the footsteps of the LORD - that they would love HIM with all of their being.

Today, my question was what did you learn about Jesus?  Josh replied that Jesus was going to prepare a place.  I asked if the place was for everyone.  He EMPHATICALLY said, "NO."  I continued to inquire -"Well, who gets to go?" Josh very groundedly stated "Only people who trust Jesus as their Savior."  SPOT ON!  He said this with such conviction that it brought tears to my eyes. I then told him that during his lifetime that many people would try to tell him that there were many ways to heaven.  People want to believe that they can believe in Buddha or Muhammed or just be good.  If they are faced with Jesus they are face to face with their sin.

I praise God that my boys are learning that Jesus loves them.  They are learning that they are sinful human beings. Even though they know that they do wrong they know that Jesus loved them enough to die  for them on the cross.  IT is the most important thing for this momma.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I've been studying the book of John at Bible Study Fellowship this year and oh what it has taught me.  God is so specific with His children.  I am spoken to by the Lord EVERYTIME! There has not been one single time when I have not sat through the lecture that the Lord hasn't taught me more about myself.  Of course, it's usually in a humbling way

The same was true of last Thursday. We had come to the section of John the week before Jesus death on the cross.  He is in the upper room with his disciples and He takes off his outer garment, down to just what a slave would wear.  He took a bowl and washed the feet of his friends.  He knew full well who He was.  He knew where He was going.  He knew what lay ahead of Him.  He knew that He was God.  He knew that as God He should receive all praise and honor, but He washed the feet of those He loved.  Jesus showed His own how much He loved them.  He performed a menial task - a task worthy of a slave.  Jesus showed His love by serving His friends - to teach them to serve others.

Immediately, I was convicted in my heart about my home.  I find myself complaining, if not aloud, in my heart, about the laundry, the dishes, the untidiness of the bedrooms.  Toys on the floor, dirty bathrooms, coats strewn about the house.  I get frustrated - even irritated to the point of anger regarding the disheveled state of my house.  Don't any of the other 3 people who live here see that things need to be picked up, or thrown away, or put away?  Ugh!  It irks me!  Then I get an attitude and have a hard time remembering that what I do I am supposed to do for the Lord and not for men.

I am called to serve my family because Jesus served me. That doesn't mean that they shouldn't help.  It just means that I need to check my purpose.  If the LORD, who is Creator of the entire universe, who weaves human beings together from their conception, who hangs stars in the sky, can stoop to wash the feet of His own I need to adjust my attitude regarding my service.

Lord, Help me to remember that before I was called to do dishes, or laundry, or housework that You chose to wash feet and then be lifted high on a cross.  I thank You for Your sacrifice, and ask that you'd forgive my bad attitude.  Help me remember to serve because  You did. In Jesus' Name, AMEN!

Monday, February 8, 2010

1000 Gifts: Gifts in the everyday

So often I lose sight of the everyday gifts God gives.  Lord forgive me for my discontented heart and my loss of focus.
0203. an early rising child with whom to spend quiet snuggle time.

0204.  the task of teaching my boys to leave things better than you find them

0205.  the mountain of laundry (clothes on our backs)

0206.  dirty dishes always there (not lacking for food)

0207.  rooms needing tidying (a safe warm place to call home)

0208. friends to share burdens, joys, and concerns

0209.  fellowship, food, and laughter (and more food - yikes)

0210.  watching a little boy get a cup of ice water, take a sip, then dump it in the sink repeatedly - I can appreciate it because he wasn't mine - :)

0211.  conviction of my heart - knowing that God is still working on me

0212.  toys strewn on the floor (children - a blessing from the Lord)

0213.  quiet time with the Lord - a time for Him to speak

0214.  a three year old - not giving up - learning how to use the restroom

0215. another Monday - a start of another work week,  start of a another school week, the passage of time and a day to remember 1000 gifts


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Gift of Routine

Isn't it amazing how human being crave structure. A day or two is fun without structure, but after a while, everyone needs to get back into a routine.  Our Lord created us that way.  He is a God of order.  The Bible says in I Cor 14:33 For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace. He knows we need order and consistency.  He knows we don't thrive in chaos. 

This being said we have been stuck in the house for the past several days due to snow... which is really no big deal to me growing up with it - but around here life stops as we know it.  The snow came on Friday night/ Saturday morning.  Not just a dusting but 12 inches (the kind of snow that drives people to the grocery store to buy all the bread, milk, and eggs off of the shelves).   Since then, all activities outside of the house have stopped.  Granted we were able to play in the snow for two days which helped tire the boys out... but now that the snow is melting, rain fell yesterday causing our already saturated yard to turn into a mud pool and the streets to turn to ice during the night - keeping kids who go to school-  out - and other recreational activities of our family that go by the school schedules for snow to be canceled.  That means no karate, no kindermusik, no church activities.  Ugh!  Unfortunately, since my older one is so tall we can't even go to the mall to play anymore.  Frustrating.  I know that I feel yucky being trapped inside the house... the poor boys who have 10 times as much energy to expend as their momma are running (an I mean running) around the house screaming and going bananas. 

We are ready to get back into a routine.  We have continued to maintain our school schedule which helps with the everyday routine.  Thankfully, the roads are starting to clear and regular activities are beginning to resume again.  Karate decided to open today regardless of what the schools decided to do.  Kindermusik will be back in session for my older one tonight.  And praise God - we will have church tonight and the boys will go to their classes... so parents can have some needed respite in their own grown up classes. 

This lesson just helps me remember even though the thought of disorder and lack of routine may be fun for a few days... I NEED structure.  My boys NEED structure and routine... and we all just need to get outside and run off some energy.  With that I say COME ON SPRING!!!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

1000 Gifts: More to the List

What an interesting week!  Last Thursday we were outside without coats in mid 60 weather enjoying playing, and then Winter Storm 2010 blew in and dumped 12 inches of powdery fun all over our area.  This is the first time that our boys had an actual opportunity to experience the fluffy white stuff - they had seen it in the Midwest while visiting family - but it has never really been enough to build a snowman - which is the criterion for a good snow according to my 5 year old.  So with thanksgiving to the Lord for His gracious gifts to our family I continue the list.

0183. a beautifully warm day in January to play outside with friends, running, jumping, playing swinging, sharing, laughing.

0184.  enjoying the company of several moms and kids to get together, read a story, and make a craft

0185.  snowmen made of paperplates - an anticipation of the real thing to come.

0186.  a break with some gals - accountability partners - to chat over coffee, hot chocolate, hot tea - to discuss what the Lord is imparting to us, but also, all the other things going on in our lives.

0187.  encouragement from blogs of friends... reading, learning, growing.

0188.  God's special surprises - blessings of obedience

0189.  the forecast of snow - a lot of it for this area!

0190.  waking to a fresh blanket of white...with no end in sight

0191.  the excitement of little ones - pleading as soon as they awake to go outside and play.
0192.  the quiet of snow

0193.  Life

0194.  a daddy pulling two thrilled boys to a small snowhill for some sledding

0195.  throwing snowballs

0196.  making a snowman with eyes, nose, smile, arms, and a 3 year old's desire to make him anatomically correct

0197. resting after hours of playing outside in the cold

0198.  a family afternoon of movie watching, popcorn, and spending time together.

0199.  having church at home because the weather canceled corporate worship

0200.  a husband who lovingly braves yucky roads to buy his wife some relief for a terrible headache

0201. providing for feathered friends who enjoy a little seed and a little shelter in a blowing storm

0202.  three days of staying in a warm cozy home, playing, loving, reading, listening, enjoying each other