Sunday, December 30, 2007

Dying to self...

9:30am...Here I sit at my kitchen table where normally I would be enjoying teaching in the Word at church.

It was supposed to be a day for Dan & I...just the two of us. We had our plans, we had our agenda, and I couldn't wait. two youngest boys got sick. It's the ever fearing worry that I dread. I know these are not feelings from the Lord, alas I hate (and I don't use hate often!) when my kids are sick. I worry about their little bodies getting better, hoping the cough doesn't hurt them too much, but knowing that the fever is doing what it needs to in order to get my children well again. This is Levi's first cold/cough and wouldn't you know he gets sick after his first visit to the nursery!! urgg!!

On the flip side, I am yet again dying to self. I find the Lord constantly teaching me in this area. I am ashamed to say that there was this part of me that wanted them to get better quickly for selfish reasons...I was excited for a break...excited for some time with just my love (and of course Levi too!). Thankfully our in-laws were gracious enough to come over and watch all 3 boys, amidst their illness so that my husband & I could go see a movie...a rare treat. And thankfully we are re-scheduling for this next week and going to try again. But, as much as I'm now looking forward to this next week I was disappointed and found myself wallowing in my own selfishness. My plans were shoved aside and my agenda delayed. But, this is what we as mothers do and we'd do it over again without hesitation.

Dying to self is a hard thing to learn, yet I find my greatest example in Christ. Do we really think He wanted to come to earth, leave what I can't even begin to imagine is an amazing Home, and begin the journey of His death for us on the Cross. 33 years of knowing that He would face an excruciating death...I can't imagine. But, all for the love of us, His children. So, I'm learning again today as I care for my two sick children that I do it all because I love them and I would do it all over again in a heart beat because you see, this mother's heart is dedicated to her children and loves them with a deep love that she can't express. The selfish nature tries to creep back in and I'm thankful to the Lord that He gives me the opportunity to die to it again knowing that the rewards far outweigh the break. For you see, these children are a gift to me & I cherish them...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Falling off the wagon....

Falling off the wagon....

Habits are great things...good habits, I mean. They are great until you fall off the wagon and have to start all over yet again. My eating habits had been great...doing what I needed to do...feeling great....lots of energy....exercising and surprisingly loving it....proud that I was putting good fuel into my body....Then....Christmas came.

As I am pulling myself back up onto that wagon, it's hard. The bad foods stare me in the face and in reality what I need to do is pitch them! Why is it so hard to part with the junk food...the food that I know will only do a disservice to my body. I know I will be sluggish, bloated, gain weight, feel yucky, and yet it still finds its way into my mouth. It's appealing. I think I want it - only to be reminded so quickly after I eat it, of the thoughts I had the prior time I "blew" it. Those yucky bodily feelings. It's not worth it and yet I find myself facing that same wagon all over again & having to pull myself up.

My friend Sarah had a great posting today of the Lord forgiving our sins as far as the East is from the West. I found myself thinking about how my struggle with falling off the wagon is the same exact struggle that we have with sin in our lives. We know it's bad...we know it can destroy a heart...we know is crushes the Lord's heart when we follow our fleshly nature and yet there we are again. We can already for-see the future because we've been in this spot before & yet we do it all over again and I find an immediate sensing of my humanly failures afterwards. But as Sarah so wonderfully put it, the Lord forgives us without hesitation because it's a free gift along with His grace in our lives. Do I strive to lead a sinless life...absolutely. Will I succeed, not on this side of Heaven, but still I try. And my loving Heavenly Father wraps His arms of love, grace, and forgiveness around me, only to then let me go and allow me to try again.

So, I am pulling myself back up on that wagon & throwing that junk food away!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A spotlight...

Snow is falling again today reminding me ever so strongly of winter....Christmas has been completed for yet another year. All is put away in our home and we now move into the New Year. January is my least favorite month of the year. The hype of Christmas is over, my husband is back to work after being so amazingly blessed with his presence for 2 weeks, and routine begins again. The only joy I see to find is the birthday of my dear son Caleb...a spotlight of light in what has been in the past a dimmer month.

What I see this year is the chance to snuggle into life this next settle in. Taking the time to rest as the winter snow bounds us to home so many days. Spend more time with my family, possibly read a book, get on the floor and play trucks, watch a good movie snuggled next to my husband as I enjoy a latte. These are the things that I now look forward to in the the dimmer January month.

I change my attitude, change my perspective, and focus on that spotlight of joy along with the delights of home and family. Enjoy the peace as I watch the pure snow falling to the ground....cherish the warmth around me not only in the heat of these warm walls around me, but in the love of those that reside in it....treasure all these in my heart because soon, January will be over...the winter will pass and I'll see Spring again.

Friday, December 21, 2007


The snow today is falling ever so lightly upon the ground below. Blowing wherever the wind might direct its course. It's blown, tossed, and thrown around until it finally falls into the exact spot God designed for it to fall. Thinking...God even cares exactly where one particular snowflake falls....we then can't even begin to fathom the love & care He has for us.

As these snow flakes fall, I can't help but think about how we are going along on our merry way, doing what the Lord has for us and then...we are blown, tossed, and thrown around until we finally fall exactly where God wants us to land. It might not be where we thought we'd be or how we'd get there, but alas...we're where God wants us to be. Our plans never seem to be ours and yet I'm so glad that He always prevails in what I hope is every area in my life.

Life has struggles, hardships...we are blown & tossed around. Sometimes not knowing why or where we will end up, but trusting...trusting His heart.

As the sun comes out, the snow lying on the ground in wait finally starts to melt....being used to moisture our earth or rise in evaporation. So, why we may have started out being blown, tossed, and thrown around, we land and wait in quiet...we wait on Him until He's ready to begin the process of bringing "moisture" or His love to this earth all the while rising up to be used by Him yet again.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Love Language

The results are in on my Love Language poll and Receiving Gifts won, just barely. Followed by a tie in Words of Affirmation and Quality Time, Acts of Service, & then Physical Touch.

Now, I know we can honestly say that we enjoy each of these languages, but there's always one that will "fill your love tank." Receiving Gifts and Quality Time are almost neck & neck with me. When we got married, the Love Language book was given to us & we actually read it on our honeymoon. I was fascinated by it & figured mine out pretty quickly.

What I've learned over the years is that we tend to give love the way that we would like it shown to us and honestly that doesn't always work. My husband's language is Words of Affirmation and so when I give him a gift, he enjoys it but it doesn't mean as much to him as my building him up with words. Trying to meet his needs, I decided early on in marriage to write down my love words for him in a card in order to build him up & so there was my combination of gifts & words. The thing I learned here was that he loved the words but the card was just nice. I think it's kind of a guy thing that sometimes they think cards are a waste of money....I know not every guy feels this way though. So again, another learning curve as I finally figured out he likes a face to face, my words directly flowing from my mouth to his ears. On the flip side, my husband has had to learn what meets my needs and realize that my 2nd language of quality time didn't mean sitting together in front of the first. As time has gone on though & we now have kids it's not until evening that we finally get to enjoy an hour or so together just the two of us before we go to bed. I realize now with 3 small children that I'll take the quality time with my husband long as I'm with him. It's all a learning curve and your love language can change over time as well.

It's interesting as I've tried to figure out all my friends & families love languages and some I'm still trying to figure out. As soon as I want to show someone thanks or love, I tend to go for that gift, but some of my friends would honestly just love some time together. As would I, but my first instinct is that gift.

I challenge you all to really evaluate how to show the friends and family in your lives love. Not based on how you would like it shown to you, but how they would love it shown to them. I am trying to constantly work on it in my marriage and really focus on how my husband would receive love shown to him. Showing someone true love can sometimes be a simple task, but there are times in which it takes some thought on our parts and some time. Take this time to do's important.

Life can get so busy and sometimes we forget to really & truly take the time to show others how deeply we care & love them...the way they'd like to be shown love. Other than the Lord in my life, my friends and family are the dearest to me, so it's definitely worth it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

My day & a gift....

So, this is what I did today....Oh, so yummy!! Oreos dipped in white chocolate, covered with crushed candy canes!

And this is my finished to a cookie exchange tomorrow!!
And this my my early Christmas present from my wonderful husband!! I am enjoying it so much and just had to share....Oh, who wants to come over for a Hazelnut Latte or a Mocha?? All I do is push a button!! Imagine that!!


The touch of His passion upon your soul….His grace that amounts to more than we can fathom….the love of His saturating presence obsessing. The birth of Christ…a miracle we could grasp only for eternity and yet we find it in the everyday. Life without Him is meaningless. Life with Him is eternity.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I love this picture of my Benjamin. He's my middle child, but I affectionately call him "my 2nd firstborn child."

He loves life...loves his brothers...loves his daddy...and I find that his heart loves me.

He screams at the top of his lungs...pinches his older brother....and likes to tell me "no".

The way he talks can melt my heart...not every word fully forming as only 2 1/2 year olds can do.

He loves his balls and cars and is truly a boy in every sense of the word. Playing animal is his newest thing.

The way he says my name, his lips as they try to come together to give me a kiss...

All of these things give me joy because I always remember he was given to me...

Recently he's clung closer to me than normal...calling my name more often....wanting me to "hold you."

He holds a dear place in my heart...his cute little body, his arms around me as we hug..I love him dearly.

It's a big responsibility raising a heart for Him....he was given to me & I am honored that the Lord chose me to raise such a precious one.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Making a choice....

I don't think we realize how much of our emotions and feelings are our own choices. I have been recently reminded of this so sweetly by the Lord and it's been a lesson in learning yet again.

Not too long ago I had a situation come up with a friend that upset & frustrated me. It wasn't a huge ordeal or something that I felt really even warranted talking about with this individual but needless to say it started eating at me & I found myself becoming a bit bitter. It wasn't too long after this, I was sitting in church listening ever so intently (can you do that while nursing a 6month old in the nursing mother's room amidst other distractions?) and this is what I heard..."You know, I really feel like bitterness is our own choice." That one sentence convicted my heart yet again & led to a whole string of thoughts about the choices that we make in living with our emotions and feelings. Now, we as women do have extra hormones that like to kick in here & there and honestly, sometimes our feelings are definitely warranted, but it's what happens from there.

So, every time I thought about this situation with my friend I would stop those thoughts (or at least try to) dead in their tracks and say, "I choose to not be bitter or upset." As I began this process and started thinking so much about what our pastor said, I realized this...we truly do have a choice in how we react & proceed with situations in our lives. In the situation with this friend, I could choose to continue playing the victim role and feeling sorry for myself & become bitter or I could choose to not let the enemy get a hold in this situation and choose to not be bitter & just go on. And you know what, letting it go takes so much less effort than continuing to hold on to it! There are situations in our lives that will definitely warrant us to working through them with friends, but instead of letting the person or situation take control of us, what if we laid it at the foot of the cross and let the Lord handle it?!

This life is sometimes hard...we have struggles, hardships, ups and downs with friends, and many other things, but what I've learned is am I going to choose to respond? What choice am I making? My circumstances might not be ideal to what I'd like right now, but you know, I choose JOY! I might be frustrated at a friend but you know what, I choose to forgive and not be bitter! I'm beyond tired & had a rough day, but you know what, I choose to find my strength in Him & press on.

I challenge you to look at your life and evaluate what choices you are making in how you feel about your life & situations. It's all easier said than done when you have an outside view, but I've been right there and understand the battle within...just like anything we have a choice. John 10:10 says, "The thief (satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." Don't let him steal your joy...steal your friendships, steal your life.....Make that choice.

Now, remind me of this again when I am choosing the wrong emotions.....:-)

Monday, December 10, 2007

A coffee cup...

My mother in law emailed this to me and I thought it was really touching. Made me take a step back & think. I'd love to know what you think too!!


A group of alumni, all highly established in their respective careers got
together for a visit with their old university professor. The conversation
soon turned to complaints about the endless stress of work and life in

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went into the kitchen and soon
returned with a large pot of coffee and an eclectic assortment of cups:
porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal - some plain, some expensive, some quite
exquisite. Quietly he told them to help themselves to some fresh coffee..

When each of his former students had a cup of coffee in hand, the old
professor quietly cleared his throat and began to patiently address the
small gathering... ''You may have noticed that all of the nicer looking
cups were taken up first, leaving behind the plainer and cheaper ones.
While it is only natural for you to want only the best for yourselves that
is actually the source of much of your stress-related problems."

He continued...''Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the
coffee. In fact, the cup merely disguises or dresses up what we drink.
What each of you really wanted was coffee, not a cup, but you instinctively
went for the best cups... Then you began eyeing each other's cups....''

''Now consider this: Life is coffee. Jobs, money, and position in society
are merely cups. They are just tools to shape and contain Life, and the
type of cup we have does not truly define nor change the quality of the
Life we live. Often, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the
coffee that God has provided us... God brews the coffee, but He does not
supply the cups. Enjoy your coffee!''

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the
best of everything... So please remember: Live Simply. Love Generously.
Care Deeply. Speak Kindly. Leave the Rest to GOD.

Friday, December 7, 2007

A gift undeserved....

Today at my MOPS group we had a woman who works at the corporate MOPS offices here in our town come & speak to us. She spoke about all the Christmas traditions that they do in their family & how they strive to have everything about Christmas turn towards Christ. One of the many things that stuck out to me was when she was talking about the ABC's of Christmas that they do in their family. She mentioned that when her kids were growing up, their favorite letter was "G" because they got a gift. But, what the letter "G" actually stood for was Grace & they received a gift that they truly did NOT deserve because that's what grace is.

Now, a high love language for me is receiving gifts, so this one really hit home with me. I've always known how wonderful the Lord's grace is in my life and knew what it meant, but when this woman said, "They receive a gift that they truly don't deserve." hit me like a ton of bricks. Almost as if her kids had really been misbehaving that day & she pulls out the gift of all gifts to reward them.

Don't you feel're in the store needing to do some shopping & your kids are out of control & frustrating you terribly. I don't know about you, but the last thing I want to do is reward them with a gift and yet that's how we act in our sin & again the Lord over & over pulls out His gift for us. We don't deserve it...we did nothing to obtain it....and yet He gives. That is His Grace...that is His Love.

It opened my eyes yet again to the Lord's grace in my life. I had been misbehaving due to the sin in my life & still do misbehave continually, and God's grace comes in & gives me the ultimate gift ever and in spite of how I've been misbehaving He still loves me and wants to give me His greatest gift...Himself and in that is forgiveness.

I love this time of year because it reminds me that the birth of Jesus is where His gift of grace all began....

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Been Tagged!

My friend Sarah tagged me to answer these Christmas questions! So, here we go!!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Yes...both. I guess I prefer to open a gift with wrapping paper because it makes it last longer.

2. Real tree or artificial?
Artificial..just easier.

3. When do you put up the tree?
Thanksgiving weekend.

4. When do you take the tree down?
Pretty much right after Christmas. Once it's over I tend to pack everything up.

5. Do you like eggnog?
Absolutely NOT

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Money was tight growing up seeing as my Dad was a Christian school principal. We never had alot so one Christmas I had really wanted a new doll. My parents told me they couldn't afford it, but low & behold on Christmas morning, there she sat. I cherished that doll I think because I knew my parent's had sacrificed for me.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes. I actually have 3 of them.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
Probably all the men in my family, except for my brothers. My brothers like clothes, so it's easier for me; otherwise I'm just not sure.

9. Easiest person to buy for?
My mom! Anything pink & she'll love it!

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Honestly, I can't remember any...

11. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?
MAIL! I think Christmas time is my favorite time also because of all the Christmas cards we get from friends & family! It's like a little gift in the mail everyday..I love it!

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Miracle on 34th Street

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Late October - early November

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Hmmm...I'm sure I have, but for like a work Christmas party or something like that. Never for family or friends.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Oh goodness...where to begin. mom & grandma's fudge. Also, there amazing sugar cookies. One of a kind. Cinnamon roles my mom makes. Prime rib we have for Christmas lunch. My grandma's homemade cheese potato soup....

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?

17. Favorite Christmas song?
Ava Maria & O Come let us Adore Him.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Travel 30min. away to my parent's house. Nothing like going home.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Neither. We actually have nothing at the very top of the tree. I always have put an ornament at the top of the tree that has a picture of me when I was about 18mo. I like being at the top! Ha!

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
We usually got to open 1 gift on Christmas Eve. Growing up it was PJ's from my Grandma. Everything else was Christmas morning...BUT, now I get to open up a bunch on both days! Christmas Eve with my Clark family & Christmas day with my family.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
I have to agree with Sarah...the huge bummer when it's all over & January. Oh, other than my son's birthday, I really dislike January.

23. What I love most about Christmas?
On the spiritual side, I love celebrating Christ's birth and now incorporating that with my children. On the non-spiritual side, being with family & the presents! I'm a gift person & love presents!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I love this picture of my Caleb. It symbolizes to me..freedom. He made it to the top and there's this sense of freedom you can't experience from below. He stretches his arms, points his fingers to the sky in unashamed freedom. Not holding back.

The carefree nature of our little ones. Sometimes seeming to have little fear and excited at the possibility which becomes reality in reaching the top. The joy, the pure and holy pleasure of having His light shine on his face in rejoicing!

I desire to have the heart of my Caleb. I desire to have the Lord continually take me to the top. For although I learn in the "below", I find renewed strength in being as what might seem closer to Him...the top. Stretching my arms as far as they will reach, praising Him with every rejoicing movement I have. For He stretched out His arms for me in His sacrifice that eternally bonded me to Him. Why would I dare even dream to hold back....

So, I stretch out myself to you Lord...take me for all I have and may I always know the freedom that is in You.

Monday, December 3, 2007


Well, it has been awhile since I've posted an update on my new lifestyle eating habits, so I thought it was about time!!

I've learned a lot through this process & am finding that truly the more junk food I eat, the more I want & the worse I feel. I didn't to do well on Thanksgiving Day with the little fun peanuts & M&M's that were out. I felt really yucky by the end of the day. Then this past weekend I hosted a woman's brunch at my home with my accountability group and we had Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake, Hashbrown Casserole, and Hot Chocolate. As much as it tasted wonderful for the moment, I then felt yucky as the day went on. Then my eating education all came back to me. When eating a lot of sugar, I'm spiking my blood sugar levels for a bit which makes everything feel good, but then after a bit it comes crashing down & I feel bloated, sick, & just out of it. When I was first told this, I was like..."ok, whatever! Junk food doesn't do that to me!!" But, after having eaten so well for awhile, I'm realizing it's true.

This week I listened to another one of the videos I've been asked to watch on this all & she said that when you eat a lot of sugar & your blood sugar is spiked, your body has now been taken out of fat burning mode. Even if you eat really well the rest of the day, you're not in that fat burning mode like you need to be which requires a stable blood sugar level. Also, I think we all know this, but skipping meals is just so bad for your body & metabolism. It's like putting fuel (food) on a fire (your body) & if the fire goes out, so does your metabolism. They really do suggest the 6 small meals a day, but you need at least breakfast, lunch, and dinner to keep that blood sugar steady, along with the fact that when you don't give yourself the right amount of food your body goes into possible starvation mode and will hold on to what you're eating since your body is feeling like it won't be given much food...I know, opposite of what we've always thought in dieting, right?! The less we eat the more we lose...NOT! Of course you have to eat the healthy, right foods though. I'm realizing I did so much harm to my body!! So, I'm learning a lot.

Mostly, I'm learning to pray a lot and realize how incredibly amazing our bodies were designed by the Lord! I'm actually pretty shocked how wonderfully I feel and how much easier this is than I thought. It's really true...when you eat the right foods & properly, the cravings and desires aren't there as much. Now, don't get me wrong...I have moments in which I really want that chocolate...thus the lesson of praying. I still battle in my mind at times.

With that all being said, I am doing my first official weigh in my with friend tonight. I did honestly check to see where I'm at this morning & since first starting my whole weight loss journey just 2 months ago, I've lost 27 pounds. Praise the Lord! All glory to Him!! I feel this program is an answer to my prayers that I've had for years and years.....

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Joining in!

So all my blogging friends have somewhat unofficially invited me to join in on the fun of these 8 fun facts about myself, so I'm going to succumb to the pressure & join in. Plus, I think it's fun!!

1. I'm ashamed to say...I bite my nails. Always have & still do as a 32 year old woman!

2. Like Alana, I too really worry about how people view things I might have expressed or something I've done. I hate hurting people and offending & my mind can go overboard in making sure I clear the air!

3. I hate the seeds inside red, yellow, & orange peppers. They give me what I call the "heebie jeebies"....the creeps...I know, weird. I have to look away while I'm cutting them.

4. I'm almost over-obsessed with purses & makeup. If I made alot of money I think I'd spend almost every bit on that kind of stuff. I think it's why the Lord hasn't given me alot of money!

5. I LOVE getting my hair done & love doing different things with it. Just 2 years ago I had my hair cut in such a way that the back stuck straight out kind of funky & it was very short. The front laid flat. Needless to say, it was the hairstyle I've gotten the most compliments on ever. Now it's long & I'm loving it. Plus, my husband loves that I do all sorts of different things.

6. I used to work at Promise Keepers & loved it!

7. I won a Oratory debate competition in highschool and received a scholarship to college for it. Never went to college, but I still have that certificate! It was a speech I wrote about Prayer in Public Schools....I was pretty passionate about that..just in case you haven't noticed that about me. HA!

8. I was a PK (Principal's Kid) my whole life. Other than kindergarten, my dad was my principal. Funny how I then married a teacher...anyway.. I didn't much like it when I was younger, not due to my dad but because I was told I got special privileges all the time & was made fun of. But, in middle school & highschool I suddenly became more popular (humbleness Earen...) and actually stood up for myself and told people to cut it out...especially when a teacher pulled that "you get special treatment" line on me. I set him straight...of course in a respectful way, but he never said anything again!! I loved middle/highschool!!

There you have it friends! 8 more fun facts about me!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

All about Him....

This past weekend we went and watched my brother play basketball. He plays for a University here where we live and it has been fun to watch him move up from the high school level to college. It has been different for us though. You see, last year Abram played in high school and was one of the main stars if not the star of the team. (I'm not biased or anything though!) Scouts were watching him, organizations that play in the off season really wanted him to come play with him, and he was honored! He even got written up in the newspaper here as Mr. 3A athlete for that week. It was exciting!!

He now has moved to playing college ball and now everything is different. He went from being the "star" of the team to us hoping he might get to play for a few moments and maybe hit a basket. You see, the playing level has changed and now you're playing against and with athletes who are really good. So, basketball for him has changed and our attitudes have changed as well. No matter what, we will always be proud of him and we get so excited when we see him being sent in to play - but it's just different. It might not be this way for all 4 years, but it's how it is now.

Do we ever get to a point in a position where we are a "star" or even to a point in our relationship with the Lord that we feel we have arrived? (My brother never had this attitude though) Where we are so proud of ourselves and think we are all that (again, my brother never showed this attitude) only to be "sat on the bench" and humbled all over again? How quickly for me the feeling of "thinking I'm SO important" can creep in and God must just be shaking His head as if to say, "It's now time to sit for awhile."

As hard as this is, I find this is where God teaches me so much. I'm never "all that." I've never "arrived.".....Deep in our heart and soul we need to desire to be nothing but a humble vessel to be refined and used by Him. You see, as fun as it was for Abram to be the star player for several years and learn in that setting, I see his faith and humbleness growing in ways I've never seen and he's growing into quite a man of integrity. I think often of the fact that when we are nothing & He's everything....that's the spot I want to be in. Nothing left of me so all you see is Him. In this life it's not about us.....Him.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Thankful Heart...

"Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done.
Sing to Him; yes, sing His praises. Tell everyone about His miracles.
Exalt in His holy name; O worshipers of the Lord, rejoice!

Search for the Lord and for His strength, and keep on searching.
Think of the wonderful works He has done...."

I Chronicles 16:8-12

May the greatness of who He is bring you immense thankfulness this season.
For all He's done for us, may we be truly thankful.
The provisions He's bestowed upon us, the blessing of family and love.
The delight of little laughs, holding the hand of my love.
The warmth, the health, our home.
The hard times, as they cause us to depend, trust, grow and be refined by Him.
The wonderful times, as they are a gift.

Forever thankful for the Cross....for the hope of an eternal future with Him.
Thankful for the life You gave and the life you've given me.

Happy Thanksgiving my blogging friends!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I sit in silence while I nurse Levi. You see, he's at that age in which every distraction takes him away from the task at hand. Is it convenient, no. Does it require planning, yes. A little fun room time for the older boys, or they enjoy a video, or are eating a meal. It can get tricky.

It has become my peace time though. I look forward to going into Levi's newly & lovely light blue and sage green painted room where my rocking chair resides and it's a moment for us. For what seems like seconds, but in reality is 20 minutes - I find silence.

Now, you know me by now & you know that often my minds drifts into thoughts of how this might relate to the Lord. Do I need silence and quiet to focus in my time with the Lord - the current task at hand? Levi needs quiet to take in I need that to take in nourishment from the Lord? We moms know that this can be quite a task to behold. A quiet moment??? The thing is, our spiritual nourishment is just as important as the physical..if not more.

Where do I make my silence for my spiritual nourishment...when? I know that as a mom you fit it in where you can with moments here & there...but can I hear the voice of the Lord with distractions?

Levi needs that silence to eat, to focus. It's my special time with my baby, my sweet child. Maybe God wants that from me....that quiet time - to hear His voice. Taking the time to be still and listen. Sometimes that only comes in the silence.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Carol!!!

You hear the horror stories of how people have in-laws that are just quite different or difficult and I honestly can't see, I am blessed. Today is my mother in laws birthday and I am honored to be her daughter in law. She did a wonderful and amazing job at raising an incredible man in my husband. I didn't get to watch those days, but I watch her with my children - her grandchildren and I find love there. She will re-arrange whatever she has going on to help with our needs, she is always there when we need her, and she's an encouragement to me as well. She's always supported us 100% without ever a word of disapproval. Simply said, she loves us.

So, on this her special day...I dedicate this blog to her. I am blessed to have a mother in law who loves the Lord....blessed that she loves us so...blessed by her heart. She has a lot on her plate...I mean, a full load. She handles it with such strength of heart and dignity. She never complains...ever. Her life speaks volumes of her integrity and love for others.

Thank you Carol...thank you for all you do for us, for others, for the Lord. Know that it doesn't go unnoticed. Your life is a treasure and I'm blessed to be apart of it. You are loved tremendously by our family and we are thankful for the life the Lord gave you because we have been honored to be given the gift of you.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

"I will love You, O Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;

My God, my strength, in whom I will trust:

My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;

So shall I be saved from my enemies.

Psalm 18:1-3

May the God of all hope & strength give you Himself as you realize that is all your soul longs for. Soak in His into His care...bask in His in His heart. Fill to the brim your life with His Word, knowing that's Life giving breath...all the answers we ever need. May we be forever obsessed with Him..for He is our only salvation..our eternity.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Little voices.....

The voices of my children....I hear them all the time. The sweet sounds of Caleb singing "Father Abraham" or Benjamin trying to get in all the letters of the alphabet in the "ABC" song. The little "talks" Caleb enjoys having with his dad every night in which dad usually just sits and listens. The pulling at my heart strings when Benjamin doesn't want me to leave his room when it's time for bed... "please don't leave mommy." The baby chatter of Levi as he's trying to figure out how to put his fingers into his mouth. The sweetness of him just saying, "ahhh." The love he shows me without even any words. The laughter...the "Mommy, chase me!".... the"Mom, can we have special Caleb Mama time?"

I wonder what the Lord thinks about the voices of His children - me? Do I bring sweetness to His heart? Do I sing praises to His name? There are moments when their voices can bring challenge & I know I do the same for the Lord. And yet there is gentle love always in His voice whispering my name in a way to say, "I love you."

May my voice shout from the rooftops my love for you Lord! May my kindness be evident through a heart that is passionate for You. May my words always show gentle love as I whisper to my boys, "I love you."

The peace and quiet is a refreshing welcome at times, but I wouldn't change hearing the voices of my children for anything. I know the Lord feels the same.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A longing for discipline....

I've heard over & over in parenting classes that children actually long for our discipline because it shows them we care & love them. Isn't it so might be just simply an attention getter on their part or at times I know they are just wanting to check again & see who's really in charge. Afterwards there is a relief & calm that comes over them. Almost as if to say, "thank you mom/dad...I'm so glad you love me." It's a weird thing, but alas one that causes us to grow.

Here's what I discovered this past week...I was longing for that treadmill of mine. Weird as it may sound, it's true. I felt almost as if a burden had been lifted off when I was finished working out...a big stress reliever. It's a discipline for me. Different than a form of punishment but still something that at times can hurt and one I sometimes fight against. I guess for me it can seem as a form of punishment & yet I feel rejuvenated and ready to go afterwards! Whether it be a child needing some correction in the form of discipline or the discipline of working out and eating healthy, I find it's longed for - honestly whether we realize it or not.

Our children desire this discipline because it shows that we love them and care about shaping their hearts for the Lord. So, when I go to discipline myself (so to speak) on that treadmill I do it because I am showing myself that I care and love myself....that I want to care for this temple the Lord has given me....I want to be healthy...I want to be around to watch my kids grow up, to grow more in love with my husband, to grow more in love with my Lord. You see, this discipline in my life can sometimes stink and it hurts and it's hard, but I do it not only to show others that I love them, but because I love myself...not a love of prideful boasting, but a realization that God gave me this body and how am I caring for it?

When I am out of control in my eating and exercising is non-existent, for me there is no discipline. Life then for me is more dull and can affect my energy and my overall outlook can be dimmer. So, I guess there is something to this thing called discipline...I guess it's longed for.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


The electricity went out Tuesday. From noon until 6am the next morning...darkness. No phone, no email, no blogging, no TV, no videos, no hair dryer, nothing that would require electricity. It was not fun...but I learned a few things about life & myself.

During this outage, my youngest son Levi decided that he didn't want to take a nap but just cry! So, instead of this power outage causing me to dig into a good book or magazine (something I rarely do) since my older boys were resting, I not only was dealing with my little guy, but doing it without any form of other entertainment..such as the television. Finally getting Levi to somewhat calm down I decided to just rest myself by taking a nap...novel idea! Only to wake up not shortly after lying down to the sounds of crying yet again.

Things throughout the day proceeded and then became dark. Out came the candles and flashlights. Normally, this might be seen as a fun venture, but after hours of already being off and not wanting to open the refrigerator or freezer to let out the coldness, I found I couldn't fix dinner - I couldn't see things around my house as well as I'd like and I found that it was affecting my mood. I hate darkness...I believe it's one of the reasons I don't care for winter as much...dark in the morning & dark in the night, sooner.

So, we decided to leave the house & go out to entertain our kids elsewhere. It ended up being a fun evening.

I found myself in worry again....worrying about the food going bad....worrying about my kids being warm enough if the heat didn't come back during the night....worrying about what we would do the next day should it still be off...worrying. Then I found myself upset at the electric company. Were they working hard enough to fix it? Telling me many times they'd have it fixed in a hour...18 hours later. If we are around in the last days, I know things will be much harder than they were for me the other day. It was almost a moment of panic as if to say, "What if this is the way it will be?" "Am I prepared?" I am not....I am definitely spiritually prepared, but if things got really hard, which I know they eventually will according to what the Word says, what would I do? Thoughts entered both my husband & my minds as we realized that we are spoiled. We always take advantage of what we have until we don't have it anymore.

A relief hit my heart as I heard the heater come back, and the baby monitors beginning to work at 6am the next day. But, in my heart was also a feeling of wow, the end will be hard...We think life without the Lord is hard now, I can't imagine it without Him then. I'm hoping He might make it easy for us believers & just rapture us before then...we'll see!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Mini-Me Monday

My thinking regarding things really changed this past week & it's a good thing! I've been reading this book called, "Dare to Lose." It's a book my nutritionist friend gave to me to read & I've been fascinated by it. She keeps talking about how our continual dieting can have a major affect on our bodies & metabolism and how much we shouldn't be looking at the scale & having those numbers dictate how we feel about ourselves...She's more concerned about how much fat percentage we are losing because probably in the past when we've lost weight, we've lost muscle mass & that's not a good thing.

So, I'm thinking is going to have to change. How can a brain that has been so focused on the scale for so long change? Only through the Lord. She challenged me to look at what I was doing with LAWL and dieting again and I felt from the Lord that I need to do things completely different this time...different from all other times. So, I stopped going to LAWL...that's right, I quit. And let me tell you, there was definitely a release of a burden in having to eat so much! I know that sounds quite odd for someone who likes to eat, but it was becoming quite a burden. I had also gotten frustrated with the disappointment of stepping on their scale 3 times a week only to see that I was hardly accomplishing anything.

So, I'm going directly with my friend who's been helping me & the program called Transitions. I am eating foods that are harder for me to eat, but I'm feeling so much better, not hungry, & the cravings aren't nearly as intense. Now, it's not to say that I don't have hard moments...yesterday I burst into tears on my husband, who by the way is so amazingly supportive! I am learning how to change my thinking of the way I eat....I'm grieving a bit giving up my junk food that I love so much. It's a process....

After not stepping on the scale for awhile, I decided to step on it just to see where I was at & much to my amazement I'm down 16 lbs. Yes, I too was shocked! I'm pleased to see what's happening and even more excited & nervous about the shift in eating that my life is taking.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


"The culture of women in the church today is crippled by some very pervasive lies. 'To be spiritual is to be busy. To be spiritual is to be disciplined. To be spiritual is to be dutiful.' No, to be spiritual is to be in a Romance with God. The desire to be romanced lies deep in the heart of every woman. It is for such that you were made. And you are romanced, and ever will be."

John & Stasi Eldredge

Friday, November 2, 2007

Love sent down... can sometimes take you by surprise.

The compliment from a near stranger....
The gift of help...
The hug from a true friend...
The love of family...
Treasured gifts.

Life never ceases to amaze me..these surprises. Every time I think I have it together - every time I think I've arrived, this desired, humble heart is thrown off her game only to realize I can't do this life alone. Life must be loved must be journeyed with Him. The question is, do I take the time to see it...capture it...remember it..those surprise moments? For truly they are love sent down from the Creator of this life of mine. Do I cherish them in my heart? Do I breathe it in as new life giving breath.

Lord, help this feeble, broken heart to capture all that is you and see that it's your loving hand caressing me as I enter into the unknown that causes me to see surrender as true joy and yet again realize that nothing in this life is more precious than the surprise of You. Thank you...thank you for these moments to capture all that is You through a human form...for You know these surprises are really moments needed in this heart of sent down.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

More info on Mini-Me Wednesday???

I've had several of you ask what I eat for breakfast since I'm trying to stay away from carbs. It's not easy..let me tell you! I'm a carb person for sure...throw in a little chocolate & I'm a happy woman...Oh wait, not any more...yucky, yucky! HA!

Here's what I've had a few times for breakfast:

Apple with 2 TB of Peanut Butter, orange, & a non-fat latte (my treat!) OR

I finely cut up zucchini & onions & saute them in a pan. Then I add 2 eggs & scramble it all together. Finally, I add about 3oz. of cheese & from what I've learned Sharp Cheddar or Swiss are better for you. Sometimes I might have a piece of turkey bacon. I then have my latte & a piece of fruit. NOW, let me tell you...I'm NOT much of an egg person. But, for some reason when I add the veggies & cheese it helps me & then if I have turkey bacon, I'm completely fine.

I've also had mornings in which I'll have salsa or avocado along with this meal.

Thank you for those who asked...I love sharing my new education on all this! It's kind of fascinating to me.

Mini-Me Wednesday???

Yes, I I'm behind, but happy to report that things are progressing in the right direction. Mid week last week I gained a pound & yes, I was disappointed..even cried a bit. But, I got right back up & worked on things again. So, last week I lost all that I had gained along with a few extra tenths of a pound...yes, I said tenths. Hey, in my world they all count! So, I'm down 8 pounds as of yesterday! But, more exciting to me is that I'm meeting every other week with a friends who's educated herself extremely well on nutrition & has been training me on foods in the area of glycemic levels. Did you realize that when you have a carbohydrate for breakfast that you're spiking your sugars levels and set yourself up the rest of the day for carb & sugar cravings? I didn', I've been focusing on protein & fruit for breakfast. I also went to my doctor to have blood taken to see if I have a glutton sensitivity. If I do, what my friend said was that my weight loss journey would be like walking up a mountain in high heels....difficult. So, I'm awaiting those results. Needless to say it has been a productive week & I'm feeling good. Do I always love every moment, no - but I'm giving myself more grace & again working on becoming healthy & having the weight loss become just a huge's hard to change your mental state regarding that scale!! So, there you have it!!

On a side note...thank you for your comments on my "Taking a Stand" posting. Most of you don't know me real well & honestly I believe in taking a stand on things, but I have a hard time knowing what people are going to think of me & how it's going to affect a, I even hesitated in this post because I don't want to offend. But, I appreciated your feedback on things & for listening to what the Lord has put on our hearts.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Taking a Stand!

I don't use this word often, but I HATE halloween. I hate everything it stands for, why it's celebrated...HATE. It's an evil holiday and I honestly don't think people, especially those who aren't believers realize the spiritual warfare and power that is all apart of this day.

So, I write this post with no heart of offending or casting judgement, but a new challenge for believers...something to ponder because it says in the Word that as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (my own paraphrase)

As a child we didn't acknowledge that the holiday of halloween even existed - no trick or treating, no harvest parties at church that night - there was no acknowledgment of it. This is obviously where a lot of my example came from and now that I have children I wonder what I'm speaking to my them regarding this day? As a believer I want to be different from the world - set apart. Why then would I be apart of celebrating a most evil holiday? I know some might not think they are celebrating it, but just having fun & getting candy, but I feel that by taking part in this day we are saying that it exists & I guess I'm taking a stand against that. I know some might think I'm ridiculous & so petty...hey, kids are just dressing up and getting candy, having fun...harmless, right?! But I think, isn't that how the enemy works? Sneaking into things that seem harmless and especially going after our children...thinking it's ok to participate in such a worldly, evil day.

As a believer I feel it's time to take a stand! It's not a judgement or a "I'm holier than you"'s just saying that I want to be like Jesus! I honestly don't think that the Lord would want us to partake in any form of participation in this day. This day is such a huge ordeal with the demonic and evil community and I don't want any part of it...just look at some of the's evil.

Again, this is a personal conviction that we have in our family & I don't wish to cast judgement on you, but to challenge us all in being different from the world...set apart for Him. Yes, I might come across as offensive and for that I'm sorry & it's not my heart intention...but I challenge you in this to see what the Holy Spirit might be doing in your heart.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

What I know...

Our pastor today posed this question, "What am I doing with what I know?"

I have been a believer in Jesus Christ since I was 4 years old. Christ has always been who I am & is everything I'll ever be. Sometimes in that though there can be a forgetfulness in sharing what I know, what I believe, Who died for me, Who lives eternally in my heart, Whom I'll go Home to be with someday. I was hit with the realization of always remembering to not just share about this life with my children, but to share with them about all Who really matters in this life. It was a good reminder for me. I think for me a better question would be, "Do I continually share what I know of Christ with my children...does everything point them to the cross?"

My pastor continued on to say, "Do what you can with where you're at." So that's what I do.....I put my heart, soul, & everyday passion into doing what I can exactly where the Lord put me...right in my home with my family. God hasn't sent me out into the mission field, he hasn't impressed on my heart to share door to door. He's put souls right in front of me. He's put little hearts in my home eager to grasp the things of the Lord.

So, I ask you this..."What are you doing with Whom you know?" Do you have family that need to know Him, friends that need to know His grace? What's holding you back? What really do you have to lose that wouldn't allow them to gain eternity. When all is said and done I don't think any of us as believers will say, "My fear paid off & I'm sure glad I didn't share Christ with them."

God brought the mission field to me and they are my precious love extended....Caleb, Benjamin, & Levi. The best gift I have to give awaits them and it's up to me to constantly be filling their hearts with Him.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A distant sun....

I gazed out the window viewing the beauty of God's creation. Through the sheer curtains and glass I view a distant sun shinning barley through the trees and marvel at the love His grace shows us. Who would have imagined that the God of the universe would create such an amazing sight simply for our pleasure. It's not's not's not burdensome. It's's's peace. It's a moment to breathe.

There's a calm in His His love. There's rest in His in His Word. It's a knowing that He's always there. All of this shines through His creation & I'm awe struck for a moment as I sit and hold my precious son. Rocking, giving him life enriching food, loving him....gazing through my window.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I'm mind...senses in me that are causing me to not accomplish simple things in my home because I have so much to do! What I'm finding is that the things that "need" to be done are being put to the way side by things that I "want" to blogging and email. As you've probably noticed, I haven't blogged as consistently as I used to. My days are so incredible full and I don't even really go anywhere. Last night at 7pm I was vaccuming my home....shouldn't I be resting by this point in the day?...No, I rest at 8:30pm.

I know the Lord didn't intend for my life or heart to feel this way. I'm stressed, overwhelmed, & by own personal "wants"'s self-inflicted! My new blogging friend Short Stop challenged me yesterday with her thoughts while we were g-chatting. She spoke to my heart in that she tries to only blog or be on the computer when her kids are resting or down for the evening. I need to do that. I'm guilty of sometimes popping in Sesame Street (or what I like to call "homeschooling" ha!) and opening up this machine...what kind of mom have I become..replacing hardware for flesh & blood. It's hard though, I love blogging...but not in place of them....never!

So, you might not see my blog as often because I'll be with my boys or actually accomplishing things in my home. You might not hear a comment from me as much, but I'm still reading & haven't forgotten you my blogging friends. But this is my new goal.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mini-Me Monday

I've said it once & I'll say it it already Monday again? The weeks are flying by with extreme intensity! I like how Sarah puts it in her blog...the days are long, but the years are short. It's so very true.

Ok, so on to business....I'm sure you've all been waiting with high anticipation for the Mini-Me Monday report...OR you could just be getting sick & tired of hearing of my weight loss journey. I know sometimes I personally am tired of hearing my own thoughts on this matter...anyway....

Last Monday night I mentioned that I was going back to LA Weight Loss and I did...only to step on that scale & see my highest weight ever (expect with my first pregnancy). So, I pushed through the major disappointment in myself & decided to change my attitude, look into reality & begin again! That lasted until Wednesday lunch time when I found myself upset that I was having to sit down & so carefully plan my meal. I threw my own version of a fit to my husband who was home for his lunch break. "I don't want to do this, why do "I" have to be so careful about everything I eat, why do I have to plan, it's just not fair!" After I said those things, I was done and haven't had an adult fit since. What helped to subside those fits was that as of this morning when I went to weigh in, I've lost 7.6 pounds!!!!!!! I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!! I was thrilled! This plan is working & I feel like I'm eating so healthy. Here's what an average day of eating looks like for me:

4 proteins (about 4oz per protein)
4 vegetables (1 cup per veggie)
3 fruits
5 starches (A lot of whole wheat breads, brown rice, kashi, etc.)
3 dairy (Milk, yogurt, cheese)
3 fats (Avocado - my favorite, olive oil, safflower oil, almonds, etc.)
At least 64oz of water a day.

Here's the thing I love about this program too...I've not exercised at all. Now, don't get me wrong...I know exercise is really good for you, but I'm taking baby steps & definitely want to get to that point too.

So, I felt even more proud of myself this go around because of the fact that I feel my mind set is more towards being healthy & the weight loss is an added bonus. Part of the LA Weight Loss program is that they like you (don't force you) to eat at least 2 of their LA Lites a day. I had been enjoying their chocolate bars until I looked at the ingredients...high fructose corn syrup, sugar, hydrogenated oils...terrible, terrible stuff for your body! Ironic isn't it - that a company that is having me eat so healthy then asks me to eat these bars! So, I've been educating myself...talking with anutritionist friend, listening to Dr. Oz on Oprah...realizing how careful we need to be about ingredients that we put into our bodies. So, I told them that I wouldn't be eating the bars, nor would I be eating any of their other options for LA Lites. They were AWESOME about it & listened to what I had to say without even arguing with me & then really worked on a compromise as to getting compensated for the bulk bars I'd already paid for over a year ago. I appreciated this so much. So, I felt mature...older...wiser....and I was proud. Proud that I stood up for myself & my health which in turn affects my whole family.

On that note, since I don't get the protein in the bars I was eating and am not eating anymore of their LA Lites, I get more food to ensure that I'm getting enough protein, etc. So, here's what the plan looks like now.

4 1/2 proteins
4 veggies
4 fruits
6 starches (hallelujah!)
5 dairy
3 fats

Honestly, some days it appears as if I'm eating all day! In the "dieting community" I feel it's such a myth that we eat less in order to lose weight, when in fact we need to eat more healthy foods. I've heard this analogy, we are a fire. We need more wood (food) put on the fire (us) to keep it keep our metabolism going. As long as it's good, healthy food. So, I'm interested to see if adding more food allows me to still continue losing weight - but nursing sure does help!

So, I'm thankful & I've learned a lot this week. Not just about getting back into the discipline of it all, but about myself & the confidence in knowing that I'm in charge of me - ok, the Lord is in charge of me, but you know what I mean. HOORAY!!!...until next week.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

First Snow...

Today was our first snow here in Colorado (other than the mountains.) I woke up thinking it would just be cold & rainy only to discover that we got about 6 inches of snow. The boys couldn't have been more thrilled and were just dying to get out in it and play. The great thing about Colorado though is that mid to end week we'll be back up in the 70's.

Every first snow I think of how Christ's blood covers us white as snow. It's so beautiful as it comes down from the sky, and there's a certain level of peace that overtakes my heart. As we were driving home from church though, it was messy, cold, sloppy, & we got wet. It might be beautiful as it comes down & lays on our yards, but the maneuvering out in it can be tricky. I thought about how sin in our lives can make things messy, cold, sloppy, & sometimes we get completely wet in it and even though the "snow" so to speak washes away the sin, there are still consequences to what we do, say, & even think - but, I'm so glad for forgiveness that covers me white as snow and even though I still might have to deal with some of the yuck of it, there's a freedom in knowing that that first snow will come again......

PS - I've missed all my blogging friends. I'm sorry it has been since Thursday that I've been able to comment on your has been a crazy couple days!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thank you!

My friend Tara awarded me a fun "Change begins at Home"(look for it on my side bar), blogging award today! Is it silly to have this kiddish feeling inside of being so proud?! I love special see, a very high love language for me is gifts...this was a gift to me! Thank you Tara...thank you for being a true and loyal friend.

Tara & I met at MOPS. We were at different tables, but I had heard so many wonderful things about "this girl" at another table that the following year the Lord put it on my heart to ask her to be a table leader and in that I would get to know her better, being that I was in charge of finding table leaders for our MOPS group. It was an immediate connection of friendship & sarcasim & I loved it! Our sense of humor is very similar and we just clicked. Our friendship has continued to blossom over the years and I look forward to the rest of our lives as friends.

I am grateful that I had the opportunity to get to know her & that I can now call her friend. She is a delight & a true gift from the Lord. Thank you Tara....thank you for this award, but mostly thank you for walking through this life with me. Thank you for being a wonderful friend!

So, I pass on an award today...I pass on the "You make me smile" award to my new blogging friend, Sarah Markley. I credit her to getting me started in this "industry" (ha!) and everytime I read her blogs my heart smiles at the amazing gift of writing she has & the amazing heart for her family & the Lord that is evident. You write that book Sarah..& I'll be first in line to meet you!!

Friends...such a gift from Above!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A dream...

The joys, the aches, the constant-ness, the overwhelming, the never-ending, the love....this is the life of a mama. We clean, cook, do laundry, break up fights, spend time with each child alone, have play dates, go to playgrounds, shuttle kids to school, run errands, grocery shop, provide clothing, give baths, give hugs, clean love. How can a dream become so overwhelmingly saturating of everything you've ever been or do? It encompasses everything that is me. There is sacrifice and nothing for self. It's my way of dying each day for my children, just like Christ died for me - His child. Christ left nothing for Himself, so that we would have everything eternally. So, a dream & a struggle go hand in hand. I've dreamt of this moment since I was a little girl & so my dream comes true. In this dream comes a thankfulness and at the same moment, struggle. In this I learn...

I dare not be anywhere else except for right here...I long for right where I'm at. It's my be a mama and I love it. Never knew self would be sacrificed so and yet all for the love of my child..and I'd do over again in a heartbeat.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Thinks in my head...

September 24th, 2007...a very special day in the lives of the our family. Our oldest son Caleb decided to pray & ask Jesus to come into his heart & be his Savior. I don't think there can be a more special & exciting day for a parent as when their child gives their life to Christ. We really had wanted to make sure that he understood all about it before praying & didn't want to force this upon him as it really is a big decision. You might think that 4 is too young to realize what's happening, but that's the age that I prayed with my mama under the kitchen table & I remember it to this day. I was so excited about our son, I think I could have sung it from the roof-tops! And of course he's pretty excited that he'll now get to go to Heaven & be with Jesus someday.

A couple days ago, Caleb came over to me and said, "Mama, can we hear Jesus in our hearts?" Again, how old are you? We proceeded to have a conversation as to how we hear from the Lord and how He speaks to us. I was sharing with him that sometimes I believe that God puts thoughts in our head that we just know are from Him or He speaks to us through His Word and various other ways. Caleb then says, "So, Jesus puts thinks in our head...I've had thinks in my head." Ahh, talk about melting a mom's heart. The simple ways of a child - so sweetly speak to my own heart.

Am I quiet enough to hear His voice in my own life? Here I have a 4 year old who's wondering how to hear from the Lord & so desires it and I'm a 32 year old who knows how to hear from the Lord & yet I haven't taken a moment to be still & listen. My friend Short Stop said it so well yesterday on her blog..."Come Away with Me." It's something I struggle with all the time...taking a moment to be still & come away with Him. Ultimately it's all that really matters...Him. So, today I take a moment to sit still before an awesome God and listen for those "thinks in my head."

Monday, October 15, 2007

Mini-Me Monday..Fun Version

Four Jobs I Have Had

1) Nanny
2) Promise Keepers
3) Human Resources at Job Store Staffing
4) Mommy

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over

1) Anne of Green Gables
2) Anne of Avonlea
3) Pride & Prejudice
4) The Notebook

Four Shows I Watch on T.V

1) "24"
2) Survivor
3) Prison Break
4) The Office...Oh, & Lost!...we watch alot of shows!

Four Places that I Have Vacationed

1) Cancun, Mexico (Girl's vacation!)
2) Hawaii (Honeymoon)
3) Western Carribean Cruise (Went with friends...SO MUCH FUN!)
4) Florida (Disney World) combined with Bahamas (Fun vacation before kids with my hubby)

Four of my Favorite Dishes

1) Hamburgers
2) Lettuce Wraps from PF Changs
3) BBQ Chicken Salad from California Pizza Kitchen
4) Brisket

Four Places I'd Rather Be

1) Some amazing beach resort - one the Stars can afford!
2) An amazing, luxurious spa
3) Living closer to my family
4) Most days though...I'm exactly where I want to be!

Mini-Me Monday

Here's what I know....all the other "mini-me" updates have just been writing about my struggles. Nothing has really changed in my eating or exercise the past few weeks. Like I mentioned in previous blogs, I'm just procrastinating the inevitable change of eating that lies ahead of me.

Today is it...tonight when my husband gets home from work, I will be heading back to LAWL to be re-enrolled & start again. Even bought some vegetables last night at the store because I knew it would be full force tomorrow. So, this is the last day of bad eating habits. I'm not saying that there won't be moments in which I "stumble", but I'm striving towards full renewal in a healthy, eating lifestyle. I'm ready...ok, most of me is ready. There's a lot more cooking & preparing involved in this program. It's not like I can just grab a good salad at McDonalds or something...I have to plan ahead. Here's the odd thing - in planning ahead I find that I'm still thinking about food all the that not a bit ironic? But, I guess since I do think about it all the time, at least I'll be thinking more healthy this time vs. what junk food am I going to have next.

Today I step on that SCALE. Today they pull out the tape measure & measure me up. Today I face the truth...reality.

This is I thank you all for your support & encouragement you've given me thus far. So, what would you have for your last meal before the change of eating begins?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Copy Cat Again....

So, I loved reading about Bethanne, so I decided to copy her blog too! Two copies in a matter of a few days. I love getting these kinds of emails, so I thought you might like to know more about me! Maybe not...but, here it is anyway...

1. What is your favorite cereal?
Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
2. What is too gross to eat in the morning?
Eggs without bacon
3. What time do you go to bed?
Around 10-10:30pm - although my preferred time is 9-9:30pm. Have become a night owl in my old age!
4. Where do you put your keys?
In my purse or diaper bag..whichever I'm carrying.
5. What vegetables do you love?
Potatoes (ok, not really a veggie!), corn..hmmm.., green beans, carrots/celery with ranch
6. What is the last thing you cleaned?
my kitchen...I feel like I'm cleaning it all the time!
7. Do you measure with a ruler or do you eyeball it?
Usually eyeball except for when I'm cooking
8. What do most people compliment you on?
My hair & makeup and who's tooting their own horn!
9. What is behind you right now?
The sliding glass door that leads to my outside deck.
10. Favorite pastry?
Filled cream longjohns from King Soopers
11. How do you like to waste time?
On the computer or at a bookstore with coffee...anytime with my husband
12. How would you describe your complexion?
Rosie & clear...I'm with you Bethanne...weird question
13. What do you hang onto that you should really get rid of?
Hmmm...I'm not much of a person that holds on to things. I get in these moods & just throw or give away things. I hate clutter! With the exception of purses..I have a hard time parting with them. Although I did recently give away a huge Dell box full of purses...Have you seen those huge Dell computer boxes...ya, alot of purses fit in there & it was full. My Bible Study girls sure loved that box though!
14. What is the last thing that made you hurt?
When my little Benjamin flew down a driveway on a bike at a friend's house & thought it was great fun only to go down the drive way, over the side full speed mind you & then fall face down on the street. Then not seconds later get hit with a toy baseball that his older brother hit with a bat. Thank the Lord, he's perfectly fine & no teeth lost! It hurt my heart....
15. Tea or Coffee?
Coffee...not a tea drinker very often
16. Do you speak your mind? might take a few moments, but usually yes. There are a few people though that I've learned to just keep my mouth shut because it's not worth it.
17. What is your escape?
Date nights with Dan, Time on Wed. nights with my girlfriends, Bible Study, time with the Lord.
18. When is the last time you cried?
This morning at church during worship I teared up.
19. What are your bedtime rituals?
Depends on how tired I am....If I'm getting to bed at a somewhat decent hour, I will take off my makeup, brush my teeth, go to the bathroom, get PJ's on, crawl into bed & fall asleep. If it's late, I do all that same stuff, but skip the washing my face.
20. What troubles you?
At some of the lack of convictions of believers & them willing to take a stand on things. The "whatever works for you" falsehood. What is going to happen after this next presidential election....I'm sure there's alot more. Oh, the fact that so many people don't have a personal relationship with the Lord.
21. Do you like thunderstorms?
Love them.
22. Do you sleep easily or toss and turn?
I think I fall asleep before my head even hits the pillow
23. What do you offer a friend?
Loyalty, Love, a listening ear, speaking the truth & how it is, fun, sarcasm & humor..I sometimes think I'm really funny...not sure about everyone else's take on that!!
24. If you could have a superpower what would it be?
maybe being invisible
25. Which is more attractive - personality or physical appearance?
Personality, but physical appearance definitely has its role
26. Who did you last fight with?
Other than the occasional discussions with my husband, I think it was a friend of mine. All is ok now though!
27. What did you eat last night?
Mexican casserole, re fried beans, rice, & a Papa's birthday party.
28. Who are you mad about?
My husband, my boys, & mostly the Lord

Friday, October 12, 2007

My sweet Jesus...

My sweet Jesus....
My mind is fixed on you this morning, knowing the comfort of your love.
You're the lover of my soul and died so that I might know...
The amazing gift that is You.

You lift me up when I'm down...
You carry me when I can't walk...
Your voice whispers my name when all around me speaks contrary...
You're my sweet Jesus.

The power of your name brings Life...
The touch of your written Word speaks Life...
All that you are IS Life...

You are the Alpha & Omega..the beginning & the end..
You're the Great High Priest, the Almighty God, the Everlasting Father...
You're the Prince of Peace, the Great I AM, the most Holy One...
You're MY sweet Jesus.

How could I not long deeply for you dear Jesus...
How could I not long for a Savior who captures my heart with one, sweet, romance...
How could I not pursue this loving You.

My sweet life, my heart, my soul, my all...for You.
My sweet everything.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Random thoughts & questions....

At the risk of being a copy-cat, I really enjoyed Alana's random thoughts yesterday, so I hope you don't mind my doing the same today!

What's up with Pre-Kindergarten students having homework already? Is that really necessary at this grade level? Am I already becoming a complaining parent...oh dear, that's not good!

I took the boys to the park yesterday & a few ladies were there that were obviously friends & after seeing my 2 boys playing they asked me if I had a girl in my infant car seat, upon which I answered that I had 3 boys! What's up with the sigh & moan after I say that?! Is it a kind comment, a "are you crazy" comment, or a compassionate comment. One of these days I'm going to respond by saying, "Yes, isn't it wonderful!"

Yesterday was a day of real & true joy. I love my life, love my husband, love my children, love my Lord! I love those days...the children for the most part are well dearest & sweetest husband ever brings me home a wonderful surprise gift of a new cell phone I've been wanting. It was a good day!

Has anyone ever see the stand up comic bit by Jerry Seinfeld in which he talks about the drier eating our socks...oh, it's so funny & oddly enough very true! This thought came to me after the upteen-hundreds of loads of laundry I did the past couple days...& yes, I said upteen!

I went to my first MOPS meeting last Friday! It was great & I was so excited to be back. It has kind of been a two-edged sword though really. I've been in a leadership role there for the past 4 years & I have loved it. It has really opened up a whole new realm of my getting to know other women. But, this year I decided to step down & just be an attendee. There has been part of me though that has been missing being involved & yet really enjoyed the refreshing change of just sitting back & enjoying it. As I was sitting nursing my son right in the middle of the meeting I found myself thankful that the Lord had prompted me to step down because it would have just been nuts to have a newborn & lead. It was great though & I really, really enjoyed it!

Does anyone else spend lots of money when their husband is on vacation? My husband is a teacher at a year round school & has big chunks of time off with's wonderful, but we spend lots of money...Yikes!

Reality...I've spent $44.74 at Starbucks or some form of "fun" coffee in the past month. Mind friend Sharalee was here visiting & I bought a few for her..I'm sure at least $20 worth..ok, not. This is NOT good.

I don't want to....

A few weeks ago on a Saturday morning, we decided to load up the family & go to our local outside shopping mall where they have a farmer's market every weekend. I love going there to check out the great produce & kettle corn (ha!), while observing all the people. This particular weekend they were having a 1st annual 5K just around the shopping center. Which in my opinion made it even more fun because there were a lot more people along with free food! What really stuck out to me was the amazing shape these runners looked in & I found myself embarrassed. "Look at the girl who's not in shape!" "Look at the girl who could use a good jog! I'm stuffing my mouth with the free pizza rolls from Old Chicago. And here's the hard as it was & as embarrassed as I felt, it's the truth. The truth does sometimes hurt, but it was a good wake up call for me of what I desire.

I read Sarah's posting on marathon running & our fear connected with it. I'm not sure that I actually have fear in the running aspect (although I do have a serious fear of her other options), but I think the fear for me comes in the "giving up" of myself & what I want, to be disciplined in getting ready for it. You see, not only would it require me to train, but I'd have to lose a lot of weight before even feeling like I could run again and even begin the training process. Although the starting of exercise would facilitate a body that would drop pounds, I just don't want to have to stop doing "what I want to." Maybe in that though is some fear. I'm afraid I'll never be able to eat the food I want to again. That's what I'm afraid of. I'll be sentenced to a life of carrots & broccoli. Even though I feel in my heart that I want to eat healthy & exercise, I don't want to. It's too hard! I'm really not afraid of failure or not being able to do it, I just don't want to....there you go, the ugly, honest truth. But really, what discipline do we really "want" to do..really....especially at first. Once I start the process, then I start enjoying it more but that doesn't mean it still isn't hard.

Here's the thing...once I do start the process of being disciplined in any area of my life, it might stink & be hard for awhile but in that difficulty an amazing thing starts happening...I feel better! I feel better about my life, my health, my walk with the Lord, whatever it might be. So, why is it that we stall in doing what we know we need to do? Pride...I just don't want way is best. And once again I realize that my pride & control get in the way of God wanting to do a work in me.

So, my goal next year is to RUN the local 5K. Maybe someday I'll do a marathon because in my heart I'd love to do it - now if I can just get disciplined. The Lord is forever working in my life & I'm grateful.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Happy Birthday Love...

Happy Birthday sweet man of mine!
34 years of life the Lord has blessed you with & I pray for many, many more.
Your life has touched so many others and I don't know that you even comprehend the depths to which you're loved.
Your life reflects such kindness, integrity, loyalty, compassion, understanding, thoughtfulness, humility, love...just to name a few.
Your life most importantly reflects Christ...

My love, may you know the depth of my love for you...
My love, may my eyes always sparkle with my attraction for you...
My love, may my heart always patter when you walk my way...
My love, may my words always speak to my amazing thankfulness for you...
My love, may my admiration always whisper to you how cherished it is to me that you love the Lord...

Happy Birthday sweet Daniel...I love you!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Mini-Me Monday

Well's not lookin' good. My best friend left & I just continued eating like she was still here. Didn't exercise...nothing! But, I'm hopeful at this....I'm starting back up on my eating program at LA Weight Loss next week. I had amazing success when I did it right before getting pregnant with Levi - despite the terrible 20/20 interview about the program. I still have money invested there, so they are holding my plan for me.

So, speaking of eating....I started my son Levi on cereal today! I can't believe it's already that time. He's almost 4 1/2 months & he's a bigger boy & I'm wondering if he just needs a bit more. Plus, I knew that in order to go work on my weight, I had to not be Levi's sole form of nourishment. LA Weight Loss rules.

Well, Levi didn't really like the cereal...shocker! None of my boys took to it real well at first. Do any babies really? But, last night I pulled up the high chair from our basement storage and a few other "older" toys for Levi & I just can't believe how quickly the time is going. Today I put away a huge tub full of baby clothes that don't fit him anymore and I find that life is passing by without my having time to barely keep up with it. On one hand I'm saddened at my boys growing up & on the other hand I'm so proud of the little boys they are becoming.

So there you have it...some random thoughts today. Nothing deep or exciting, but I've been thinking about how quickly life is passing & I'm still at the weight that I am. It's time for a good kick in the rear! I'm tired of being over-weight and it's my own fault for where I'm at today. BUT, with the Lord's help...I try again-everyday.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Ugly Sin Nature

I sat earlier this morning listening to my older son throw a huge fit in his room. I think his behavior would be extremely embarrassing if I was out in public. I think that he should learn self-control & pull himself together. He slams a door...throws a toy...cries. Oh my goodness! (A small disclaimer - this is not the norm.. but every once in awhile he just breaks down - for those of you who have kids, you understand.) Of course we don't tolerate this in our home & it's definitely something we work on - always seeking the Lord for wisdom in this area.

I found myself the other day talking with Caleb about his whining & frustrated that he wouldn't stop. I proceeded to go lean over the kitchen sink in frustration only to hear that still small voice in my head that said, "Are you whining?" You know, those moments when you know it's the Lord sweetly expressing something to your heart? I found myself baffled by the ironic situation I was in. I was training my child about self-control & how to maintain his composure while using "his words" and I in that very next moment turn around & find myself losing it on the internal fit. And thus rises the ugly sin nature.

We've all been there as adults. At our wits end about something or another. I find I personally throw my fits, just in a different form than my children do. They do it loudly because they know no other way to control or express themselves; thus the training involved. I know better, so I hide it...I do it on the inside. I whine & throw my fit knowing that no one will see it, but my Heavenly Father does & so sweetly asks me, "Are you whining?" And I sit back & think...I'm not much different.

When I find myself complaining that I have to pick up after everyone constantly - I thank the Lord that He provided me with a beautiful home. When I've lost count at the times I've picked up cars or trucks in one day - I thank the Lord that He's provided us with money to buy things for our children. When I complain that I'm cleaning the kitchen yet once again & making breakfast, lunch, dinner, & snacks - I thank the Lord that He's given us food on our table for nourishment. When I'm so tired of the never ending loads of laundry - I thank the Lord for the clothes He's provided for us & the fabulous machines to wash them in. When I'm so tired of the never ending of everything - I thank the Lord for the life He's given me & the privileged I have to stay home and make this a loving environment for my family.

When I find myself whining & complaining - I'm thankful that I have a God who sweetly whispers in my ear, "Are you whining?"..."You know I always love you, so come to me anytime." And I find His grace & love saturating my heart yet again. When I find myself dealing with my Caleb, who's having a "moment" - I thank God that He gave me such a precious gift...3 of them to be exact.