Wednesday, December 19, 2007

He Comforts Us

Isiah 51:3
"For the LORD shall comfort Zion; HE will comfort all her waste places; and HE will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody"

As a Christian I often find myself in one of two categories. Either on the side of needing comfort or one giving comfort to a friend in need. I'm not sure which one is more difficult. While it is hard to be in a place that I need the prayers and comfort from God and friends, it is just as hard to see those close to us struggling as well.

These last several weeks have had me in a place where as much as I do not like to accept comfort, I needed it. I have seen friends praying, bringing meals, showering me with help to run errands or take my kids. Is it just friends being nice? Partly, however I also believe it is God showing His love and comfort to me through the tangible of friends.

We have been blessed with formula when there was only enough left to make 2 more bottles. Diapers with there were only 2 more left in the bag. Gifts for the kids for Christmas and money to hide away for gas or when another emergency comes our way. I have struggled with decisions my husband has made financially and regardless of mistakes, God still has showed His comfort the the kids and I. I feel so blessed, mentally drained but so loved and blessed. I haven't had the energy to sit at his feet and pray eloquently but He understands my groans of pain.

During this season as I've watched other families go shopping for their kids and enjoy the gifts that they will be able to bless them with, the beautiful decorations and the warm cocoa and seemingly all is happy in the world. This is the season that for the past 3 years we have struggled intensely. Is God trying to get my attention that He came to the world to comfort and wants our kids to know the same? Just a couple of months ago, we were doing ok financially, but the mistakes have caught up.

Thank you Lord for your sovereign wisdom to prune our lives so that we can produce a sweeter, larger and perfected fruit.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Belly of the Whale

1st of all, yuck! And I know yuck. My kids have each had a stomach bug this last 2 weeks one after the other, rather than all at one time they have tag teamed to make sure one of them was always on. So I have seen my fair share of gross things lately.



I would guess that Jonah was thinking the same thing as he sloshed around in belly slime tripping over seaweed and losing his balance with each drive and jump of the ol Moby Dick. He was fearing for his life, wondering if he was going to drown to death or be dissolved in stomach acid.



Yet when he was clearly at the end of all hope he cried out once again "Salvation is of the Lord". He thought these were his last words he would get out, this was "it", his time was up as he gagged on the disgust and saltwater he was suffocating in.



What was wrong with this Jonah cat? He heard God speak directly to him, there was no confusion, no hearing problem. He knew what God commanded him to do. To go to Nineveh and give them, his own countries enemy, one last chance to repent and turn to God or else they were going to be destroyed.



Was Jonah just a coward? No. He was just more concerned for Israel. He didn't want the enemies to be strengthened and so he choose to forfeit his profit status for that of a patriot. He loved his country more than himself. He choose his own wisdom rather than divine instruction. That same loyalty to others made him disobedient to God. How wicked the devil is and how far he will lead people away from God with lies that appear to be wiser than God. Satan will always make the way easy for those who are turning against the commands of our Lord.

Now Allen is not my enemy although at times it feels as if he is. So why do I at times view him as if he were? It's a pride issue. It's a lack of trust in God's ways. It's a arrogant sin in me that Satan can tempt me with just as he did Eve, that I am all knowing.



It took some scary circumstances to bring Jonah to his knees and cry out to the Lord in repentance. Who the Lord loves, He chastises. Oh how we should greatly fear disobedience.



Before we attack Jonah too harshly, don't we at times to the same? God still speaks to us through His Holy Spirit and through God ordained men and through His living word. What in our own lives have we been instructed exactly how to live and yet we choose not to? How many times have we thought we knew better than God?



We are doing a bible/book study on marriage and I will admit the last couple of weeks have been rather stressful at our home. We've had sick kids, a tired momma, and a financially stressed daddy. So where just a couple of weeks ago I felt really good in my marriage, with the onset of all the extra yuck, I noticed a lot of things I didn't like in my husband and in our marriage. Satan was very helpful in pointing out all his faults and then helped me even find justification with my thoughts and then went as far as to help me realize that I really could do OK on my own. After all, I love my children and they don't need to be grumped at all the time and I have feelings and deserve more love and kindness. It all seemed so matter of fact and logical. "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." Prov 14:12. Not quite the goal I'm trying to reach.

For a couple of hours I happily entertained the thought of turning my back on God's wisdom and my marriage. Choosing to not to capture my thoughts and play the movie of my husband being so broken hearted over his loss that he would beg to me stay and say all the romantic things I long for. I know God's command, I'm in the midst of 2 studies right now on marriage. Not that I was packed and heading out the door, just steaming in my head and heart thinking how lucky he is, how wonderful I am and he is so far from it. Well, I'm not perfect and he's not so far from it.

What verse did I recall when I finally decided to give it over to God and ask for His wisdom and Holy Spirit to fill me with love? James 5:16 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." Why can't we just forgive and ask God for forgiveness? Why do we have to humble ourselves so much to go to the offended and admit our sins and ask them for forgiveness? I guess the same reason we role play with our children when teaching, to have a lasting effect. Doesn't make it any easier.



What about with my kids? I know that I'm suppose to rebuke, train and love them? How many times do I let something little slide without rebuking them? How many times do I rebuke them only to not train them what they should have done instead? How many times have I failed to rebuke and train them out of love rather than out of my own annoyance and frustration level?



I am a constant mess and I am so thankful that each time I have cried out feeling like I'm choking in my own yuck that God has rescued me. There are times just as Jonah, I have felt Him rescue me and as I'm still gasping for air trying to steady my shaking knees, that He gives me the same command again. No time to waste in getting the message across. Just like a child who has done something wrong. He spanks, hugs and repeats His instruction. I pray that today I have that same grace with my little ones that He has with me. I pray that I will come to fear disobedience far more than I do. I pray that I will be consistant in training my children that disobedience never benefits so that they do not have to struggle as I have with the god of self.

Monday, December 03, 2007

It's alive!

I am alive. I don't know how coherent I am of life right now, just going through the motions. Wyatt has been on 2 medicines in the past month for ear infections and seems to be better now. Each of the kids have had a bug...fever for 5 days, stomach yuck and then ends in a cold and coughing. Not all at one time, just one after the other, so we are on week 4 with Makensie just about done with her fight and Brian just starting his. I hope that maybe Brian's won't be as bad since his fever has only been slight the last 2 days.

My sister Gina, my niece Maggie, a friend and her daughter, Makensie and I all went to the Hannah Montana concert in Little Rock on Saturday. Makensie was sick but we weren't missing it. We all had so much fun. Had to stop a couple of times on the way home for fresh air and emptying the puke bucket but we made it. I had a headache yesterday. Excited little girls on sugar highs can scream really loud!

I'll attempt to post some pictures, you know how well skilled I am at that though.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pilgrim Children

With Thanksgiving coming up we've been reading some stories about it and our history...as far as 2nd grade level goes. One of the books we read talked about the behavior of the children...they stood at the table while eating, they did not take off their bonnets, they only spoke if they were outside playing together of if an adult talked were talking to them.

I have to admit, when there is a lot of noise and chaos it brings out my worst and I get easily irrated. We (as in all 6 of us) were making an apple pie this week, each of the kids cutting up apples and everyone chatting loudly excitedly, and after awhile I felt my frustration with the noise level excitement, rising. So I said, "let's pretend like we are pilgrims getting ready for Thanksgiving. Who can tell me how the children behaved?" Makenise and Gabby chimed in, "Oooo let's pretend and not talk until an adult talks to us!" Great! Then Brian pipes up, "Not me. I'm pretending I'm playing outside! LA LA LA RRRRRRR WATCH HOW GOOD I AM AT CUTTING THIS APPPLE! GABBY, I CAN CUT FASTER THAN YOU! HAHA HAHA I JUST POOTED! BRRRRRANNNG, CAN I EAT SOME OF THIS APPLE? DADDY? DADDY! CAN I EAT SOME OF THIS APPLE? I DROPPED MY KNIFE! MMMMMMMRREEEECH (these are all those extraneous high decibel sounds that boys seem to feel the need to fill any quiet space with)"

Lord give me strength.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's Not Called Laughing Gas for Nothing

Today Makensie woke up with a fever and said her tooth was hurting. What I thought was a canker sore just a couple of days ago, had developed into some awful, red protruding growth. We were able to get an appointment for 2 o'clock this afternoon. They took x-rays and I waited for them to bring me a note for a prescription. However, the dentist came in and said they needed to take the tooth out as it was abscessed. So she had it pulled and then they put in a spacer between the teeth to hold the spot open for when her adult tooth comes in sometime in the next 2-3 years. It was a little traumatic for her as well as for me, but she did great. I only got woosey once. We even went and got some ice cream afterwards. I was able to get help from 2 moms to take Brian and Gabby (thank you Wendy!) and Wyatt did amazingly well through the whole ordeal. The dentist and assistant were wonderful we were in and out in just 2 1/2 hours total.

While they were getting things ready they put the laughing gas on Makensie and she started to relax some and was telling the nurse how they helped daddy butcher the deer this weekend and how they saw the stomach and had to make sure not to puncture it because it would stink. Then I guess in la la land judgement just goes out the window because she added, "I'm used to stink, cause sometimes it's hard to go potty at my house, because when my daddy goes poop, it stinks up the whole bathroom and all the way into the frontroom."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

When the Going Gets Good the Good Get Guilt

Outside of God, sin and the devils influence and hold on us is the greatest power in the world today.

One day this summer I was running errands and having a rather great day, listening to the local christian radio station, my kids were at VBS, I had just found an incredible deal on formula, life in my little Christian bubble was going pretty good. Then as I walked into WalMart walking out was a classmate of mine from high school. I no longer live even in the same state as where I grew up. But there he was with his wife and children. Come to find out, his parents had moved to this small town. This is the 2nd family I have known to move here from my home town. I wonder if it in some small way was to help keep me humble or for the devil to bring up my past.

At the time I 1st moved here there used to be a large billboard posted as you entered the city gates that read, "Where Jesus Is Lord". Now we do have some trouble here, but there is a lot of influence for God at every angle. It is a dry county, the streets except WalMart and fast food roll up at 6pm, there are more churches here per capita than anywhere else in the US. There is a huge homeschool community and most everyone I know is actively involved or at least has God in there top 3 most important things in their life, it is rare to have a conversation with someone when it doesn't somewhere turn to referencing the Bible. There is a Christian College here, and DaySpring Christian Cards plant is here in town. The City's slogan is "The City of Beauty and Progress". We still have movies in the park, craft festivals, farmers market, the community building is highly used. Boring? I would say fulfilling and peaceful.

But all this is not who I was when I moved here. I have a lot to be thankful about. I have known Christ all my life, but there was a season of about 10 years when I did my own thing. One time during that rebellious phase, I committed a sin, a rather embarrassing one for me and this guy that was staring at me in WalMart this summer knew about it. Now I knew many he had committed also, but that one sin, that was committed one time, just immediately surfaced and almost choked me. I wanted to blurt out, "Hi, how are you? I have changed! What is your wife's name? Cute kids." I didn't think once of his sins, but the devil had the perfect opportunity to throw in my face the fact that no matter the life I am living now, there is always that ugly past that was his.

I can honestly remember during those years thinking at times, "I know this is wrong, Lord forgive me, I won't do it again after this time" Before I had actually committed the sin. Thinking that once an act was over, I'd ask forgiveness and move on. The power of sin is not the sin itself, felt just in that moment, but what satan can build or destroy out of that sin. This is why we should run, flee from sin, this is why God provides us with an escape, because the devil can easily put us under the thumb of quilt and condemnation. We may commit the sin only once, yet we will have to live with that memory and that shadow of darkness for the rest of our lives.

I wonder if that is why some young Christians with rough pasts, sometimes don't make it. One of the most powerful ways the devil keeps his hands in our lives is through quilt. If the devil puts so much guilt in their lives when God is shining the light on their sins, that the condemnation feels so much worse after accepting God, that it is easier to accept the sin as something that is ok, that is truth, rather than turning from it. God does forgive and casts it far away once we have truly repented, but we as humans find that much harder to do.

After I ran into this guy, I have relived my stupidity many times, and each time I have had to remind myself, I'm forgiven, and literally tell the devil to leave me alone. The devil puts little thoughts in my head...Why would should you be leading a women's bible study? Why should you be in the Christian homeschool group? Why should you be speaking at the mom's group? Don't they all know you're not that great? What if they all find out your past?

I've heard it once said the God can even use an atheist to have His plans succeed. I'm sure God can continue to use me too. I wish I didn't have such a worn coat that I have to wear, but that is the consequences of my decisions. Those who have much to be forgiven for have much to be thankful for. The answer is God's grace. First he sheds light on our sins, because what we cannot see we cannot deal with. This gives us conviction, condemnation is from satan. Conviction gives us a desire for true repentance. Then He washes us clean. Once we repent of our sins, we can let Him have it. We can even have peace with the problems in our lives that have we are facing because of the sins we have committed.

When God's grace covers us, even if the process is painful, He is still big enough to handle the side effects of our decisions for His ultimate plan and our ultimate good.

Friday, November 09, 2007

How to win an argument.

Brian and Gabby were getting a little heated with each other as they debated over who got to be Captain Jack Sparrow.
Gabby: It was my idea to play in the 1st place.
Brian: But I have the sword.
Gabby: But we are playing in MY room.
Brian: But captains are usually boys.
Gabby: OK. But we have to poke out your eye then, because Captains usually only have one eye.
Brian: fine. You can be the Captain.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Created To Be His Help Meet Study Group

Christian women: Have you ever given your husband the cold, silent treatment? Have you ever submitted to your husband's decision only after pitching a fit? Do you ever criticize your husband for the little things? Have you ever wondered why you should respect a husband who doesn't earn it? Have you often thought that your marriage could be better if only HE would change? Do you feel you have to be the spiritual leader in your family because your husband isn't doing the job? Do you worry that your husband's sins are hurting your children?

If so, you might be interested to know that we have started up a study group on the book Created to Be His Help Meet. I'll be posting each Monday night some discussion questions of what we have talked about. If you are interested in following along on this study, please do. There is also a link on the right hand side bar to take you to it. If you would like to participate actively with the group click the cafemom button to join us.

Blessings

I am finally getting to go to the grocery store today. Since we own our own business when things slow down, we still have to pay the business rent, the business truck, the business phone, order materials for jobs we have in the future that we haven't been paid for yet.....it's tiring and trying this time of the year when things slow down.

Blessing #1: In the past 6 weeks, I have only went for milk and one $30 trip for bare basics. However, God has completely provided our pantry just yesterday looked really bare. 2 weeks ago I looked in my flour jar and there looked to be about 1 cup of flour left and there still is today. We've been out of several items but the frig and freezers look like we haven't used hardly anything. And we've been eating fine, ask my scale. Last night I used the last of our potatoes for hashbrowns, hushpuppies, had deer steak and homemade bread and sliced fresh tomatoes that Allen's mom had dropped off green a couple of weeks ago. Gabby didn't even know that it was a concern of when I'ld be getting groceries and it was her night to pray, she prayed in thanks for the great food and then added, "and I pray that it fills us up and keeps our bodies healthy." There was plenty on the table, so I got a little teary. I hadn't thought of praying that the food would stretch and fill up, I had just been praying Allen would be paid for several jobs so we could go to the store and pay some bills.

Blessing #2: Dana stopped by with an extra gallon of milk she had been blessed with and was afraid it would expire before they could finish it. Thank you!

Blessing #3: Leanne stopped by with a coffee grinder...I had been wanting one to grind out some wheat that Wendy gave me. So I made another loaf of homemade bread with some freshly ground wheat mixed it and it was the perfect loaf. Delicious.

Blessing #4: Wendy felt sorry for us and gave us a box of goodies out of her pantry a couple of weeks ago. For some reason I just left the box in tact and thought I would only take out what I needed. I took out 2 bags of popcorn as the kids were really eyeing those. Then another friend of ours expressed that they were struggling. I was able to pass the box onto her and bless her with knowing that God will always provide for us.

Blessing #5: a friend stopped by and had taken advantage of the sale at Walgreens and dropped off some baby food the day after I had used my last jar for Wyatt. I have several foods for him frozen that I've made, but all vegetables.

Blessing #6: Walgreen had a sale: Buy $20 (certain items) get an instore credit of $12. I bought 20 2-packs of baby food for $1 each = $20, got $12 instore credit and I had coupons, so the baby food only cost me $3. Then I used the instore credit for some medicine we were needing.

God is good and faithful to provide for our needs. He also provides for our wants at times if he can trust us with them. As we have fallen behind on our house payment, at 1st that fear of what if we lose the house set in? But as I prayed for peace and started joyfully praising HIM for HIS plans I asked. Worst case? We lose the house. We lose our equity. Then what? We still have our family, God will provide the amount of money Allen can handle and the lifestyle that He wants us to have. We rent a house, make it our home, pray for more direction, suck up our pride, stand on the promise that God has our best in mind with HIS plans.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Buckle up, or else!

The other day we were out running errands and I looked in the rear view mirror to see that Gabby and Brian had unbuckled their car seats. I asked, "Is everyone buckled up?" "YES!" of course was the answer. So I turned down a side street and by no means was going fast, but felt the sudden urge to stop. Abruptly. They both stopped when they hit the seats in front of them. I apologized with as much compassion and sympathy as crazy women could muster without laughing.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Finally some stories about Makensie

Usually all the funny and silly little things that happen around here are thanks to Gabby smarting off or Brian exercising his boyish tendencies, while Makensie is my sugar and spice. She is either quietly stirring up strife or being the other momma and caring for Wyatt and her babies, helping me cook and just chatting along with me.

Tuesday night we had a girls night out just her and I. We went to a mom and daughter Mary Kay facial and then afterwards we shared a coke float at A&W. I enjoyed asking her question after question about what she enjoys, her dreams, her wants. She is so precious, while the other kids would list a page of toys she hopes to go to Africa to work with the poor someday. She is so sweet. How can she be the same one who drives me to the edge of madness sometimes with her talking back and rebellion?

Yesterday we handed out candy to the kids walking downtown and have plenty left over, guess what everyone's getting for Christmas? So before we started we had a little talk to just give 1 bar or peice to each kid walking by to make sure everyone got one. So our 1st visitors were some friends of ours. Makensie put one piece in her bag and then the little girl asked for a different kind that she liked better and took one. Makensie very politely said, "That is fine, but can I get that other peice back then?" I made sure to step in and let her know that was fine.

When we were all sitting outside handing out and greeting the trick-or-treaters, Makensie had went in the shop to use the restroom, and after several minutes comes running out dripping of water. "Somethings happened in the bathroom, I just barely touched it." I took off running as fast as a heavy girl can and looked in to see water spraying up to the ceiling. After turning off the water valve I realized that she had tried to use the squirt hose beside the sink and the sprayer part came off. So the bathroom was flooded. Poor baby, she is always the one things like this happen to.

Finally as we took the kids for their turn to trick or treat, a friend of mine gave them each a homemade sugar cookie cut and decorated like pumpkins, very cute. Makensie had eaten half of hers and then when we got in the van offered the remainder to Allen. I thought...Ok....Thanks! He said, "Thank you Makensie, that was really yummy." I told her, "And very thoughtful to share with daddy." She said sweetly, "Yeah, I dropped it on the way to the car and it landed icing side down and didn't want it." I burst out laughing of course and was quite grateful she didn't offer it to me.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

BOO! Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone.

This seems to be a controversial topic to some and this is the last year I'm not going to decorate for this holiday. I always enjoyed it growing up and my kids love all the decorations and I've been nervous that someone would think we weren't really Christians if we celebrated Halloween. We live in a very conservative God fearing little community, which is great, I love LOVE it here. However, it just sometimes feels like others convictions are pushed to become everyone's convictions.

When we went to my folks for a visit 2 weekends ago, my mom was dressed like a witch, the house was all decorated and on the table was this amazing spread of all kinds of fun treats for a little party. The kids and us were so excited. She had little pigs in the blanket that looked like bugs, a dragon sandwich, green deviled eggs with mouse droppings, bubbling punch, and dozens of others, I'll post a picture.

The kids giggle (more like sceam...MOM....LOOK!LOOK!...MOOOOOMMMM....DID YOU SEEE THEIR HOUSE?!!) with excitement each time we pass someplace that is decorated.

I'm not quite sure I understand why there is such an issue about it. There are several church's tonight having a Harvest Festival, the kids can dress up and get candy. However, I prefer the good ol knocking on doors (familiar ones) and trick or treating. So what is the old saying? A rose by any other name is still a rose? My kids and I are not worshiping evil, they are dressing up and getting candy. I know the Holiday stems from what used to be evil, but wasn't everyone dressing up to scare off the demons? Christ was not born on December 25th and yet Christmas as we celebrate HIS birth was assigned to this date because the other pagan festivals at that time. And a lot of the traditions we include, the greenery, the yule log, the lights, charity all came from those pagan celebrations, yet we Christians have ok'd them as long as we put a godly spin on our views. Now I'm not saying that we view Halloween as godly, but we do NOT view it as evil. My kids dress up weekly and look forward to boundless candy and tummy aches tonight.

I wish I would have went ahead and decorated, I don't have anything really scary, just some spider webs, some wall decorations and some cute little witches that sit on the front porch. However Brian keeps asking if he can get this little man at Walgreens that pulls his head off. Boys!

We are going down to decorate in Allen's shop today. He moved his shop to the downtown area and they always have a parade of kids going thru there. I found out this week that we need to have enough candy for 1200-1500 kids. WOW. That's a lot of candy. The checker at WalMart asked if we had a lot of trick or treaters. "nope, just like sweets." Although it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. All the candy and groceries this week was less than $170. And I even picked up several bags of the bite size candy bar mixes. It should be fun to see all the kids dressed up. I'm not so sure how excited the kids are going to be after having to hand out for a while versus them walking around to the other shops to get treats themselves.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Humbleness

“Most of the sins we do not commit are not because of our virtue, but because we lack the energy or opportunity” Eugene Peterson

We will never understand ourselves as the fallen humans we are until we understand that there is no sin we are incapable of committing.

Monday, October 22, 2007

And We Think the Laws are Harsh Now?

I have often wondered if we as a society are just too lenient on those who break that law. I know that everyone makes mistakes, after all I do own a mirror. But I'm talking about clearly understand and purposely chosen to ignore laws. Drinking and driving for instance. I know someone who was pulled over, had their child in the vehicle with them, ended up getting a ticket, the wife drove home, the husband had to shell out a couple hundred dollars for a lawyer and was done with it. Or what about the 3rd strike your out theory of law? Are we playing a game or are we looking to punish the criminal.


Yes I am conservative. I still believe in the Bible and it's teaching and ways of life. And I do believe that our country has gotten too concerned about being politically correct to not offend the 20% of individuals that are screaming louder that the 80% that say they are Christians in this country.


Have you read Deuteronomy 19-20 lately? And sometimes we worry about being too harsh with our laws. These chapters are not about killing, but about protecting the innocent and while you are reading about protecting the innocent you see that those who did shed innocent blood were handed over to those who wanted justice and were killed. If you falsely testified, you were too. Even when going to war against those cities that had turned their back on God, He commanded that the only living thing to be left would be the fruit trees so that the soldiers find nourishment. Doesn't seem like He was concerned that He might offend someone or become unpopular or was thinking, "oh, it's OK, they were just young, let's give them 2 more chances." No. He said to take the strictest punishment so that others might see and not want to follow in those ways.

After I thought about our current judicial system, I thought about my own system in my home. Don't worry, I'm not planning on stoning any of my kiddos. But when I give them 3 chances and they know they get 3 chances, guess how many they try to take? Yep, 3 chances! So if a little 4 year old has figured this out, isn't it only reasonable to think that the adults have also? I realize these are old testament scriptures and that Jesus taught we are to love and forgive, but He also was not a wimpy man. It all starts in the home. If I allow my children to slide by with several chances then punish them with the same punishment as if it were a 1st time offense I am breeding them to disobey until I'm at my wits end. And they will grow into adults who will do the same, and into citizens, coworkers, spouses...

A group of our recently finished "Shepherding a Child's Heart", good book. A little more compassionate than "To Train up a Child", but along the same lines. If our children to do obey us, willingly the 1st time, how will they learn to obey God willingly the first time as they age without going through a lot of unneccessary hurt and correction from God? I'm recognizing things that I hadn't before and yes, it seems discouraging at times when I'm spending so much time training, correcting, praying to these little moldable creatures. Then there comes proof that they are learning and growing in Him and His ways and makes it all worth while.

Lord give me discernment and energy to nip problems as they arise rather than to let them grow. Give me wisdom to mold their hearts not just offer correction. Use me Lord to raise them so that they will ultimately glorify You when they are serving you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It's a Brand New Day

So Allen and I had a little throw down Sunday morning. Typical Griffin style for us, usually means confrontation is not good. He gets defensive and wants to walk out to avoid fighting and I follow after him in the little yipping dog fashion until he is literally driving out of the drive way leaving me yelling at no one, causing strangers walking by to pick up their pace and the neighbors across the street to shut their blinds after having evidence to put me away for my complete insanity.

However this Sunday was different. I said in peace and calm frustration some concerns that were bothering me and then when he left the house I retreated to cry in the shower. I still felt like I had blown it. I was very tired from working on the taxes, which I finally did complete. Plus we had the added emotion of showing the house after the kids had fended for themselves all week, leaving a trail of destuction.

Normally our disputes cause us to go three grades down on the successful marriage scale, then spend 2 weeks in quiet and then act as if nothing was ever said to begin with and go back to our happy is we lifestyle. Probably that's why no one has ever called for us to speak at a marriage conference or be the poster couple for good communication.

I realized that I am called to be submissive, the home is my responsibility, I'm not promised happiness here and I am called to do all this work unto God.

I had some heart to heart time with God yesterday too and was crying on my knees and wondering if God didn't value us as women, at least not as much as men if we are to submit to them and then this is how we are treated. Does HE really care about me, a woman? About my feelings? Why would HE create such a desire to be loved and yet put me with someone who has RCD and is not very good at expressing it? Should we are women even view ourselves as disciples of HIM or are we just to go through life quiet and serving our husbands and families? I had a difficult time at first with all those questions, confusion, lies from satan...until I finally quieted and listened, took my eyes off me and put my heart back on HIM. I told HIM of my trust in HIM, of my love for HIM, regardless of my life, regardless of my happiness. That this is all training for my character and for HIS will to be the outcome. I felt peaceful, and then I felt it pressed on my heart, "that if Allen completely fills the void in my heart, then I will lose my deepest need that HE fills in me."

I went to the homeschool moms night out last night (Tina taught how she cooks for 4 months at a time in 2 days...pretty impressive! And I'll post more on this one later) anyhow, when I got home, Allen had the kids bathed and in bed (very unusual from his typical job around the house which is to mow and keep the tv buttons warm), the house was picked up, supper put away and candles lit through the house and THE cd from our wedding was playing. I didn't know he even knew we had a cd. And he offered a heart felt apology for being, "a jerk" in his own words.

I was so surprised and thankful. I think this is the 1st time he has been the one to apology for his actions. He opened up and told me how much he appreciated everything I do and everything I am. It meant so much.

I can think of no other difference this time other than prayer surrounding him to soften, and me to have the strength to not lip off. I feel like this is the first argument that we've had in which the outcome actually made our marriage stronger rather than putting up 3 steps back and then working the next 6 months to get to where we were before the fight.

A friend pointed this out and it seems irresponsible of me to just now realize this after almost 10 years, however, his defensiveness probably stems from his childhood and never being able to do enough to please his dad, rather than him just being inconsiderate.

I just wanted to share with you, not necessarily anything earth shattering, but it is wonderful all the same. God showed me HIS love today through my husband. Even if this is the only time in our marriage, it was more than just Allen reaching out and loving me, it was God loving me through him. I agree with my friend Amy, that there are many times that I am so thankful that I do not have to be the leader and have all that pressure on my shoulders.

There are several of us ladies getting ready to start a book/bible study on Created to Be His Helpmeet. I have done the study before and this is NOT a feel good marriage book, this woman can be brutal and lacks a bit of compassion, but this is the marriage book that makes all overs seem like fluff. I'm anxious to go through it a 2nd time. Practice makes...well...better anyway.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Would You Pass the Grace Please? Thank You.

God works in so many wonderful ways. I struggle with wanting to be all things, like the Prov 31 woman, and while that in itself is great, my feelings of failure when that isn't achieved is crippling. I was reminded yet again this last week that one of the reasons I have to struggle so hard at times to keep up with the being the submissive, honoring, loving mistress to my husband, the perfect housekeeper, the creative school teacher, the gentle mother with hugs, the firm parent trying to balance their hearts, the coupon queen to stock our pantry, the helpful secretary, the organized accountant, the gifted cook, the confident home manager... is so that it will be too large a task for me to handle without the help of Christ. If attaining the perfection that I view as the Prov 31 women were just an easily reached goal, my heart would be as the Pharisees and my tasks would bring me the glory rather than my heart being met at my lack and being filled by Him. I just pray that in the end, my children and husband will praise me and God will say "job well done."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Confused sleep deprived fat woman says What?

So this last week almost 2 I have been working like a mad woman on our taxes from 2006 I had filed an extension in April as Wyatt was only 2 months old and thought it would be easier later...not so. So now I get about 3 minutes at a time to search through receipts, research topics such as the New Domestic Production Activities Deduction and try to comprehend what in the world it possibly could be trying to say in layman's terms, enter the numbers all without forgetting what I was doing before I was interrupted to be informed that Gabby wouldn't play a game with Brian, that Brian is hungry, that Makenise ate the rest of Brian's snack, that Wyatt is yanking the telephone cord out of the wall , that the girls are done with their seatwork and want to do art, that Gabby needs help with her piano lesson and that Wyatt is stinking up the whole house....and you know how the day goes.

So my best times to work are from 10pm on or before 7am. Making for a tired momma, plus all the attention I have paid to this monster of paperwork (all my fault for not keeping up or insisting on an accounting system earlier) has left my house in shambles, not to mention our brand new 2 week old dryer quit on day 3 of having it. So our laundry is having to be hung outside, the sheets to the bed were not dry last night, so hubby slept on the couch and I on the recliner...it was like we were having a sleep over party...without any popcorn or friends or a fun movie.

I'm about done...so I think.

I have found several things to be thankful for this last week, and some of them that my kids helped point out also.

Thank you Lord that you gave me a sister who is a CPA and always pretends to just loves it when I call to pick her brain.

Thank you Lord for coffee for me and cereal and vitamins for them as a meal staple this last week.

Thank you Lord that the repair man will be here today rather than having to wait 2 weeks.

Thank you Lord that I'm lucky enough to be fat because if I wasn't I wouldn't have gotten to wear some of my cute clothes that they didn't have in smaller sizes. (compliments of Makensie)

Thank you that even when I'm an angry mean momma it is only for a little while and that my kids still love me. (thank you Gabby...and sorry)

Thank you that when Makensie got to close to the opening on the big bouncy thing and fell out 2 times in a row in less than 30 seconds apart, on her head, that you helped her learn so that she didn't have to do it three times in a row.

Thank you that we have a piano and that Gabby has so much interest in practicing...for hours each day...making up her own songs...

Thank you that you allowed me to find Gabby and Brian eating directly out of the sugar bowl before they had a week long high.

Thank you that our wonderful neighbors put up with my kids. Especially Brian who thinks if they don't answer the door, it's because they can't hear the doorbell even after ringing it "only 10 times, that's all".

Thank you for our wonderful neighbors that amuse Brian when he goes over after the rain to "just checking out their storm damage, that's all."

Thank you for our wonderful neighbors that graciously sent all my kids home with their own bag of goods from their yard sale telling them it was all free.

Thank you for Makensie who's heart and love for you and missions leads her to pray more mature and meaningful prayers than most adults I know. She is a woman after your own heart and gives me the chills to see and hear her when she prays.

Thank you for a husband who could sense I was on the verge of a little emotional breakdown and took the kids fishing last night...or was it that he wanted to go fishing and was scared the crazy woman would surface if he went without the kids...great I need to continue to work on my spousal skills.

Thank you that some of the lessons we are covering in devotions are sinking in. Thank you that I still have time to correct the ones that didn't sink in the way I had hoped. Like when Brian announced 1st thing in the morning "I feel like being a fool today."

Thank you for taxes to do as it means we are still in business and we live in a great country with the freedom to worship you.

Thank you that Wyatt is such a precious baby. Thank you that he loves to spin in a circle as fast as he can in his walker...this gives me as much joy as any earthly sight possibly could.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Clean up on Aisle 17

We are told to find the good in our circumstances and this is what I strive to do most times. Especially when we have a day like this past Saturday.

The ladies ministry at church was having a brunch that I had planned to go to. That's good.

Allen ended up having to work so I couldn't go. That may seem bad, but...

The job paid well. That's good.

Our pantry was really running low. That may seem bad, but...

I decided to run to Fayetteville to hit Sam's (with my one day pass), the day old bread store, and Aldi's and get the pantry fully loaded as Allen gave me more than expected for groceries this week. That's good.

However Allen said he didn't want me to go out of town. That may seem bad, but...

He was off by 1pm and I got to go to the library by myself and then as a family we went to the Fall Festival. That's good.

When we went back to the van, it wouldn't start. That may seem bad, but...

Allen was with us and he had his work truck so he ran home and got the suburban. That's good.

However the Suburban wouldn't start. That may seem bad, but...

He had a charger and got it going. That's good.

It was already 5:00 and we had to get groceries and the kids were hungry. That may seem bad, but...

We swung through Long John Silvers and made it to Fred's for double coupon Saturday. That's good.

But Makensie got sick and vomited before we made it to the bathroom. That may seem bad, but...

There was a really nice manager and he volunteered to clean it up. That's good. (Although I'm curious to know if he felt the same way, as he had a roll of paper towels to do the job...we didn't buy anything, and I plan to take him a gift card this week. No one should have to clean up someone else's kids vomit)

So Makensie was sick. That may seem bad, but...

I called Allen and he said he would meet me at home and take care of her so I could still go get groceries. That's good.

Pull in the drive and Allen wasn't home yet. That may seem bad, but...

He pulled in shortly after me with a brand new washer/dryer set for me from Lowe's. That's very good.

However, Allen had twisted his ankle and was limping pretty bad and here was this set on the trailer. That may seem bad, but...

He is one of the toughest guys I know (I'll post more on that some other time). He still moved my old set out and into the garage, the new set in and hooked up before I made it home later that night. That's good.

However, when they were unwrapped they weren't the ones I had been waiting 2 years for. That may seem bad (and trust me I felt like it was very bad), but....

I didn't say anything, just looked up some opinions and consumer reports online. I finally explained why I wasn't jumping up and down with excitement. I needed some time to mourn my dream of the ones I had my heart set on. That's good that I didn't throw a fit.

However, it has an agitator in the middle of the washer! That may seem bad, but...

I fit 2 of the kids comforters in the washer and 3 pillows in the dryer with room to boot. Plus is has a dozen options. "What would you like to wash?" I push "comforter,please" and it does the rest. That's good.

So back to the grocery run...I had a prescription that had to be picked up by 7 and needed to return the battery on the suburban to the auto shop by 8 and it is now 6:30. That may seem bad, but...

I got to WalMart's auto service, told the men I needed help, the situation with the battery and headed to the pharmacy just as they were turning off the lights. They still waited on me. That's good.

Go back to the auto service and they don't have the same battery. That may seem bad, but...

They have a newer better one and since I had my receipt from 2 years ago in the glove box and it had a 3 year warranty, they replaced it and paid me the difference as the new battery was slightly less. That's good.

So now it's just Gabby, Wyatt and me starting our shopping at 8:15pm. That may seem bad, but...

I was just thankful to have cash in hand to do some major pantry stocking and found several good deals one being a tote on sale for $3 as my library bag passed away earlier that day. We made it home and unloaded before midnight. That's good.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Ch Ch Ch Changes

I don't really get motivated to set New Years Eve goals, it is more this time of the year that causes me to really look at my life. This after all the like the beginning of a whole new year. We start school, our mom's group starts up again, our Sunday School class is starting a new study. Everything is new.



I started looking at the different areas of my life and where I felt I need to improve and realized that was every area. So I'm going to work on them by priority one at a time until I get in a habit or routine that I can uphold. I recently read on another blog that she too was honing skills in her life and was inspired that I'm not alone. The areas that I would like to study and improve are: My relationship with Christ, my marriage, my parenting skills, my homemaking skills, my ministry to others. And of course each of these areas are broke down into subcatagories. In my realtionship with Christ area, my goals are to be consistent in my morning power hour of devotions and prayer time.



I have been doing study on the area of prayer and it is quite timely as our moms group is studying the book, "Becoming the Woman of His Dreams, 7 qualities every man longs for." The first chapter is on prayer, praying for our husbands and praying with our husbands.



One of the verses is Matthew 18:19-20. "Where ever 2 or more come together in agreement, there I shall be also." This is one of the verses we hear time and again. Yet this time it had new meaning for me. We all need to have a friend and be a friend. We need to be praying for each other so that those days when one of us is down, we can lift each other up. I realized that Jesus was rarely alone. Praying protects us and cuts us aways from sin and just the opposite, sin cuts us away from praying.

So what about you ladies? Are there any areas that you are feeling convicted to improve on or currently studying and working on? What are some of your goals? Let me know so that we can be praying for each other as we strive to be better women, wives and moms

Friday, September 28, 2007

Good Gifts

(this is an old devotional I found when I was purging my computer files)

My heart ached with joy this morning. Brian had wanted a belt and needed a belt for some time now and it seemed that each time we went to the store I either couldn’t find the right size, or we would forget, or it wasn’t in the budget that week. Today we acquired this amazing tan belt that matchs his boots perfectly. The edges are scalloped and there are silver decoration all around the entire belt. It truly is the dream belt of every little cowboy. He carried it all through the store and as soon as we got home he helped me carry in all the groceries just so he could look through the bags to find his new belt. Several times after putting it on he came and told me thank you and sometimes just stood there hands on his hips, shirt tucked in with this big glassy eyed smile showing off his new belt. He asked to call daddy and tell him all about this wonderful new gift he received. As I was tearing up listening to him tell his daddy about this new belt, I was reminded of the scripture and God’s promises to us.

Matthew 7:11 “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him.”

Brian had disappointed me several times already that morning. The belt wasn’t the only request he had. There were cars, trucks, hot wheels, and donuts. I said no to many things, but not to the best and to the one I knew that would make a difference and fill one of his needs. Sometimes we forgot and get frustrated feeling our prayers are not being answer or maybe even heard.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know that plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.”

God looks down on our lives as if we were watching a parade from a helicopter. While we only see what is directly in front of us, He sees the entire show as one time. He knows our greatest needs and what gift will be of detriment to us even if the gift itself is good.

2ndly, The order of the scripture is ask and He will give. How many times do we take first and ask later? We are not take and ask for it to be blessed. God will always give his best when the choice and the timing is left to Him.

While most of our prayers often times are centered around material things or physical healing, which are not wrong. Let’s look at the prayers of Paul. He went beyond these things and asked God for the good things of the Holy Spirit, Christian character and conduct. These Good things know as the fruits of the Spirit. God cannot put things in our hands until He first prepares our hearts. He uses things as tools to build our Christian character. While it is good to rejoice at answered prayer our goal should be to rejoice that God could trust us with His answer whatever it may be. We should rejoice that God has brought us to the place spiritually where He can lovingly answer our prayers.

Lord, we thank You for the love of earthly fathers and mothers. Because of their love we can understand Your love better. Help us to remember that our unconditional love to our own children and our kindness will mirror you in their hearts. Lord, teach us to bring petitions that are pleasing to You, that in the answer to our prayers that You may be glorified. We thank You dear Father that You love us enough not to give us everything we ask for. Make us sensitive to Your guiding hand in our lives so that we may more faithfully respond to Your call.

Monday, September 24, 2007

For His Name's Sake

Psalms 106:1 Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."

I sit here typing in the warmth of my home, smelling the coffee brewing this early morning, waiting for the patter of little feet to come down the stairs. I am blessed to be sitting here a free woman rather than in prison, healthy rather than full of HIV, alive rather than dead and saved rather than lost.

Psalms 106:2 asks us the question "Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord or fully declare His praise?" This questions struck deep in my heart and yet it is so simple. Only those who have had mighty trials can proclaim His Might acts. While it is difficult at times to share my testimony, I hold fast to this verse.

Verse 8 tells us "He saved them for His Name's Sake, to make His Mighty power known." So if we do not sing of His praises how will anyone else know of His power? If we do not proclaim of His blessings how can His Name's Sake be glorified?

God didn't save the Israelites because they were thankful for His miracles; remembered His kindness, or were obedient. They were thoughtless, rebellious, ungrateful people that time after time turned their back on God and by their own admission "sinned, even as our fathers did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly". Yet, He saved them. Why? "For His Name's Sake".

The Israelites were in no small trial, they were being chased for their very lives by their enemies. And what was it the God did for them? Was it nothing short of breath taking? Miraculous? Verse 9 tells us, "He rebuked the Red Sea and led them through the depths just as He did through the desert. He saved them from the hand of the foe; from the hand of the enemy He redeemed them. (11) The waters covered their adversaries; NOT ONE of them survived. (12) Then they believed His promises and sang His praise."

While it is satan that brings adversity to destroy us, God allows that adversity to mature us and to have a reason to sing His praises when He brings us through it. We choose who will be our master and how we will go through that adversity. I am starting to see doors open as to how the challenges I have walked through were the shoes I needed to wear in order for God to use me where I am now.

Aren't we just like the Israelites sometimes? How quickly do we forget our last battle the God conquered? How often do we cry with worry? God will rebuke our enemies, He will save us, He will crush all our adversaries.

But it will be for His Name's Sake. When was the last time you proclaimed His mighty acts of victory in your life? I challenge you today, no matter what or how big the trial is that you are facing to ask Him what it is that He wants you to praise Him for and who He wants you to share your testimony with of His victory in your life.

So let us be women that Praise the Lord, give thanks to the Lord, proclaim the Mighty acts of the Lord, declare fully His deserved praise, give thanks for His miracles; remember His kindness and obey His commands.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Greed is so ugly

So yesterday morning we headed over to Springdale with plans to go by a free yard sale and then do some shopping at Aldi's and such. This yard sale was advertised on Free Cycle and the family was trying to do something good by blessing other people. We thought we would pick up a couple of things to help out Allen's brother who is having to start over and I thought I would get some more kitchen plastic containers. When we got there. I was shocked. I had told my kids on the way there they could pick out 2 things, maybe 3 depending on what they were and how many other people were there. After all, we didn't want to be greedy and be unfair to others. Plus we were only going to take something we could use not stuff just because it was free. We showed up at 9:05 and everything was picked over. People were grabbing as much as they could...boxes full and stacking up huge piles then letting there kids guard the mass. I did pick up a couple of O (Oprah's) magazines that were being completely ignored in what looked like the last box of items not taken. We never have extra money to get magazines and thought that it might be fun to look through. But then after someone told Gabby, "that's mine" after she picked up a toy out of a pile of hundreds that someone was hoarding, we just stood there and watched. It was as if we were watching looters or a village that had been starving a shipment of steaks. It was almost scary. And even worse was how sad it was. Nothing there was Food, Shelter or Clothing. This was all extra....stuff.

We got in the van and the kids all asked why they didn't get anything and why I said everyone should only take 2 things when everyone else was taking a whole bunch. I still cannot get the image out of my mind the way people were rushing around trying to get everything they could as if their lives depended on it. Had it been advertised for even 10cents an item, I doubt 1/2 the people would have showed up and out of them that did show up I'm sure they would have been a lot more picky what they were taking. In fact, I don't think I would have spent even 20 cents on the O magazines.

So what does this mean? Does this mean that the people who showed up were full of greed wanting something for free? Does this mean that all the people going crazy and hoarding really were in need or is it just the verse, "The LOVE of money is the root of all evil?" It seems when we have less God in our lives we seem to think that money and things will bring us protection. Did anyone else at that sale know God? Did anyone else even think it was selfish that they were grabbing all they could? The neighbor across the street was running back and forth picking up boxes and stacking them in front of his garage. Why? To use or to resale and make some money? And probably only $20 at that. $20! Does that justify an unwillingness to share when it was given to you?

I couldn't help but pray that we would have the opportunity this week to bless other families. And opportunities for my kids to bless other kids. We do not have extra, but what do we have that we can pass on to someone else? My house if full, cluttered, the kids toy boxes runneth over! Oh Lord, please safe guards our hearts. Remind us always that joy comes from you not things!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Breaking Bread

I friend of mine wrote a journal recently that I couldn't even try to paraphrase and get the some value from so here it is.

As I was reading Acts 2 I found the verses 42-47 intriguing. They met every day, they broke bread together, they gave to anyone as needed, all the believers came together praising God and enjoying all the favor of all the people (sharing the storehouse). And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

I wrote several months ago about witnessing. And this once again impressed on me that desire to welcome more to our Lord and Savior. How attractive would it be to the non Christian to see us as Christians, gathering for a BBQ each evening with grilled corn, rolls, no beer and laughing and enjoying our families together and talking about the blessings of the day and praising God. Then one of the wives mentions that they were short for groceries that week and everyone hands them happily just a couple of dollars to help them meet their need? One of the men mentions hurting his shoulder at work and everyone gathers around and claims healing in Christ's name. And he is healed. Wouldn't that be desireable for anyone to want to be a part of that group. I would be wondering how I could meet them, if they would welcome me and my family in, if we could be that happy.

Do we are friends and groups of Christians bring in other families that do not have Christ in their lives? I'm just as quilty. We have mostly other Christian couples as friends, but we do have a few that are not. When we are having our Christian friends over we don't usually invite the other couples because we don't want them to feel uncomfortable with them as the conversations usually turn that direction. But shouldn't that be the reason FOR inviting over our non Christian friends, so that they can see what the Family of God looks like, feels like?

Oh Lord, please continue to bless us so that we might be able to break bread with all our friends in a way that offers excitement about belonging to Your family. When we eat with others we relax and build special bonds, allow our home to be an open door of hospitality to those who may otherwise never know your grace. Amen

What?

Thought I'd share 2 of my recent conversations with Gabby. The 1st was when I was in the shower:

Gabby: How do you spell ing?
Me: What? Wing?
Gabby: No. Ing.
Me: Wean?
Gabby: NO. ING
Me: Winga?
Gabby: MOMMA! NO! ING!
Me: Gabby, I'm sorry I just don't understand, tell me what you are trying to write.
Gabby: I'm trying to write, I'm GOING. And I don't know how to spell ING!

This one took place as we were walking into the grocery store:

Gabby: Do you know what my favorite kinds of beer are?
Me: What?! Hopefully Root Beer. What does daddy give you guys when I'm not home? (smiling at the couple who just heard what I heard)
Gabby: What? (blank stare)
Me: What? What did you say?
Gabby: Do you know what my favorite kinds of beer are?
Me: Shhh. You're favorite kinds of beer?
Gabby: No. ear.
Me: Ear?
Gabby: NO
Me: Gabby I don't understand. Tell me what your favorite kinds of beer are.
Gabby: MOMMA. RRR. NOT BEER!
Me: SHHH. Ok, tell me what are your favorites.
Gabby: Halloween, 4th of July, Thanksgiving. THOSE are my favorite times of year.

I think I need my hearing checked.

Monday, September 17, 2007

What's Love Gotta Do With It?

As I sat rocking my precious little man this morning. I found myself singing along to this song on the radio. After I had already sang 1/2 the song, it dawned on me how strange it is that they would play that song on KLRC, our local Christian station. The radio usually just stays on that channel permanetly. Then I started thinking back and relized that Allen had changed to the channel on Saturday night to listen to the football game. Not that the song that Tina Turner was singing was one of the worst, but it wasn't what I really wanted to listen to.

I have been doing a lot of evaluating over the last couple of weeks since I started with the book study on Sherpherding a Child's Heart. Thinking about the areas of my life that I need to change and more importantly the why's of that need to change.

I had shared with a friend last week that it is so amazing how God is our judge, He knows what is best for us, and only He can convict us when we are ready for that conviction. It is hard in our marriage as I'm sure it is in all marriages, when the husband and wife are on two different areas of growth. The areas God convicts me of are then mine to hold responsible for my actions. And sometimes I think I need to drag Allen along with me or worse yet, be his judge and help teach him God's word. Sometimes I just have to look really close at myself and ask "am I doing what it is that God wants ME to do?" I feel like I'm just rambling here, sorry.

In the days when Jesus was alive the officials who wanted to have him killed, openly announced and pursued that cause. Today, we live in the land of political correctness and while it would be just outright "crazy" for someone to announce and pursue killing Christian's that is still Satan's goal. Our officials do this quietly with control of speech, our finances, laws. The devil himself is most devious and brings about ways to destroy our walk so that we fall away from true alignment with God and become T-Shirt wearing Christians.

Last night on the way to picking up my kids from Awana's a lady in a vehicle behind me was obviously annoyed that I wasn't breaking the law and speeding and that I slowed down for the huge dips in the road. Hitting her steering wheel with each time and showing great frustration. Guess what? This lady pulled in behind me to also pick up her child. I knew her, she didn't recognize my van. She didn't realize I saw her acting that way in the mirror. I did see her jump out of her vehicle and put on a smiling face, no longer in a rush. How many little things have I done in my life to show my distance from a walk that followed and pursued Christ to the fullest? How many "brothers/sisters" have I turned off in disgust from getting to know Him better because I declared MYSELF a Christian. I know we all make mistakes and are not perfect, but it is my own lack of self control and my own lack of choosing what isn't the best that makes me nausous today.

So what if Christ were standing in person beside me today? Would I have ate that cotton candy we brought home from the fair when I'm needing to lose weight? Would I have yelled at the kids for being rude to each other (wonder where they learned that from?!) ? Would I have watched that TV program, listened to that song on the radio, said that unkind comment to Allen this morning? I can feel and understand what Paul was saying and I can imagine him in the outhouse grumbling to himself with a sicking feeling in his stomach, when he moaned, "I know the things I ought not to do yet I do them anyway. I do the things I hate. I'm a constant wreck inside!" (Romans 7:14-24). Then if you feel you are struggling, read the rest of Chapters 7 & 8 there is great hope and victory avaible to us as we continue to pursue our relationship with Christ and replace our sinful natures with cries to the holy spirit who will intercede and fill us.

Thank you Lord for your mercy, your provision of the Spirit, your unmatchable love.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hanna Montana

(Giggle's)



So I'm sitting here waiting for 10am to roll around. 10am sharp! I'm logged into TicketMaster waiting anxiously. We are buying Hanna Montana....or at least going to try to buy them...for Makensie, my niece, sister and myself. I can hardly believe we are doing this. It will be a big surprise for the girls, we plan to make a day out of it. This whole process is new to me and I have been greatly educated this last couple of days on the how to's of buying a ticket. Did you know you had to live in the state of the concert to buy tickets for it? At least for this one you did. Did you know that when I originally looked at tickets they were selling for anywhere from $200-1200 dollars? What? I guess that was due to scalpers buying them up? Oh...about time...I'll be back!

Ahhhh...defeat...no tickets. Wow, that was crazy! The concert closest to us sold out what seemed immediately. After 25 mintues of checking for 4 tickets, 2 tickets, plaza seating, best available at any price seating, at Little Rock, Memphis, St. Louis, Denver...nothing. Everything was gone. This little girl is really popular right now. I'm disapointed that I won't get to give this fun memory to Makensie, however, the excited I felt to get away and have a day with her, has prompted me to find something else that she truely enjoys and make a day of it just one on one with her and then Gabby.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I have the Perfect Child

Last night after our devotions we started prayer time and we've been talking about the ACTS of prayer. Adoration (I love you Lord because...) Confession (I'm sorry Lord for...) Thankgiving (Thank you Lord for...) Supplication/stuff (Please Lord...((others 1st then, then selves)).

They are really catching on but still ask sometime which order they are in. Gabby was praying and then asked, "What comes next?" I told her, "I'm sorry Lord for..." She starting shaking her head and waiving me on. "What comes after that? I was perfect today."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hi, I'm Suzanne and I'm a AMCaholic.

What can I say? It's true. I usually look forward to my next fix. I watch the clock to get the kids fed so that by noon they will get to enjoy some outside playtime on the trampoline. And I can enjoy my little dark secret. I fix my lunch, grab my drink and once they are outside sneak into the front room. I find ways to justify it..."I'm eating lunch", "I'm just taking a little break", "I'm picking up the front room", "I'm clipping my coupons", "If it were a Prime time show, everyone would watch this". After all it really isn't my fault. My mom passed this disease onto me. Each day she would sew and the sewing machine was in the front room. As most of us with addictions, it isn't my fault, I place the blame on my mom. Often times my own kids have walked in on me to see their mom taking part in this. They even know the names of all some of them. I know I have a problem, but I'm not willing to give it up. If you took me for treatment I might go through the withdrawals, say everything they want to hear me to say and then take another hit the day I got home.

Wyatt fused during the night so I got up and made him a bottle then went in to get him and he was asleep again already. I decided to give him a couple of minutes to make sure he wasn't playing possum with me to just check back into my warm bed to have to get up again. So I checked my email. This was the email from a friend of mine. One of those friends that can be is on my list of intimating people with always a clean house and kids that mind:

"I just read that (101 things about me) on your blog. That was quite funny... so many things I never knew... that would explain why Gabby once told me a story that began with, "I was watching 'All My Children' and ....."

I knew I should have taken that off my list! I tossed and turned thinking how I could explain myself.

I don't get to watch All My Children everyday, although I would. I usually don't watch the entire 1 hour show which actually consists of about 30 minutes of advertising. I have been able to wean myself down to watching the 1st half and calling it good. I no longer schedule errands to make sure I'm home by noon. I also have stopped calling Allen to update him on Kendall, Josh or Ryan, after he got a little mad when I called him upset because Greenley left town. I still do get excited when I see one of my longtime friends, (yes I feel a special bond to these folks after all we have a lot in common...wealth, nannies, glamour, parties, the list goes on), on other shows. In fact, I'm sure I will be catching some of the Dancing with the Stars this season as Ryan (Cameron Mathison) will be one of the dancers, even though I previously thought the show was...well, just was not for me.

I looked up the stinkin 12 Steps to see if I could or was ready to move into a recovery phase:

The Twelve Steps
1. Admit we are powerless over All My Children—that our lives had become unmanageable. (I don't know about unmanageable, that's a little strong don't you think?!)

2. Come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. (Check)

3. Make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him. (Check)

4. Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. (I'm not feeling very comfortable with the way this is heading.

5. Admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. (This is a lengthy process)

6. We're entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. (I think that of all my defects, that there are some quite a bit more sever that I'll need to specifically focus on before I get to this addiction)

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. (I do daily. However, He said that He made me the way I am and loves me for who I am and if it wasn't for Allen pointing out some of them, I'd think I'm pretty great. j/k)

8. Make a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. (So far I don't think I've harmed anyone by watching, but if I have let me know and I'll apologize).

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. (Well, yeah that makes good sense)

10 Continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. (note taken)

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His Will for us and the power to carry that out. (once again, this one is hitting a little too close for comfort and I'm just going to have to pretend now that I didn't read it, then be mad later when I try to watch my show that I'm feeling convicted!)

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to AMCoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. (And failed)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Dreaded Honey-Do list

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has a honey do list for my honey. Although most of them turn into honey-don'ts. Poor Allen works so much that I'm sure against his better judgement, he broke down and got me my own cordless screwdriver/drill and drill bits, pliers, hammer...everything except a toolbox.

I cried at 1st when he was giving it to me. Mainly for selfish reasons. I looked up at him as a little child looks at her daddy and asked, "Does this mean you aren't going to help me and take care of me any more?" He said no of course that wasn't his intention, just trying to give me some freedom to accomplish some of those little things that have been on the list for a while that he knew I could do. I did feel very empowered to hang up some shelves, until I decided I also need a level, and some spackling and some more paint touching up.

I have to protect my thoughts a lot in this area on the days that he needs some rest, or just wants a day off. I think of that 4 page list of things I would like done around here, some of them that have been on there for 3 years now. Some of them things that I just don't know how to do and frankly get a little on my soap box thinking, "I'm already busy. I have 4 kids, homeschool, do his bookwork, keep house (not well admittedly), and rarely have time for myself. Why can't I just sit down at 6:30pm and watch TV the rest of the night? Why can't I sleep in til 10 am some mornings? Why do I have to feel guilty if I take some computer time? Or at least have a day off from having to be the one to get everyone ready for church?"

So I'm gradually learning and patiently waiting for such things as the child's red, green and blue ceiling fan to be taken down out of the kitchen and put up the new white fan. Waiting for the broken glass to be fixed in the window of Wyatt's room (yes we do own a glass shop). Waiting for the front door to be fixed which hasn't open in almost 2 years now. although it can convenient when the salesman and Jehovah Witnesses stop by as you yell through the door, "This door doesn't open!" Waiting for a new mirror to be cut for Makensie's vanity (did I mention we own a glass shop?). Waiting for the extra trampoline frame to be taken apart and done something with. Waiting for the garage to be cleaned out so that I can get to my deep freeze without climbing up and over things like the extra 2 toilets that need to replace the ones in the house, the broken fan that someone "just needs a little work", the 3 extra desks that "just need a new leg", the streetlight that always makes me ask "WHY?!". Waiting for the barbie house that "can be made better and cheaper than that" to get made. Waiting for the chandelier to be hung in the dining room. Waiting for the screen door to be put back on the side door.

Now I know that sex works wonders towards having more leverage in pleading for those tasks to be done, but I'm a tired woman and I don't know if I have what it takes to get these and all the many others left on the list completed. I am seriously thinking I need my own wife.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Homemade Baby Wipes

Well Amy since you asked...

I have made my own baby wipes and baby food for each of my kiddos and my kids have only had 1 or 2 diaper rashes ever.

I use Bounty towels that have the smaller towels perforated. Cut in half lengthwise so that you have 2 rolls that are 1/2 as tall. Pull out the cardboard center. Place one of your rolls in a plastic container, Rubbermaid had one that fit perfectly. Mix: 2 cups warm water, 1 TB baby wash, 1 TB baby oil then pour evenly over the tops of the towels. Pull up the inside one first and there you have it. Make sure to keep the lid on as they dry out quickly...however they can just be rewet. It's kinda bulky so I still have a small container in my purse to carry the store bought ones when I'm out and about. I have no idea how much money this has saved.

Baby Food - I love the book, Super Baby Food. It breaks down month by month how much to feed your baby and which foods to introduce that month etc. The first few months the foods need to be cooked or easily mashable, mix with some water or formula if needed to get to the right consistency. I use my hand blender for shakes. Pour into ice cube trays, pop out when frozen and put in freezer bags. When feeding defrost a couple of cubes, mix and match flavors and it is easy. I just did avacados. Bought a large one for $1.29 mix it up with nothing added and it filled 2 ice cube trays.

These are a few of my favorite things.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Slacker me

Since I started blogging my actual journaling has been put on the back burner. I used to write in one of my journals daily. I have one for each of the kids, Allen and myself (one good and one that should just be thrown away if I die!) So I pulled out Allen's to write to him last night and discovered it had been almost a year! What?! How did that happen? I have been printing off some of my blog entries, but not all of them, so I think I'll have to make sure to do that and put them in with the appropriate journals. I also have a dream of building homemaking journals for each of my girls in the form of a scrapbook with everything from our daily schedule, our favorite recipes, how I do our laundry, our chores and how we do them, crafts they are learning, picture of them cooking and baking, how to make baby food and baby wipes...all that stuff that I do as a mom. I think life will be completely different for them by the time the are moms themselves and will be great fun for them to look back and remember and laugh.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Heartache in Hillbilly Hell

This post is a little bit of ranting and a little bit of me being completely baffled!


I don't even know where to start other than to say that Allen's dad is the hillbilly I'm referring to. I lost all patience with this man long ago and after this weekend Allen seems to have lost all hope.

I know the verses of love your neighbor as yourself, I know Jesus was a friend to the sinners and I know we are to honor and love our parents. However, what is new to me...or at least since I met Allen, is alcoholism. Allen's dad is an alcoholic. He is up to consuming a case and a half of beer a day. And in the past 2 months all the trouble and soap opera drama he normally caused once a month is now almost on a nightly basis. He is becoming more violent and acts just like a child. We went over to his birthday...an hour away for supper...not because he was Allen's dad and we wanted to spend the evening with him...but because if we didn't, he would whine around, feel sorry for himself and bring it up that we didn't come over for the next 6 months and quite possibly throw a fit and break out some more windows or kick in a door making life more miserable than it already is for Allen's mom.


We've asked Allen's mom to move in with us, however she fears this would make the situation worse and put us in harms way. I guess there are more kids that have to deal with this than what I can even imagine. I have heard this is an actual disease...I don't know how I feel about that either. How can a parent put his kids in a situation that daily they wonder if he made it through the night after all the threats, or even worse, if he did decide to end it all that he would take their mom down with him?!


I have sat and cried with his mom...only briefly...because it was extremely hard for her to even open up. I always try to hug her when I go over, and after all these years it is still awkward, but I'm bound determined to love on her. What kind of life has he stolen from his family? He has a wife that he hasn't taken out on a date for decades because HE doesn't like to, he likes her cookin. He has boys that don't want to come around for fear of how he'll act, grandkids that don't' want to stay the night at their house. Allen's mom has said that the only thing she has for herself is that house and land and if she leaves, she'll have nothing. How sad is that for a reason your wife stays around. This is a dad that wants us to leave 1/2 of our deer if we use his shop to clean it. So what does Allen do? Instead of going to his dad's to share the excitement of the hunt, he heads on home and the kids and I have learned how to clean a deer. This is a dad that if we borrow his trailer he expects new tires on it when it comes home. This is only a tip of the iceberg. I mean crazy things that I wouldn't expect of friends, let alone from a father. He has wasted his adult life as a father and husband living only for himself. His wife is the one who tends the garden, mows the yard, yanks the toilet out and replaces the floor, changes the brakes on the car...everything... so he can tinker in his shop, get drunk and smoke cigars all night.

There are times I think Allen is too harsh on the kids, however in his mind and what he has known all his life, he's doing great. And he truly is. To look at Allen and his brothers, I just can't help but to wonder how they have turned out as well as they have. He has only raised his voice to me a couple of times and I deserved it. He always takes care of me and I feel so safe with him. He is fun and outgoing, I have never seen him drunk, he holds his tongue and never says anything intentionally to hurt me, he thinks I'm the most beautiful woman he knows.

I can certainly understand why their mom shuts down and doesn't build friendships with other ladies, why she has no hobbies for herself, why she doesn't dress very feminine. It has to be easier to shut down than to live feeling that pain daily. The pain of a husband that opening makes fun of your weight, your lack of beauty, hangs huge posters of swimsuit models in the garage like he's 17 and such a winner he'd actually have a chance with one of them. I'm thinking he's drank so much that Viagra wouldn't help him at this point.

I'm just completely lost as to what to do or what to say. What to do or say for Allen, for his mom. Is there anything that you can say? Will the damage that has been done ever be repaired? Mr. Hillbilly, doesn't want us talkin bout religion at his house. He yanked the phone out of the wall when Allen called to check on his mom. Allen went over and put in new shower doors for him at no cost this last week...even though his dad does the same line of work as Allen and could have done it himself. The deal was that if Allen put them in, his dad would help him move his shop this weekend. So the weekend came and went and no dad showed up. He didn't want to spend the gas money to come over, he wanted to save it for a hunting trip this fall. So since Allen didn't have enough manpower when they were trying to move some of the glass racks, one collapsed. Thankfully no one was hurt physically and it only cost about $500 to fix. The emotional damage that once again was released on Allen got me a little feisty.

So this is me venting. I think it best for me to avoid daddy dearest for awhile out of fear I might jump on his back and start a full fledged wrestlin match. Ok, so maybe not, but I really like to indulge in that vision. I know that all things happen for the good of those who call on His name. Jer 29:11. This is my life verse. I know that God has a plan for Allen, for Allen's mom, for Mr. Hillbilly himself. It's just right now we can't see how this is benefiting anyone and my wifely claws have came out. After all, it's ok for me to harass my honey, but someone else, especially someone who is suppose to be on the same side...watch out. whakaa.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Just Silly Random Sayings

In my earlier days when I worked at a night club, I had a pin on advertising "Tequilla Rose" liquor. Some guy says, "Tequilla Rose. I like your name." I decided right then that if I ever ended up needing a porn star name (let's pray not) that this will be my name.


While eating outside at Braums in the picnic area. I glanced over to see Gabby was on top of the table dancing like some girl on Soul Train...when did she see that?! and Makensie was taking pictures with her camera. Let's pray also that none of my children ever need a tag name.


Conversation with Gabby over last set of shots:
her: Why do I have to have them?
me: to keep you from getting really sick and die or end up paralyzed.
her: What is paralyzed?
Me: when you can’t walk ever again and have to be in a wheel chair.
her: (silent thinking)
me: (silent pat on the back for the ultimate scare method approach)
her: ok, but will you push me in the wheel chair?


Brian didn't want to eat supper the other night because he thought it was "yucky". Allen tells him, "Son, I'm sorry, I have to eat yucky things all the time."


Makensie tells me last night, "mom, even though there are better moms out there, you're the best mom for me." Ahhh thanks...wait...thanks, I think?


Brian asked me, "What will happen if I escape from Jail?" Why? What do you have planned for today my precious son?


Wyatt was sleeping peacefully in the swing for a nap, however his head was slumped over to the side. I started towards him and Brian came up and says, "ooooh" in the sweetest little concerned brother voice and walked towards the swing. I decided to let Brian set Wyatt's head up because I thought that was his intention. However, Brian walks up and then screams, "RRRRRRaaahh" as loud as any 4 year old can, then starts hysterically laughing at how much Wyatt jumped. Now I'm understanding the jail question.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Faith like a child

As I sat watching the kids chasing each other up and down the play land at Chick Fil A, a sense of complete peace and happiness washed over me. They were portraying the very verse faith like a child. They were not nervous how we would get home, they were not concerned over the cost of fixing the van, they did not even seem bothered that the babies bottle was empty and all our formula was at home! They had complete confidence in me to take care of them and solve those burdens that we on the plate for the night. They asked me, "How are we going to get home?" I told them not to worry, I'll work it out. And what did they do? Not worry. Now while I wish they listened and obeyed every time like this, tonight was when I needed to see it.

I sat and praised God quietly for whatever He was protecting us from or opening the doors to. There are many times we may never know WHY God is allowing the trials to come. But it is only our responsibility to know GOD. And if we truly believe Jer 29:11 than we know that all things work together for good for those who call on His name. I hope that I someday get to see the night unfold. I wonder, would we have came across the path of a deer or drunk driver and wrecked on the way home? Or was it for the purpose of getting to know the ladies I met in the play area?

God did take care of all the details. Billy lived close by and was there quickly. He has an extended cab truck and somehow fit 4 car seats plus me in with him. Wyatt never fused for more bottle and slept all the way home. Thursday morning Allen went over to haul the van home and it started the 1st try and has been running fine ever since. The suburban also started the first time this morning. God is good and God is faithful.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Funny is in the eye of the beholder

So yesterday I got a comment from a fellow mom in the form of a poem that started:
Suzanne is amazing
A woman of grace.

I laughed a little outloud as I was reading it, thinking it was funny that she answered in poem form.

Along gave Makensie and asked what I had laughed at. As I read the 1st 2 lines of the poem to her, she too laughed, then spouts off "Yeah, that is funny." Although, I don't think I'm that great and usually humored when others do, I was was still enjoying those warm fuzzies from the complement I had received.

I looked at my precious child and had to laugh at her innocent comment, which made her laugh even more saying, "it's SO funny that she thinks you're a good mom."

OK ENOUGH

Once again proof that my children do not care about my self esteem.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Once Upon A Time

One upon a time, there were 4 little kids with a tired mom by day,
She heard of a special night at Chick Fil-A.
The night was for little princesses to celebrate,
A limo ride, tiara, and manicure after free they did ate.

Mom spent the afternoon helping the girls do costumes and hair
Then along came sad little brother asking, “What can I wear?”
So on goes the Spiderman outfit for him,
Topped with his cowboy boots, he fit right in.

Out to the van they were stopped and frustrated
As the tire was flat and needed inflated.
They drove to nearest Wal-Mart for help
The young man said, “30 minutes, yep.”

So in the waiting room mom sat with them all
But hunger quickly set in as the moods did fall.
Off through the store to buy crackers and pop,
Then back to wait for the rest of their stop.

Then the pop did pass and they all had to pee,
So off to the bathroom they headed with glee.
Then back to their cell as an hour had passed,
With mom getting nervous to leave and fast.

Finally their name was called to pick up the van,
But one little princess had to potty again.
Oh the looks that did fall upon the children for their dress,
Thinking mother had lost it, she must me a mess.

So 2 hours after they checked in the shop
They were back in the van and burnin blacktop.
The 30 minute ride was worth the time,
Til they pulled in to see about 100 princesses’ in line.

They quickly got their food and sat to eat,
And mom was so happy as she felt rather beat.
The line for the tiara’s was long and limo line longer,
So off to the playground the kids did sunder.

Mom enjoyed chatting with the other moms,
Then one little boy came in crying, but mom remained calm.
Til she heard him say, “that boy in the Spiderman outfit hit me”
Mom looked over her shoulder to see her son, the bully.

Before mom could finish apologizing and put baby down,
In walked another mom with a great big frown.
She bellowed out in really loud voice,
“Who has the little boy in Spiderman outfit?!” mom did not rejoice.

“He’s causing some trouble out here, big trouble.”
So outside did mom head, her footsteps did double.
100’s of eyes did watch when she crossed through the door,
And took him inside to give him the whatfore.

The line had cleared out so they decided to make the tiaras,
However as they entered that room the last one was given to a little girl named Sierra.
The princess sat and did some art work,
Mom reminding them to hurry, so in the limo line they could lurk.

Finally finished, to the limo line they head,
But a familiar face of a friend “they are done for the day” said.
Once again saddened
Mother a little maddened.

Off to the van to head on home,
2 whining kids asking for ice cream cones.
Child number 3 with a grateful heart,
Told mother thank you for all her days part.

The other two children throwing a fit,
Got in a fight and then Spiderman bit.
Mom got to the van with 3 little kids and a baby in tow,
She realized she didn’t have her bag so back in the store they go.

Leaving again with the kids still crying for dessert,
Moms disappointment in them and herself really hurt.
All buckled in now at 8 O’clock,
However the van wouldn’t start, it seemed to mock.

Sitting in silence and wondering why,
Mom had the call her most important guy.
Mom wanted to give up and cry,
But she took a deep breath and went inside.

Out to the playground they all did go,
Mom stopped for water and the manager was a real nice Joe.
Dad didn’t come but sent Billy his brother instead,
Dad thought mom just ran out of gas, mom thought dad was dead.

Another sweet mom offered a ride
But could only get 2 of the crew inside.
Mrs Dawdy kindly waited around with her girls
With a tired one herself that had lost her curls.

Billy put in more gas and nothing changed,
He worked and worked and called out some names.
At 10 O Clock, Chick Fil A, turned off their lights,
The family then headed to the van in the dimly lit night.

Dad called again to say their spare car,
Wasn’t starting either and he was still far.
Billy managed to get all 5 of them in his truck
And drove them all home, he’s a real great buck.

So today sits the van in lone parking space,
Mom still tired and praying for grace.
No vehicle in which to go
Mom thinking that’s fine, I’m feeling quite low.

Today is new day,
The failures of yesterday dismay.
They will keep this mom humble
The next time she sees another child stumble.

Today they pray there will be training and laughter
and someday report, they lived happily ever after.

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