Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dinner with a Spiritual Giant

We invited a friend over for dinner last night...a friend who has been in the midst of a storm for a while now... I'm talking years.  Every time I hear her speak I am utterly amazed and dumbfounded.  She has dealt with infidelity more than once, divorce, the pain of her boys hurting, death, ridicule, false accusations, court issues calling her an unfit mother, and just all around ugliness that is almost laughable.   But what is so different about my friend?  

I know that by her nature she would be embarrassed by this post of her... because she knows.  She knows and believes with all her heart that it's NOT her!  You see, she has Jesus Christ as her Savior.  She has the Holy Spirit dwelling inside her - enabling her to make good decisions - and what's even better is that she "plugs in" to that power.  She is in the Word DAILY!  She is on her knees DAILY! Her words are seasoned with love, grace, and mercy that could only be supplied by God's divine love and character.  She is salt and light in a dark world.  I've witnessed her loving her enemies and doing good to those who persecute her.  I have heard her give all praise and glory to GOD in everything that has happened in her life... both good and bad.  She. is. AMAZING.  She is a testimony - not only to those who don't know the LORD... but also, to me and to many like me who love the LORD.   She is an encouragement just by observing her and hearing her display God's grace and mercy.  WOW!  

 As the waves rise about her and the hurricane force winds begin to blow... she gets on her knees and faces the storm - not cowering - but confident - in her LORD JESUS to bring about good for her through all of this that He may be glorified.  And that is all she wants.  His Glory!  WOW!

As I live through my days... may I remember the lifestyle of this spiritual giant - and display more grace, more love, and more mercy... that I may bring glory to my Savior!

Monday, July 26, 2010

1000 Gifts: God's Fingerprints on my day

The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! 
~Henry Ward Beecher

451.  Air conditioning in two consecutive days of 105 degree temperatures.

452. The generosity of my in-laws allowing us to crash their Sunday evening quiet to get a change of scenery.

453.  Garden fresh tomatoes - gifts from  strangers

454.  Praying for God to open my eyes to reveal His fingerprints on my day --- and Him blessing the request abundantly.

455.  A kiss on my ever growing tummy from my 3 year old - for his baby brother

456.  quiet time

457.  preparing for a long trip to see family

458.  the privilege to pray for another

459.  the roll of thunder and flash of lightening bringing cooling rains to the area

460.  two boys recalling their Sunday School stories for us... wanting to be like the Good Samaritan

461.  the challenge of a 6 year old - asking questions in innocence - seeing Holy Spirit working on his heart

462.  contentment

463.  great consignment finds

464. a free drink from my favorite fast food restaurant - because they were out of what I wanted

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 
I Thessalonians 5: 16-18

Monday, July 19, 2010

1000 Gifts: Blessings

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.
-- Epictetus

436.  Older son at swim practice - younger son running around with Dad - chasing, laughing, tickling... sounds of delight

437.  A brief rain shower during a hot summer day... lasting only minutes, but reminding me that heat and humidity won't last forever.

438.  A boy's new adventure coming to an end - but a huge improvement with every. single. race.

439.  silly mismatched flip flops

440.  An opportunity to teach, discover, and be blessed by a child - a learning experience for this teacher.

441.  health

442.  the generosity of the tickets to dinner and a baseball game for our family.

443.  "Be still, and know that I AM God." Psalm 46:10

444.  an ever growing tummy - moving on it's own... signs of life inside.

445.  another name search

446.  "mommy, can you read this book to me?"

447.  an older brother offering and reading to the younger - quiet time together - just two brothers

448. new friends made at the pool

449.  finding enjoyment in a new sport

450. a silly red tongue and a treat at the meet.

Be thankful.

Monday, July 12, 2010

1000 Gifts: Just What is Needed

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.  
Colossians 3:15

423.  God's perfect provision... a testimony of friends who have received exactly what was needed when it was needed... remembering that God loves us and supplies our every need.

424.  "every decision I make being a journey of submission to the Holy Spirit" (Eric Thomas)

425.  my swimmer improving his times

426.  a sweet 3 year old ecstatic at finding his momma's precious Bible

427.  free Chick-fil-A and friends who dress up like cows with us to get it

428.  tag team kidsitting

429.  my Chops - asking daily to see my tummy - then hugging and kissing his baby brother still inside

430.  pancake Friday mornings

431.  the undeserving grace of God - really understanding what I deserve verses all of the blessings I'm given... including eternal life!

432.  salvation

433. raindrops

434.  thunder in the distance rolling ever closer

435.  the LORD's day - a fresh start, a new beginning... a chance to start again - God's grace forever

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Our Summer Adventure Continues-With Video!!!

What could be more exciting than winning the lottery?  Yep, you guessed it... watching my Olympic hopeful for the 2020 games swim and IMPROVE in his meets.  We had another meet last Saturday, July 3rd, and then our first home meet last night.  Yes, our meet started at 5pm... which was a great time to start yesterday... seeing as it was 99 degrees here with climbing humidity.  So by 5 pm a breeze was at least blowing, and we were off to our pool.  

So rather than go through every detail I will leave you with some pictures and time results. :)  Let's get right to the nitty gritty.  At last Saturday's meet the Monkster improved his time for freestyle by 10 seconds... however his backstroke suffered and his final time was 8 seconds more than his seed time.  Well Wednesday, my boy came. to. swim.  He came in first in his heat for 25M freestyle (fourth overall) , and first in his heat in 25 M backstroke (unsure of the final) .  He also came in fourth in the 100M 6 and under mixed relay (boys and girls) , and also swam the boys 100 M 10 and under relay.  He ROCKED!  Okay, I'm a little biased being his mom... but oh how he has improved in the short time that he has been doing this.  

Here are times - just in case you are interested. :)  Of course, you are interested... who wouldn't be?  Hee Hee.  
25M Free                                                  Seed time 39.46      Final  33.94
100M Mixed 6 and Under                                          3:28.54              3:21.65

the other two events weren't posted by the time we left... so these were the only ones that are accurately written down.   His backstroke went from 49.45 sec (seed time)  to 41. something (final).    I can't wait to see what next Wednesday brings.  It's our last meet for the season before divisionals... and it's at home again.  

 team cheers!

Pull for my Monkey -  I'm going to have to change his nickname from Monkey to something aquatic.... we'll have to think on that one. :)

And one last thing... video... enjoy!!!! And pardon the screaming momma in the background... someone needs to put a leash on that woman.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fireflies in December = GREAT READ

I don't often put books on my blog... except for the ones I plan on reading throughout the year... and as you can see on my sidebar... I'm not reading as fast as I would like to be.  My time right now does not easily lend itself to reading for enjoyment, information, or otherwise.  I have the normal mom struggles of getting the house clean for longer than 2 seconds, keeping my two boys in line, and keeping up with everything else that's going on all while being now 27 weeks pregnant.  Unfortunately, mom time - reading- usually gets pushed to the bottom of the to do list. 

However... I finally got back into reading this summer and have taken myself through a few novels just for my enjoyment.  I think, at this point, I've finished four - four books just for me... an escape of sorts, from the everyday things that a mom has to deal with... laundry, cleaning, dishes, planning and making dinner, etc. 

The one I just finished I REALLY enjoyed.  Entitled Fireflies in December - the story is about a young girl, Jessilyn, who lives in a small town in Virginia in the early 1930s.  It's about a stand, a struggle, and doing what's right - no matter the cost.  Excellent book!  I would recommend stopping by the library and picking it up.  You can get a more in depth synopsis of it at one of my favorite sites, She Reads - just scroll down and you'll see it along with some of the other books on my "to read" book list.   You can also access the She Reads website by checking out the sidebar - a link provided just for you.  I've found it to be a great way to find some great books. 

So jump on your computer, go to your local library's website,  and put a reserve in for Fireflies in December.  You'll be glad you did.

Monday, July 5, 2010

1000 Gifts: A Celebration of Freedoms

Today we are a day past our country's birthday... a Declaration written 234 years ago...  speaking truth and declaring our country to be standing firm on beliefs, decisions, and morals that have stood the test of time and continue to do so - allowing us freedoms to gather to worship, express our ideas, protect ourselves, make a living, and thrive peaceably.

It is for these freedoms that I am thankful.

413.  A celebration of worship outside - gathering 4 services, 2 campuses, and 3 congregations - uniting together to praise our Creator!
 (photo by Steve Harper)

 (Photo by Dave Polston)

(photo by Dave Polston)

414.  The privilege and freedom to pray - requesting healing, peace, favor, forgiveness

415.  Patriotic hymns filling the air - reminding us of the sacrifice of men and women who have and are giving their lives for the freedoms we enjoy.

 (photo by Dave Polston)
416.  Men and women, standing proudly as their branch of service hymns are sung - their standing representing years of service

417.  The Stars and Stripes - lining streets and houses
 (Photo by Dave Polston)

418.  The striving of many to keep the rights that our forefathers intended for all citizens in place.

419.  Gathering for lunch - the kindness of a friend - our families drawn together by hardship and challenge 

420.  Standing on God's promise in Romans 8:28  that ALL things work together FOR GOOD to those who love God and are called according to His purpose - even in the midst of a friend's depression

421.  Holding a child - not my own - comforting a sweet boy - telling him how much we love him and his family - while men kneel to pray over situations at hand

 (Photo by Dave Polston)
422.  The body of CHRIST - coming together - to work as a body... loving God, loving others, and living the mission.

America The Beautiful
Words by Katharine Lee Bates
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
About the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!