Monday, June 30, 2008

Lately I have been a little discouraged in my surroundings and "earthlyness" that I have faced. Many of you know that I am a pretty tough critic of myself and so I really take to heart when things seem to not be going as I think they should and worry that they are not most glorifying. So it is time for a transformation.

Gabby commented to me how she used to be just a caccoon and now that she is 7, she has turned into a beautiful butterfly. If only transformation was that easy. When I was young, I found major transformation in going away to church camp for a week. Now that I'm older I don't know that a week will cut it. But each summer I been blessed by getting to get away from life as I know it here and get a 2-6 week transformation time at my folks. Time to think about what influences in my life that do not benfit me, choices that will not glorify Him, areas that I need to continue to work on. We go so the kids can take swimming lessons and do some summer activities and spend time with grandma and grandpa and their cousins and aunts and uncles.

This part of summer is like my New Year. A time that I can get away from the daily tasks that I get sucked into without really needing to be part of my life.

So tomorrow, July 1st, starts this years, 40 days of Transformation. I have my Bible, pen, notebooks, prayer topics and a couple of study references. I need to focus on what is it that God says is right and true and find His direction for my life and my children. I feel that sometimes in the Christian community that with all the great books, wonderful radio teachings and speakers...that there is wealth of knowledge. I place the bar at a heighth, but then I hear more that I should be doing, or that another mom does, and then I rasie that bar on myself. Then I read something that I am suppose to do, the bar raising again. It's not wrong to take in knowledge, and continuely mature as adults and Christians. But all books, all radio teachers are all human. I might hear a program and then feel more of a failure because that is an area I'm not thriving in. But we all come from different backgrounds, different marriages, different points in our spiritual walk. It isn't up to me, it isn't up to the latest trend or pressure, it isn't up to the our friends to determine the area that we need to grow. Only God can give us that divinely led path and perfect direction. Only He knows what is best. And that is who I'm going to be studying with.

I don't know that this year we will be able to stay away for such a long time with some recent events, but I do plan to do some concentrated focusing on my areas of weakness.
As I was studying this morning in Psalms, I read, "Save me, O God, by Your name; vindicate me by Your might." I have not been standing firmly at my door to fight off the enemy, but have been weak and tired and listened to his lies. I have not planted myself firmly on the name of Jesus that by His name he will save me, save me from the habits I can't seem to break, save me from an earth that is bent to sin, that He will vindicate me in the eyes of those who feel free to judge, that He will vindicate us from what satan steals. There is power in His Name. And it has been a while since I have courageously stood with that power in hand. He is stronger than any enemy, bigger than any problem, healer of any ailment, light against any fear.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Camp Out

For Gabby's birthday party we did a camp theme.
Plan:
Invite 6 girls, with Makensie and Gabby = 8
6:00pm arrival and settle in the tents
6:30pm roast hot dogs and have chips and watermelon, grape pop, water or bug juice
7:00pm decorate Tshirts
7:30pm Games
8:00pm Songs around the campfire
8:30pm dirt cups and open gifts
9:00pm pick up time for girls not staying all night (I'm guess most little girls will want to go home)
9:30pm flashlight tag
10:00pm pj's & potty
10:30pm story time and drift off to sleep

Actual events:
I got excited and ended up inviting 14 girls
13 came
12 planned to stay all night
7:30pm all going as planned, played "poor kitty", drip drip splash
8:00pm all girls are wet and want to put on PJ's
8:30pm pudding and gifts
9:00pm pickup for the 1 child
9:30pm flashlight tag (have to say that the reaction to finding the pig in the dark, that some didn't know we had was quite funny)
9:45pm Girl #2 wants to go home
10:30pm girls are hungry and need popcorn and water.
11:00pm Girl #3 requests to go home.
At this point I'm thinking that we could possibly get a call from any one of the neighbors within a 6 block area requesting the screaming to stop.
So we start a round on Alleluias
Oldest reads a story she has written and we say prayers
11:30pm giggling and concern about any possibility of a storm. I assure them, "we MIGHT get a little sprinkle, but I'm right here and IF we get a storm, which is not likely, we'll go inside."
12:00am finally everyone is in and settled and starting to quiet
12:02am out of no where, lighting strikes brightly and thunder shakes the ground.
12:02:02am Is it called screaming or shrilling? 8 little girls spilling out of the tents, dragging their sleeping bags, pillows, stuffed animals, flashlights, looking for shoes, running in all directions like little ants that have had their line disrupted. (2 little ones were completely obvious and in a deep sleep through all of this.)
12:03am The hero Allen came running out to the rescue.
12:03:02am Gagging and "oh gross!" from the peanut gallery because Allen didn't have a shirt on, only his shorts.
12:05am Allen is carrying in a little one that was still asleep as we carrel the girls upstairs trying to keep them to a whisper level to not wake the baby.
12:30am mattresses moved, sleeping arrangements picked, girls laying down
12:45am Allen makes a trip up to shhh the giggles with their 2nd wind.
1:00am Allen makes a trip up to shhh the wrestling
1:15am Allen makes a trip up to bring the ring leaders down (Makensie and Gabby) to separate so all the girls will calm down.
1:20am the girls head back up with friends
1:22am let the good times roll!
1:45am I head upstairs and tuck them in, let them know I would be rocking in the playroom that they needed to shut it down for the night so that they can all go home a little rested so they can come back.
1:48am snoring.....
8:00am First patter of little feet making tracks to the bathroom and then down the steps.
8:30am have Wyatt changed and 2 Excedrin migraines and a coffee in my body. All the girls are up and packing up. Start making pancakes.
9:30am all kiddos are fed
11:30am all kiddos are picked up (except for this little straggler of a boy from across the street). It's a rent house and a new tenant that lost their home last month due to a fallen tree during the night of the bad storm. He's same age as Gabby and has been here for close to 6 hours now.
We had so much fun. What an amazing group of young ladies.
Unto the least of these. Lord open our home and make your presence known.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Man's Idea Of Gentle Is Not the Same As Ours

Monday night was a late night, only 2 kidder, trip to WM. And while I was gone Allen decided he would finally fix the ice maker on the frig. Great! Really GREAT!

About 3 months ago morning greeted us to water all over the kitchen floor. Allen tried to shut off the valve to the water line that T's to the refrigerator, however it was stuck and he didn't want to break it so he turned off the cold water to the sink. What was suppose to be just for a couple of days, til someone came and looked at it, only if and after he was 100% sure he didn't know how to fix it, which would definitely be that weekend....

So one weekend...12 weekends....it went by so fast it was all a blur. We all became accustomed to having only hot water in the kitchen, which by the way is not a great savings on gas. Every-night I would make tea, juice, fill the water pitcher, make ice so that by morning time it would be cooled off from having to fill them with hot water. It would have been a lot easier to do it with a smile on my face even at week 10 if the frig had even been pretended to have been looked at. But no, each day, "Frig, has someone came and looked at you today?" And she would just stand there looking ashamed. (have I mentioned that I won this beautiful frig from Harps?)

So Monday night was the magical night. The girls and I arrived home to find hubby proudly beaming that he had fixed the frig. I asked what was the problem. He says, "I don't know, I just turned the water back on it isn't leaking." hmmm. So I tried the ice...good. Tried the water....and worked great, of course it is also now flowing across the floor and Wyatt is slapping in the new found puddle. And now he's laying on the floor trying to lick it up. Wonderful. Hubby looks under the frig and it is leaking from where the filter is. Pulled the filter out and put a new one in and it was fixed. A simple 5 minute solution. I'm just thinking out loud here, but didn't I mention that it was time to change the filter in January and some voice in the house said they would take care of it since they contract with Lowe's so they are in there quite a bit, that they'll just pick one up? And I'm just slightly recalling that same conversation in Feb as well, maybe even March? Poosh. What does that matter. The frig is now fixed.

But I can't help but wonder what happened to my kitchen. And where is everything that was in the frig and freezer? Well before hubby looked at the frig he thought it best to empty the entire frig and freezer so that he could get a better look. And since it was empty he cleaned it out, top to bottom, took out the glass shelving even, sparkling cleaned it. Yeah Allen! That was the redeeming moment. Now all the food is in the outside frig, never-mind that it is pretty much just piled in there and I pity the fool that opens the door without being prepare to catch it all tumbling out. Guess what I'm doing today?

The food situation was not nearly as concerning as to what was all over the kitchen, the counters, the floor, gross, dust, we are talking dust bunnies that had mutated. "Where is all this from?" I asked. He tells me, "I thought I would clean under the frig and couldn't find the long brush you use so I used the air compressed and blew it out." Blew it out? Am I the only one that would have thought that might not be a great idea? But at least he was able to use his power tools. And obviously he couldn't find the broom or the washrag either. But I now have filtered water in the frig and the ice maker is up and running and have cold water in the kitchen and we turned on the air conditioner last night. All is good.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Psalms 53

I need your help in raising awareness and funds.

I'm on a mission to prove that Santa Claus does not exist. I know that some kids out there think he does, and that is just silly. Why do they hold onto these pipe dreams? Don't they realize how insane they are? Them believing there is a Santa Claus, holding onto this hope, having fun thinking about him, wishing for special gifts and waiting to hear him return and come down the chimney is absurd. They are wasting their time and it affects me greatly. Their false sense of hope, love and joy? It is not healthy. Has anyone ever seen Santa Claus? I know they say a man really did live one time long ago that was a blessing to many, but that was just nice stories and he was nothing special. There is no such thing as a Santa Claus.

This is exactly why I must spend my time and energy from here on out trying to convey to the free world that there is no such thing. What kind of affect will this crazy belief of some have on my life it I just let them go on believing in something that doesn't exist? Of course some say they believe in him, but there life doesn't reflect the giving, joyful spirit that Santa Claus represents, so are those who proclaim to believe but do not live like they believe any different than me? No. They must be on my side too. At least I'm being honest. If I deny he exists, than that also frees me have ever having to get all merry and jiggly like a bowl full of jelly. Plus, what if I try to accept that he is real? What if I let this happy fat little fellow touch my heart and then I start spreading the cheer and have joy and live my entire life dedicated to trying to change others hearts to be merry and then it turns out it was all a lie when I die? I'll be a fool and will have wasted my whole life being cheerful and spreading kind words about a person that didn't even exist. Never mind that I'll be dead so what others think of me at that point really isn't relevant.

Why do I labor to disprove that something doesn't exist? Because I'm going to spend more time disproving this person than some of you spend trying to prove he does.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Faith and Focus

This was a little quote from our Summer in Psalms bible study. I was so excited to do devotions this week. I wrote in my private journal that you'll all see when I die, that I was elated to get to spend some quality time with my closest dear friend. I had missed that time of really talking, listening, uninterrupted time. My friend of Christ. The help-meet Bible/book study is complete. Can I get an amen? While I am thankful that I was able to be part of it and know there was a need and some 94 ladies joined, I felt a very heavy weight and attack from the enemy on Allen and I during this time. Of course anytime you are in a role of leadership or teaching I think this is when you are top on the list for attack. After-all, we're more of a threat when we are doing something.

During this time of the book study, I spent most of my personal devotional time praying and researching the scriptures and studying the book to make sure to present the opinions the best I could based on accurate biblical references. I'm just a mom not a fancy JBU grad. I look forward again to rising early to follow the prompting of my heart and follow where He leads and listen to his sweet breeze of direction.

So now I'm laying down in green pastures to rest from the battle that has pursued me and exhausted me. While this place is a quiet serene beautiful place it is just as dangerous to stay at rest for too long. I was graciously asked to speak for our fall home-school retreat on encouragement. Or maybe they had asked everyone else they could think of. lol. Do I really have anything to offer the ladies more than someone else does? No, so just praying for wisdom and direction as to whether it will be me to share God's word of encouragement to these ladies.

Recently doubting my skills as a mother I felt myself running from anything that might put me at risk again of being struck by the lightening. I was so thankful for a night out in the company of a godly counsel this week to be reminded that our children are full of sin and failures just the same and that bad choices from my kids to not mean I have failure the overall war of parenting. Just continuing to learn and grow from each battle. Each day is a new fork in the road. All we can do it take what we've learned from our successes and failures and grow a little each day. God blessed us with these specific 4 children and knew that I was the best parent for them. I may not be the best parent ever, but the best one for them. I'm thankful that Brian has so much energy and so day that will be one of his greatest assets, I just pray for wisdom in directing him to keep his focus on Christ and His characteristics. Makensie has a heart for hospitality and Gabby is just likable and a leader. Lord help me daily to fine tune and keep direction going towards you and not to knee jerk and overcompensate for failures that will in turn hurt everyone's spirit. It is a long journey not a sprint. Give me balance and strength and wisdom to raise up your blessings.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

hmmm....blank

I didn't know what to title this:
Sometimes you have to laugh so you don't cry
- or -
A child left to himself disgraces his mother -
- or -
No body wants buddy!
- or -
"Guess what Brian's doing now?"

So today has just been one of those days with Brian. He is just...a boy?... He instantly started in by stirring up strife with the sisters...he loves to hear them scream. He was then assigned to stay by my side, with in sight. Then during chore time his buddy for the day was Gabby. Being buddy to Brian is a rather exhausting job. Gabby was mad several times for him not doing as she told him and then she comes, "Guess what Brian's doing?" He was pinching her bottom when she would bend over to make the bed.

As exhausting as it is for everyone else, Brian was the one to fall asleep during school time.

When we were all tired of keeping a hawks eye on the little man and he wanted one more chance, I was weak and let him go upstairs by himself...with the only task to bring me his dirty laundry. I hear a loud clunking sound... followed by, "Guess what Brian's doing?!" He was sticking pieces of his train track into the window fan. I shut my eyes and count to 3 before summoning him.

He dropped the entire yogurt container that was just opened (I have 4 kids I'm not talking about the little 4 oz servings, this was a family size container) on my floor, I cleaned it up and committed to mop during outside play time.

This afternoon during outside playtime, all was well, they were playing in our new massive sand pit where there used to be a pool, building castles, motes, volcanos. I wanted to mop while they were entertained, however found my mop bucket was full of wet sand.

Then I hear..."Guess what Brian's doing?" He was spray painting daddy's boat. Good news...it was at least with the clear coat spray paint that I use to set the chalk art.

Inside for more closely watched supervision.

Outside for less closely hearing of the sibling rivalry.

Here comes Gabby again..."Guess what Brian just did?" He had peed in his mote to make sure no Barbie's crossed over to his castle. Peeing outside...I'm fine with it. Peeing outside when we live in town with no fence and about 100 people walking through our yard today measuring for the fence and the grand opening and training for the new Boys and Girls Club...I'm NOT fine with!

Lord give me patience or give me Prozac!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Copycat






I saw this card earlier today and just loved it.










This is my new journal (have I mentioned my obsession for paper and journals?)





So great pattern + cute journal =





Quotes of the Week

Makensie: Can I join the stamp club when I have boobs?

Gabby to Brian: You can't shoot me when you just married me! (Allen asked what the appropriate waiting time would be)

Brian to a mentor of mine: Oh I see why we can't go in your house, it's because it's so messy.

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