Today’s must do’s

Today I must spend time out side, feel the sunshine on my face and BREATHE

Today I must put down the distractions, the phone, the social media, the multitasking and CONNECT to what’s in front of me

Today I must SLOW DOWN and LOVE. SLOW DOWN enough to receive LOVE. My children can’t put their arms around a mom constantly on the move, distracted by a million tiny things. TAKE THE TIME to SAVOR the details. When things get crazy, push aside the temptation to keep plowing forward and instead STOP. I once heard a mom say something along the lines of, “be the eye of the storm in your home and to your family.” Be the one who is the CALM in the chaos.

Today I must GET OUTSIDE MY OWN HEAD. Seek to be in the moment. BE PRESENT. Experience the sense of smell, touch, taste, sound and sight of the moments of today. Experience the moment fully.

Today I must say YES. YES to the game of hide and seek, YES to the time it will take to teach a little one something they need to learn.

Today I must LOWER THE BAR. Everything does not need to be done every day. People before dishes that need done, people before my checklist I want completed.

Today I must be THANKFUL and show GRATITUDE. Feel the thanksgiving in my heart, offer it as worship before God and let it come off my lips to the people around me. “I’m so THANKFUL I get to be your mama,” “I’m so THANKFUL you are in my life.”

A heart close and right with God

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I’m happy to say that having our verse of the week written up on our white board has made me memorize it easily. Just seeing it every time I walked by caused me to learn it. (although this photo looks like two children gazing serenely at scripture they were fighting about touching the whiteboard lol)

Yesterday I referenced Psalm 78. I bring it up because it highlights a sin that I want to keep in mind and ask God to help me not to be guilty of it as I worship Him with other believers today.

Psalm 78:36-37 “Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.”

Jesus says something very similar in

Matthew 15:8 “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.”

Dear God Who is worthy of all worship,

Thank You that my sinful heart was been washed clean by Your blood. I pray my worship and adoration not be mere words with no depth but heartfelt praise and thanksgiving to my Redeemer. Make my heart desire You above all else. Make my mind steadfastly meditate on You day and night. Keep me from lying. I don’t want to say in a song that You are my everything and then forget You and walk in sin. I pray the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to You. Make both Godly. God, I don’t want my Christian walk to be fake or merely external or only existing in certain circumstances or among certain people. I pray You be the desire of my heart and I thank You that You are with me always. Remove from me hypocrisy and lying lips. Empower me by Your strength, not my own feeble attempts, to be on fire for You and not luke warm which You despise. May our relationship be living and vibrant. I pray You know me and I know You. May I be willing to say, “search me,” and may I be willing to change when You show me sin in my life.

In Jesus Name I pray and Jesus’ name I praise. A-men

Have a blessed Sunday everyone! Let’s worship our creator with heartfelt praise for He has been so good to us! If you need a reminder of God’s goodness and mercy, read the whole chapter of Psalm 78.

It’s a little after 7 and my kids are starting to stir, got to go put on my mom hat and get this day going!

Imaginations of Heaven

“Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior.”
Quote by Fanny Crosby

I’ve often spent time imaging what it will be like to live in my resurrected body. I live in  a body that does not produce insulin and because of it every day I look forward to life on the new earth. It’s one of the blessings that has come out of my suffering.

When I read the above quote the other morning by blind hymn writer Fanny Crosby I started writing in my journal imagining the joy of being free from a cursed body and living in a resurrected one.

Here’s some of my imaginations..

I rejoice for the first time I will eat without counting carbs or injecting insulin or doing finger sticks (since childhood), I will be with Jesus! I’ll be laughing as juice from a fruit I’e never seen drips down my chin. Jesus laughs at my eagerness to try the sweet fruit. I meet His eyes with mine and laugh back full of joy, reaching for a napkin to wipe off the juice now dripping down my arm. As I reach for it I see again His scarred hands and my throat tightens. Unable to take another bite, I stand up out of my chair and fall to my knees in weeping worship. “Your mercy Jesus is more than I deserve! Thank You!” I say ashamed of my sin that gave Jesus those scars. How could I have offended One so good, so kind? How could He be so patient, so willing to forgive? I look up again at the radiance of His holy face and I am once again filled with joy unspeakable as I move from kneeling to dancing. I motion to my brothers and sisters to join me as the music of angels starts back up again. I never could dance on the old earth and I still can’t but no one seems to mind here. Holy! Holy! Holy! we shout echoing the angels in worship. Jesus joins in dancing and celebrating with us.

Happy and in need of a breath I sit down as the celebration around me continues. My son Titus feeds me a grape. I stroke his cheek, untold emotion rising up in me. Once again I whisper “thank You” to the Father for not sparing His Son so I can have a new life with mine for eternity. And once again, I drop to my knees. I must worship forever my King, this Heavenly Father who gives so bountifully to His children.

about the featured image: After Titus died I couldn’t bear to leave his nursery empty so T and I filled it with toys for our nieces and nephews and made it a playroom in memory of Titus. We were blessed 2 years later to use the room once again as nursery, this time for a little girl. When I went looking through my photos for an appropriate cover photo I saw this picture and thought it would be fitting for a post about longing for heaven.

 

Happy Sunday Everyone!

I’m back with my FlyLady theme. Sunday on her routine is “renew your spirit day.” As a Christian this means I fellowship with and worship God with other believer’s.

I had to be out of the house by 9:00 this morning to run an errand and get to church on time so even though I started my morning chores I didn’t do the laundry, dishes, or exercise until after dinner. I did a new workout video on youtube tonight.

Bedtime routine:

Monday is a day of what flylady calls “home blessing” aka deep cleaning. I laid out comfortable clothes to work in tomorrow.

Lately with it getting dark so early it makes me feel  unmotivated to do anything. To help me get the kitchen clean I set the timer for 15 minutes to remind myself that it doesn’t take all day. It took me exactly 15 minutes to get it clean.

Since it is Sunday, I’ll leave you with a quote I liked from reading If God Is Good By Randy Alcorn this Morning.

…”Puritan pastor Richard Baxter wrote, “Resolve to spend most of your time in thanksgiving and praising God. If you cannot do it with the joy that you should, yet do it as you can… Doing it as you can is the way to be able to do it better. Thanksgiving stirreth up thankfulness in the heart.”

 

 

 

 

We made people happy!!

Luke 6:31

And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

A couple days before Thanksgiving I was moping around feeling sorry for myself that my husband was working and there was nothing special to do with the kids. My family is half way across the country and every one I know was of course going to be spending the day with their families. My husband’s family gets together the Saturday after Thanksgiving so his siblings can spend the holiday with their in laws. I knew we would get to celebrate a couple days later but I was feeling lonely about having nothing to do the day of. I told God how I felt. “You know, you’re not the only one lonely on Thanksgiving..” was the response in my heart.

I immediately knew  how I was going to spend the day and it made me excited. I called a nursing home and asked if I could come in on Thanksgiving and have my daughter pass out Thanksgiving cards and visit with people who would like a visit. I had previously asked on Facebook if anyone else because of the plant’s schedule would be alone that day. One of the other wives who I had only meet a coupe times previously but who I really liked was in the same situation as me and wanted to join us with her boys at the nursing home.

With kids and cards in tow we went to the part of the home for the residents with Alzheimer’s disease. I was really impressed by how willing our kids were to serve these people they never meet and who from a child’s perspective could be intimidating. I had told E we were there to make people happy on Thanksgiving and she acted as if that was her job.

You know what happened? I really enjoyed myself. It felt good to do good and trying to serve someone else who is suffering took my mind off of myself and made my thoughts not so selfish. The stark contrast of seeing how good my life is in comparison with these poor people’s suffering made me really really thankful as well.

When E saw her daddy that afternoon she said to him excitedly, “Daddy, we made people happy!!”

I’ll have to remember this in the future and I hope you will too. When I am down and feeling sorry for myself, there is always someone who I could be serving and in serving them I’ll be blessed too.  It’s an easy concept to know but it’s another thing to actually do it!

Matthew 25:40

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

 

Also, Hey! This is my 100th post! I”m so glad you’re taking the time to read my thoughts and letting me share my heart with you. I hope this little blog is an encouragement to you!

Thanksgiving Day, 1890 by Olin Winfield Page

I’m reading through a book published by my great- great Grandfather titled LIFE PICTURES AND OTHER POEMS.

Here’s a poem he wrote on Thanksgiving 126 years ago.

Thanksgiving Day 1890

By: Olin Winfield Pge

There’s a voice of praise in our home to-day

The silence is broken, clouds rolled away;

The voice of a wife in pleading of prayer,

As sweetest of music now floats on the air;

And the daughter’s voice, too, clear and low toned,

Acknowledges Him whom her heart has enthroned.

The spell of stillness thro’ years that are past

Has been broken by prayer, God’s power at last,

Unsealed lips that were dumb. Beaming eyes

And accents of love speak the soul’s Paradise,

Resting in Jesus and owning His sway;

Together we praise Him this glorious day.

The smile of the sun rests down on the earth,

The rivers blue waves are dancing with mirth;

And o’er its waters in circles of light

Are bright, glancing wings of seagull in flight;

Lewis’ Woods, too, in its brightest array

Meets with the river to welcome the day.

Gold flecks the shadows ‘neath each arching tree;

Light crest each wave flowing down from the sea;

In each sheltered nook the deepest of green

Of the hardy grass-blade still may be seen;

Softly it nods in a sweet, loving way,

Glad that it’s Maker has saved till this day.

While the sun shines down on the thankful earth,

And the light shines in at each soul’s new birth,

With thankful hearts, in song, blessing and prayer,

We are praising the Lord for tender care;

Thankful for bounty that before us is spread,

Thankful for ways in which His hand led.

Thankful for life and the blessing of health;

Very thankful for love, hearts’ precious wealth;

Thankful for Jesus, who comes to abide;

O thankful to Him what’re may betide!

Thankful to Father and thankful to Son,

Revealed by His Spirit to hearts that are one.

Thanksgiving

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

Psalm 107: 1 O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

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

Thank you Father God for

  1. my warm house
  2. a loving husband
  3. my children
  4. comfortable beds
  5. healthy food
  6. clean water
  7. insulin
  8. friends
  9. parks to play at
  10. books to read
  11. nice weather
  12. the changing seasons
  13. my husband’s job
  14. extended family
  15. for salvation
  16. the Bible
  17. for creativity and the ability to create
  18. creating man in Your image
  19. love
  20. Your sacrifice
  21. church
  22. fun times
  23. clothes
  24. shoes
  25. electricity
  26. a washer and dryer
  27. new days
  28. quiet times
  29. celebrations
  30. Your promises of a new earth
  31. heaven
  32. the resurrection, Yours and mine
  33. hope
  34. faith
  35. the library
  36. for answered prayers this year
  37. for work to satisfy us
  38. for rest
  39. for language and the ability to communicate
  40. for Your goodness
  41. for mountains
  42. plants
  43. a variety of animals
  44. fresh air
  45. the freedom to homeschool
  46. for a country that allows freedom of worship
  47. peace in Christ
  48. sleep
  49. my dishwasher
  50. a car
  51. grocery store
  52. phones and other ways of keeping in touch with people long distance
  53. airplanes to visit people far away
  54. cheese- I really like cheese!
  55. indoor plumbing- we just went camping so this is something I have a renewed appreciation for
  56. singing
  57. preaching
  58. animals
  59. modern medicine
  60. the internet and the ability to research
  61. a thermostat that I can easily adjust to control the temperature of the house
  62. people who will pray for me when I need it
  63. thank You for the work of sanctification You are doing in me
  64. for holidays with family
  65. for all the times I don’t know about that You have protected me and my family
  66. that You tell me to cast my cares on You for You care for me
  67. for nieces and nephews
  68. for living in a safe town
  69. for living in a town with a homeschool co-op
  70. for a refrigerator for keeping food cold
  71. for a stove to cook food on
  72. for a father in law who raises beef so I can buy locally raised meat
  73. for the ability to learn
  74. flowers
  75. sunsets
  76. sunrises
  77. fresh cold air
  78. trees
  79. warm fires
  80. my children’s health
  81. my husband’s health
  82. Thank You that my life is in Your hand
  83. that eternity is going to be so much fun on the New Earth
  84. the joy of living on the New Earth will overshadow my suffering here
  85. Your Justice
  86. Your Mercy
  87. Your Grace that helps me in time of need
  88. That You are my Abba Father
  89. vegetables of an abundant variety
  90. for creating the human body to function so amazing
  91. for Your wisdom
  92. for appliances to use in my kitchen that make work easier
  93. for woods
  94. fields
  95. mail
  96. Thank you that I live in a country that is clean with services such as trash pick up and for people who work that job
  97. for reveling Yourself to me through Your creation
  98. for people who love me
  99. for dental hygiene- toothbrushes, toothpaste and things like that that others don’t have
  100. for Your Holy Spirit

questions, waiting, fear, thanksgiving and why?

Several weeks back while undressing I found a lump near my breast. After finding the one lump I did a self breast exam and found another. While I knew that lumps can be totally normal and that I have no family history of breast cancer, I think any woman would get nervous about an odd looking lump.

I’m not good at waiting. Patience does not come easily for me. First, I had to wait until Monday to call the doctor because it was a Saturday night. Then, the doctor wanted me to wait until I had a period since hormones can cause lumps. Finally, my appointment was made and I was so relieved that I would finally get some answers. That is until after doing an exam the doctor set me up for an ultra sound the following week. So there I was with another week to go. After the ultra sound, it took 6 days for me to get the results back.

I called the nurse who said, “your diagnosis is blah blah blah blah blah,” as she struggled through some big words that meant nothing to me. “Is that good or bad?” I asked. “Um.. I’ll be right back.” And then I was on hold trying to decide if those words sounded scary or not. She got back on the phone. “The doctor said, no cancer, they are benign lumps that the doctor recommends getting rechecked every 6 months to make sure they haven’t changed.” I let out my breath that felt like I had been holding for a few weeks.

Over the last few weeks I knew that most likely there wasn’t anything major wrong. The doctor initially thought it was my lymph nodes that were enlarged so I was thinking along the lines of an infection. But still.. I do have an uncle who had hodgkin’s lymphoma… what if…?

What if God was going to call me to suffer this? What if my work on earth is done? Could I suffer in a way that glorified him? What about my children? Have I lived my life so far to it’s fullest potential?

This morning I was praying for someone who is most likely in the final stages of fighting a terrible disease. And I wondered why? Why not me? I was moved to worship God with a clearer understanding of His mercy. Because I don’t deserve good health. I deserve nothing but God’s wrath. Some how though, I am receiving His blessing and His great mercy today. It made me view my life with a kind of fear as I thought, “I’m here for a reason or else God would take me home.” O LORD help me to live for Your purposes! Let me not squander the precious blessing of life You have given to me so undeserved!

Caedmon’s call has a song called Mystery of Mercy that goes;

My God, my God, why hast thou accepted me?
When all my love was vinegar to a thirsty king
My God, my God, why hast thou accepted me?
It’s a Mystery of mercy and of song
The song I sing

I realize so much of my life I spend asking “Why?” about the wrong things. “Why am I suffering? Why am I carrying this grief? Why am I sick?” Instead of asking, “Why did He suffer for me? Why did he bear my sickness, my shame and my sorrow? Why was He acquainted with grief? Why has He made me His friend?

Today is an incredible gift. Yes, I have trials but I also have blessings that other’s would give so much to have. I have the gift of movement and independence that a quadriplegic spends their life dreaming about. I don’t have cancer! I have two children when I used to wonder if I would ever have a child. I have an abundance of so many things that I don’t ever want to take for granted. And I’m thankful for this little trial of patience and faith that I went through because I was blessed with a little more eternal perspective and a little better understanding of God’s mercy.

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2-4

“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer” Romans 12:12

Mom and kid fun day (taking a day off from the busyness life)

This morning I pushed myself through my early morning routine before my husband got off his shift. I was tired from being up with the baby and I get easily discouraged when my husband has to work a shift that leaves me the only care giver for our children for around 22-23 hours a day. I felt grumpy and groaned inwardly thinking about the monotonous schedule of caring for home and children ahead of me.

I prayed and ask the Lord to give me love for my children and my job of raising them. I asked Him to change my heart about the day ahead. I thought, “It would be nice to have a day where I could just be a mom and enjoy my kids instead of having so much other work to do as well.” I thought about it while getting dressed and decided, why not? Why not just for 1 day, put every thing else aside and just hang out with my kids? There is always tomorrow to catch up on house work but only today to build a relationship with my children.

I have a journal that I got recently that each night before bed I’ve been writing down in 1-2 sentences some way that I had fun with or really connected with my children that day. I struggled last night to come up with something. Sure, there were things I did with them, we read books, I sang them songs, took them on a walk. But, I was just going through the motions of the day looking forward to them going to bed because I was exhausted from dealing with behavior issues and constant demands. I don’t want to feel that way about my kids. They are my greatest joy in life and if I loose sight of that I realize I need to step back and reprioritize some.

Today was a “yes” day. Yes to whatever fun my kids wanted to do and everything else got pushed aside.

The baby woke up and I let him squeal and laugh as load as he wanted instead of trying to keep him from waking up his sister. I blew raspberries on his tummy and tickled his toes. When E woke up I usually change her pull up, dress her and make her brush her teeth right away as she wines throughout the whole process. This morning though I said yes to snuggles while she wore a bloated pull-up and said yes to kisses and chatting with stinky breath. The last thing i probably felt tike doing this morning was playing ‘pretend there is a monster behind the couch’ but that’s what E wanted to do so I played like I was scared and then pretended to be the monster and chase her around the house.

I packed up the kids in the car and headed off to Starbucks (fun for both of us!). I didn’t put on makeup or do my hair, and I wore my husbands wool sweater and flip-flops. I was comfortable and ready to play. I ordered Ella a foamed milk with vanilla syrup and let her pick out what ever she wanted to eat. I loved watching how grown up she felt drinking from a “mama cup.” We stayed there for an hour as she ate her choice of dehydrated cheese and a fruit pouch. (Weird breakfast I know.) She socialized with people and watched the cars go by as I fed T.J his baby food. I let her touch every balloon that was decorating a promotional table. “Can we go to the library?’ she asked. “Yes!” (she didn’t know that was what I was planning on doing with her anyways.)

We sat on the rug together for story time and I did tummy time with T.J. We got to pet a rabbit the librarian brought and I put and cleaned up as many puzzles as she wanted to do. She made a rabbit ear head band and I let her use as much glue as her heart desired! We checked out books and I let her stay until every other child had left and she was satisfied that she had done everything there was to do.

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I don’t normally let her watch T.V on short car rides but today I said yes to Milo and Otis on the car T.V. We got home and I said yes  to 3 episodes of leap frog as I nursed T.J put him to bed and made lunch. I had to use some of that time to do dishes and send off some stuff in the mail ’cause you know, sanitation and deadlines lol.

I said yes to 6 books while we cuddled before her nap. I had to finally start saying no to her hundredth pre nap time request or she would have never slept though!

After her nap she wanted 2 bowls of cheerios for a snack. Why not?

She went crazy with markers on a giant roll of butcher paper.

Late afternoon I started to run a fever, my throat began to get sore and my blood sugars started running high, really wiping me out. (Looking back this is probably a part of why I felt so discouraged this morning.)

The Lord helped me this evening and I made E hot dog and chips and peas for dinner (one of her favorites and it was super easy for me!)

I gave her a bubble bath with a crazy amount of bubbles in it, what could be more fun?

Before bed both the children and I laid in my bed together and turned on a toy that projects stars onto the ceiling. We finished the day off with a couple more books. I’m leaving the laundry, the toys, and the scattered dishes right where they are and heading to bed myself!

I wish I didn’t feel so awful now, but I’m so thankful I had such a fun day with my kids and I hope I made some memories for Ella. I need to put the housework and errands aside more often and just have some relaxing yes days. I have lots of things to pick for my gratitude journal tonight. 🙂

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I found this book at the library and thought it fit our day perfectly!

 

2015 Thankful list

We had our Thanksgiving celebration today (the day after Thanksgiving) and to mark the occasion I want to take some time to sit down and reflect on all the things God has blessed me with. So here’s a list of thanksgiving in no particular order.

  1. my husband
  2. my daughter
  3. a baby boy born this year
  4. my baby boy in heaven
  5. our home
  6. an abundance of good food
  7. clean water
  8. heat for our home
  9. the Bible
  10. to live in the U.S.A
  11. to have heard the gospel
  12. for friends
  13. for church
  14. for extended family
  15. for our vehicles
  16. I’m thankful to live in a safe community
  17. for my husbands job
  18. for our health
  19. for the discovery of and access to insulin
  20. for my baby’s sweet scent
  21. for my 2 year old’s curiosity
  22. for books
  23. I’m thankful for the ability to read
  24. for the ability to give to others
  25. love
  26. romance
  27. fresh country air
  28. dirt roads
  29. ocean waves
  30. I’m thankful for the gift of all 5 senses to enjoy all these blessings. The ability to touch, taste, hear, see and smell.
  31. Heaven
  32. the hope of the resurrection
  33. prayer
  34. The Holy Spirit’s encouragement
  35. clothes
  36. music
  37. instruments
  38. the ability to learn new things
  39. porch swings
  40. coffee
  41. chocolate
  42. pumpkin pie
  43. animals
  44. I’m thankful to live near a great homeschool community
  45. laughter
  46. joy
  47. I’m thankful for the way tears and suffering bring us closer to God
  48. for friends who help through hard times
  49. for the woods
  50. flowers
  51. rainbows
  52. the smell of fresh cut grass
  53. family road trips
  54. natural supplements
  55. modern medicine
  56. the internet
  57. the smell of old books
  58. book stores
  59. the ability to tuck my children in bed each night
  60. for good mornings and new beginnings
  61. sunrises
  62. sunsets
  63. poetry
  64. beautiful paintings and artwork
  65. gardens
  66. I’m thankful for the clean smell after a cleansing rain
  67. for sweet baby sounds
  68. for our library
  69. I’m thankful to have multiple grocery stores to choose from
  70. for color
  71. for beauty
  72. for the warmth of a hug
  73. smiles
  74. The Cross
  75. God’s promises
  76. blogs
  77. date nights
  78. exercise
  79. hand written letters
  80. cousins for my children to grow up with
  81. I’m thankful for old hymns
  82. For windows to open and let in fresh air
  83. For silly times and inside jokes
  84. good conversation
  85. new life in Christ
  86. I’m thankful that I can do all things through Christ’s strength
  87. funny T.V shows
  88. singing birds
  89. walks
  90. for boats
  91. family dinners
  92. fo lobsters because they are so tasty
  93. and butter because it’s good on lobsters and everything else
  94. I’m thankful that my husband loves me
  95. and that He loves God even more
  96. I’m thankful that God loves me
  97. I’m thankful that Jesus is coming back to get us
  98. I’m thankful for the Thanksgiving holiday
  99. for the ability to praise and worship God
  100. I’m thankful that my blessings far out number this list