Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fun, Friends, and new Family Pics!

Recently we have had some wonderful visits with friends and thought we would show you all some of those pics. It is fun to have the little ole' house on Haywood packed to the max with everyone laughing and enjoying eachother and the smell of pumpkin chip cookies.

Our sweet friends Jeff and Traci

Jeff and Traci and their cute kiddos, Mackenzie and Elliot

Anna hangin' out waiting to feed the fish!

The kiddos posin so cute.....

Love these boys of ours.....

Jeff snapped a sweet pic of us...thanks Jeff!

and another sweet pic of Traci and I!

This is how we found Jeff after he was nice enough to
let Traci and I slip out for a shopping spree!!

My adorably sweet friend Tam whom I would do anything in the world for!

Yep. We sure are cute.

The gang! Mrs. T, Tam, Me and Mary E! (You don't
mind if I call you you Mary?? :)

So thankful for friends!!! Love 'em all!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Corinthians 15:55

This last week we were thrilled to have a short but sweet visit with some friends of ours. They left us with lots of laughs, a ton of smiley cookies, an avalanche of girls clothes which I SOO appreciate, and even two new sweaters for me! (Yes I did go back and get the black sweater.......THANK YOU FOR THAT!!) While they were here we had a quaint photo shoot which resulted in many sweet memories and pictures to boot. While rummaging through them again today I just kept looking at Joel and I and wondering when it was that we became "thirtysomethings." This thought and a few new blogs I wandered into have sparked some soul-searching and deep, deep thinking. Like past the, "I would love a few more oreo's," thinking.

Today I was introduced, via the web, to two amazing Widowers. Both men have small children to take care of. Both had only been married a short span, and both are in their mid-twenties. Hearing and reading their stories brought tears of grief for them and began questions in my mind FOR THEM, as if I had to know why God allowed this for these perfect strangers. Being the person that I am I held all of my thoughts and questions in until Joel appeared with Caleb home from kindergarten. I think I hugged Joel tighter than I have in a long while.

I smelled his cologne and smiled. I rejoiced that I was alive, and that I was his wife.

I made him a sandwich and we chatted like we usually do, and like we just love to do everyday. In fact we love to talk all the time everyday to be exact. And for those of you who are thinking, "Poor Joel," :) I just want to tell you that last night I asked Joel what it was that he loved for us to do together and, you guessed it. He told me that he just loved when we talk for a good long while.

So talk we did. We talked about God having a predetermined time for us each to live here on Earth. We discussed the fact that heaven is our goal and that the only way to get there besides the Lord himself coming, is for Him to call us home. Then I listened intently as Joel, as only he can, relayed the fact that we are here, we are created, to bring God glory, and for some people God allows different things because He knows that in His perfect will and way He will receive the most glory from it.

Today is one of those days where what you KNOW finally makes it into your heart. I know that heaven is our goal, but for some silly reason understanding that to get there means death to your physical life here some how escaped my reasoning. In order to get to heaven and be with God....I HAVE to die.

The other light bulb moment was when I realized that there really is never a good time to die. If you die when you are young people lament the fact that, "they had so much life yet to live." If you die with small children under your watch care, "they will never know what their Mother was like..." and let's say you were the ripe old age of 96 and died. No one will ever say, "Wow, I am sure glad they died."

There will always be people to miss, and as selfish creatures death is an enemy to us, but death physically means to finally be living spiritually. To see God face to face and not "Through a glass darkly."

The facts are the facts no matter what and sometimes I need "just the facts," void of any emotion to keep headed in the right direction. The facts are: I am going to die. This death is a time of rejoicing because I then can worship my Savior face to face free from sin.

It is interesting that Paul states in the first chapter of Philippians verses 23-26:

"For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again."

Paul wants to be with the Lord, but realizes that the Lord still has work for Him to do. How many of us think to ourselves, "I would really rather be dead and alive in heaven, but for my husband and children I will stay and accomplish what the Lord has for me." Hmmmm.....

It is good to go into "the house of mourning," as Solomon states here, Ec 7:2 "It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart." It is good for us, the "living," to remember that we do have an end and that we are only here to bring honor and glory to God with the few days we have allotted to us. I am reading a book in which this illustration was given. Say you were an extra in a movie. For a few seconds in the film you could distinguish the back of your head and that my friends was your claim to fame.

Now let's say for some odd reason you went about telling people that this movie was all about YOU. You rented out a huge theatre to host your friends and family for it's premiere all for them to see your fleeting appearance. As silly as it would be for you to think you were the star of a film in which you were merely the backdrop for not even a noteworthy amount of time, THAT is how silly it is for us to live our lives as if our existence is all about our own wants, wishes and desires.

Isn't that a great illustration????????????????????????????????????

Going into the house of mourning, reading about these two Widowers reminds me that in God's timetable I am a vapor. Jas 4:14 "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."

And it helps me see that I AM GOING TO DIE, but it is only through death that I can gain eternity, and so it isn't to be feared but embraced and left in God's hands as far as the timing involved. Our lives are not about us. The very breath we breathe is given by God's hand. We are only to use this short existence to do ALL WE CAN to glorify and magnify God whether it is at home in the lives of our family, in the world showing a real, loving Savior to those who long for word from Him, or even in a trial too heavy for us to bear.

Boy, when you think about heaven, think about what gain it will be for us (see there we are selfishly again!) it almost makes you envy those who have seen Christ face to face.......

doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pepperoni Rolls and Prayers of Praise

Mornin' y'all. Take a gander at the time. No really....go ahead. Scroll to the bottom. I'll wait for you here.

Yup I posted this at 2:30ish and No, it is NOT because this is the only time I can get some free wireless Internet, though if you could see me now you would so laugh! I have to sit just right on my bed and have a pillow shielding the computer screen so as to not wake up Hubby! What a sight. And NO, this does not fall into the "she rises while it is yet night to prepare meat for her household" category either.

Crickets make a nice backdrop for this post.

SO...... the real reason I am up at this blessed hour.

Um, it's the Holy Spirit.

See I new you wouldn't be shocked.

Friends of ours are in town visiting us and of all things I had an idea to make homemade pepperoni rolls for a picnic lunch tomorrow at the park. This involves using frozen bread dough (ok ......SEMI which needs to thaw a 5 hours or so a while...... and last night before closing my eyes to sleep I asked the Lord to wake me in enough time to get the dough out and thawing so that it would be ready to roll (ha ha good pun!) first thing when I got up. (meaning after I went to bed after thawing the bread and THEN got up for real. :)

So the sweet Lord tapped me on the shoulder a half an hour or so ago and I thanked Him for remembering my request and getting me up. I shuffled around the kitchen getting necessary pans and such and realized that God woke me up. Ok before you think I cannot think too clearly in the AM let me explain....

Alayna had not cried and woke me up needing to be fed. No one is stirring......"not even a mouse. The children are nestled all snug in their beds......." (Sorry I digress...) There was no other reason for me to be "bing-bang awake and whistlin' a happy tune." Goodness knows that I am hardly awake first thing in the morning WHEN I AM awake.....let alone sharp mentally and not even drowsy minutes after my feet hit the floor in the wee hours of the night! THIS is the Lord's doin'.

So I continued to get my dough ready, then made my rounds to check on all the chillin's. I head back to my bedroom and spot something.

It's the couch.

The Holy Spirit says...... "Why don't you spend some much needed praising time right there??"

I say, "Sounds good to me."

Lately I have had that feeling again. (No this doesn't involve butterscotch...) I mean that feeling that I blogged about a while back about that "getting on your face before God, speaking to Him and waiting on Him, praising Him, and looking semi-Charismatic" feeling. THAT feeling. Well here was my opportunity.

In a nook in my couch I buried my head and knelt before an All-Powerful God. The other night in bed I lay there wanting to be closer to God. Not in a "sin is separating me," way, but just closer. So while Hubby dreamed I reached as far as my arms could reach lying in bed and just closed my eyes and thought on He who is the Creator of all things. I was 2o odd inches closer to Him, closer to heaven and just talked with Him with my arms outstretched as if to welcome a heavenly hug at any moment. For me, bowing, kneeling, falling prostrate before Him is so important. It is my body humbling itself and reminding my spirit that I am just dust before a holy and just God. Some can sit and pray and some can even pray with eyes wide open.

Not me.

And especially when it has seemed like forever since I spent quality time with God. I need to humble myself and wait on Him, to fall on my face or knees and show my flesh that "we mean business." I tease and use humor, but this is serious to me. I am so full of pride that I HAVE to bow before God.

Back to the couch. I am beginning and the Holy Spirit prompts me to praise Him. I am not here to intercede for anyone. I am here to praise God. Right then in Heaven Jesus was pleased to tell his Father that 14 West Haywood says, "Thank you."

They thank you in the middle of the night for:

Hearing my simple request and waking me to prepare to try to be a blessing to my friends with a treat for lunch tomorrow.

Giving me this day, a wonderful new start.

Creating me and making me exactly the way I am, quirks and all.

The sweet lady at church who you impressed to give me vitamins I would not be able to afford to help me much physically.

This couch, this house that has welcomed all of my babies for 9 years.

My recent hardships that keep me dependent on you.

Daily bread.

Finances that again keep me needing you.

Political unrest that turns our prideful selves to you seeking help.



The unconditional love of a good, kind man.

Isaac, Abby, Caleb, Nathan, Anna and Alayna.

Keeping air flowing through Alayna's lungs.

Stimulating her brain to remind her to breathe.

Providing for red carpet 10 years ago so I could get the same feeling I did when I was at the McNeilly's house.



Hearing this tiny speck in a magnificent universe.

A love that only His children can know and experience and show to others, signifying that God does love them.

Drawing me to Him tonight and each day.

Sherri, Tammy, Val and Patty. Friends I hold dear to me.

This moment with Him.

Reminding me to share this on my blog.

Really there were too many things to list here, but these are some of them. I did not just now sit and think of them. These were praises I thanked God for while burying my head in the couch. Recently God has been answering my every request.....seemingly small know, those, "Please help me find...." requests that only mean the world to you. Those kind. Tonight I am in awe of an Omniscient God. a God who created me to praise Him and who thinks enough about me, for me, to wake me up to thaw dough for pepperoni rolls. THIS is the God I serve. The God I love. And He knew that once I realized at 2:30 in the morning truly what He had done for me in remembering my silly request, that I would praise Him for every single thing I could possibly think of and just enjoy His presence a bit while the people I spend so much time and effort ministering to were sleeping................... so He could minister to me.

Yes. He delights in us enough to wake us to hear us praise Him.

He missed me. And I am glad it took pepperoni rolls to remind me that I missed Him.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Quick update!

Hello all! We have had some Internet issues and are not able to get on.....well at all really! I WAS able to snag someone else's Internet connection....thank you neighbor...... and wanted to send you a quick note telling you that we will, Lord willing, be back to regular posts soon. For now, we enjoy a simpler lifestyle where there was no Internet and use this time to look at our priorities, hug our kids more, bake bread again, and remember just how much we literally can accomplish without a computer on. Recently I have been challenged to REALLY look at my life and realize that time is life. What I spend time doing, I literally give my life to. When you think of it that way some things just seem to fall by the wayside in significance. Computer usage being one of them. Also, we are to do ALL to the glory of God and I am recommitted to using this blog for God's glory and not my own. Though most of you who really know me know that I have little to glory in, and also know that I am completely addicted to butterscotch. I digress.....

So.... enjoy some pics from our Old Fashioned Sunday last week and stay tuned, we'll be back!