Thursday, October 27, 2011

Right Routine

This is hopefully one of Sweet Loverbrains last trips to China for a while.  And it's a LOONNGG trip!  I was musing over how good we're all doing with trips nowadays.  We've gotten adjusted to the odd routine.

Loverbrains has gotten really sweet and sensitive about it all too!!  He brought home flowers his last night...2 the hopes they live the whole time until he returns to me!
The kids are understanding that DadE is gone but loves them and is coming back...eventually...(don't you just love how Calubby stacks his graham crackers and eats one at a time...teehee)
I'm glad God works this way in me...bringing me to the understanding of just how 2 Corinthians 12 works..." For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
It really has EVERYthing to do with understanding that God is the ONLY one with enough strength for each test.  Yes, living alone with no tag team partner is considered a test.  I have to come to the end of me...remember Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
Funny isn't it all comes together when you get those things right?  Then we see...Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  I can wake up the kids...get everyone the neighbors...pray at the bus a light here...shining!  Cuz...I'm never really alone!  Duet. 31:8, "It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hodgepodge Halloween

1. What gives you goosebumps?
Those total "God thing" stories.  Wooohooo!
2. Halloween-are you a lover or a hater? Okay, that sounds harsh...Halloween-yay or nay?
I think Halloween is a great opportunity to talk to people about life after death.  Shutting of my lights and pretending I'm not home is a cowards way out...and I'd just like to!
3. Can you respect someone you do not trust, and can you trust someone you do not respect?
By God's grace I can do anything...I hope.  Some things are easy to understand...but not to explain to your heart.
4. Apples or oranges? Yes, you have to choose. all their many forms too!  Applebutter, applesauce, apple slices, apple pie...
5. What is something you wish was in your town? (shop, restaurant, attraction, etc)
I live close to the heart of is hard.  Hmmm....I wish they had a Trader Joe's on the South side instead of WAY up North.  You have to take a field trip just to get there. 
6. What non-food item is in your refrigerator or freezer?
I have candle waxed candlesticks in my freezer...(waiting to be cleaned)...and blue boo boo packs in my fridge for the occasional bump on the noggin.
7. Are you at all superstitious?
8. Insert your own random thought here. 
I had such a good time looking back at Halloween pictures...Today I get to spray paint a box silver...can you guess what Lubby is going to be for Halloween??

Monday, October 24, 2011

Less is More

Take heed that the misdeeds for which thou correctest thy children be not learned them by thee. Many children learn that wickedness of their parents for which they beat and chastise them. ~John Bunyan

We did have a nice lunch together today.

Of course, that was after I started out the day trying to get WAY too many things done ...and I decided I don't like myself all rushed and short-tempered.   I don't think anyone else was enjoying it either.
Slowing down...grabbing my camera...capturing the precious...focusing on the eternally important... made the day all better!
PS...I used my new periwinkle bowl, Mom!  Thanks!  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Solo Deo Gloria...Fresh Prayer!

In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart. -- John Bunyan 
  I'm generally not a weepy sap...I'd like to say that for the record.  But I felt weepy the other night as I prayed with a new believer.  She was nervous about praying together...out-loud...and rather than hide or leave early, she understood the blessings that might come from shared prayerful worship; she agreed to pray with me.  I told her that it wasn't for those around her to hear...she was praying to God..."so just talk like you would in your head or at home."

WOW...what a remarkable hear the tender love of a person who newly understands the special love of Jesus...and is rejoicing every second in their salvation.  It was convicting and amazing.  She ended with, "Oh Lord Jesus...I just love you so very much...amen!  *...See!  I'm getting weepy all over again while I type this...isn't that just precious!?

Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude—an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God. 
--Arthur W. Pink 

 The more I pray...really really pray...I'm convicted of what Mr. Pink is saying.  It's about being broken in my attitude and really seeing who God is...just like my friend, it's realizing the joy of salvation for an awful sinner like me.  I certainly don't deserve it...and how dare I only come to Him with list of suggestions and requests.  I need to realize He's already in perfect control.  I want to pray that He will just see fit to use me...however, whenever...And let Him worry about the rest.  

Prayer does not fit us for the greater work, prayer is the greater work. 
--Oswald Chambers 

 Prayer is always God's way.  It honors Him.  God can break any chains in answered prayer.  I've felt convicted lately that I don't pray for things that I think are impossible.  Come on, I know everyone out there has those situations that seem like there's no light at the end of tunnel.  That loved one will never come to Christ, this job will never change, my spouse will always/never...etc.  Often it's about our mental attitude...and our understanding of Christ.  

Who is this God I serve...and what is he really capable of?  And if He chooses to answer me NO...or I love Him and understand that He is loving me perfectly in His answer?


Friday, October 14, 2011

Caffeinated Randomness...VERY!

Here I sit pondering the state of my caffeinated randomness.  Frankly, I'm bit low on caffeine and high on the random.  Try to keep up!

Tonight my sweet Loverbrains and I are headed out for a date!  I must say, for the record, that I love, love, LOVE babysitting swapping with our dear friends.  Every other month I have a FREE babysitter...and on the other month I get to know their kids better and really serve them in a practical way! 

And another for the record (toldja this was random)...we are back to making a list of 7 things to talk about for date nights.  Why 7?  Cuz it's the perfect number, right?  It was between 7 and 12 and er, 7 won!  AND...why questions...cuz sometimes married folks with kids have numb brains and need to think of fun things to say...other than serious stuff and the kids.  HA!  Honestly, it just gets the ball rolling....and we learn all sorts of fun things about each other.  I mean, heh...someday when you're old I sure hope your pride doesn't keep you from making lists if you need them! And if you're just more creative and lovey dovey than us...well, good for's a cookie!

Speaking of old...I did get older on Monday.  In retrospect, I think I would have planned less for this natal week because here I am at the end of it...very tired and feeling every bit of my age...which I'm not sharing...okay...I'm 32...and I'm only sharing cuz...I have a funny RANDOM story to tell...My sweet Loverbrains made my cake...caramel with caramel frosting.  To represent my age he put three candles on one side and two on the other.  My sweet Emmer-bean said, "Hey're 5??"  It was TOO cute!  Thanks to my great Mom-in-law who is making me my most favorite kind of cake (the kind the others can't choke down)...carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.  

AND...all this cake leads me to my last random subject...I'm joining a fitness program.  Yes, my pants are tight...but GI stuff is kicking up again...and I'm feeling crummy.  Also, considering my age...and the changes in metabolism...yadayadayada...yeah, I signed up and paid for some accountability.  I start Monday...I'm a bit nervous.  I don't exercise in front of others as a general rule...and I've always eaten whatever I wanted...Goodbye...those days are over.  Here comes HEALTHY!  I hope.

I'm off to slap on some beautiful for my date tonight.  Hope ya'll have a random and lovely caffeinated Friday!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Saved, not inoculated.

Sunday night was very special in our house.

Emma, in her own words, "asked Jesus to be her Savior from her sins!"

Now, I have spent a lot of time thinking about whether to post about this event or not.  All things blogged are for posterity, right?  My children have LONG and very detailed baby books.  HA!

No, the reason I wasn't sure about writing on this subject is because I have such strong feelings about it.  We have been very careful to not lead Emma in some pretty little she'll feel inoculated with salvation from her sins.  As if this was how it happened at all.  We wanted this to be something that she was prompted to do by the Holy Spirit...not something to just please us or escape the fears of hell and death. 
That's easier said than done...when you have a beautiful, little firstborn so eager to please....and all of ETERNITY is on the line.  But that's the point...I could have gotten her to say the WORDS months ago...but what she did Sunday night was her own personal decision....because God was at work in her heart and mind.

As I tucked her in I sang one of the favorites in our house..."Change my heart oh God..."  As I sang she was feeling for her heartbeat.  She couldn't feel it so I helped her.  As she felt her heart beat she said, "What about Caleb's it beating?"  I told her that if your heart stops beating you die.  I told her that's why the words of the song talk about changing your heart to be like God...because all of our hearts are sinful.

She pondered this a bit...and tearfully said, "I don't want to die with sins in my heart!"'s the point where I could have just said, "Well, pray this prayer dearie and you've received your salvation shot...don't ever worry about it again."...but I didn't...As Jesus so often did, I asked another question..."What do you know about that sin in your heart?  Who could do something about it?"

She said, "If I pray and tell Jesus I'm sorry for my sins...he'll wash my sins away."  I asked if she had ever done that before...and she said no.  I told her that she could pray at any time and he would save her.  She said she wanted to pray right then...
Yes, she is still a very small girl.  The days ahead will show the fruit of this decision.  This is just the starting point.  As she grows and matures...I'm praying her understanding of what it means to be saved will grow too...but for now we are rejoicing with the angels!

Luke 15:10, "there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Autumnal Hodgepodge

1. What's your favorite meal to serve on a chilly autumn evening?
Beef Stew with warm, homemade bread.  So cozy!
EZ Recipe= 1 lb. stew meat, 1 can. tomato soup, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 packet dried onion soup mix, 1 lb. mixed veggies frozen...Put all in crockpot on low for 6 hours.  Or...high for 3!  I've done tons of scratch recipes and this remains the one that everyone loves best.  Go figure.
2. Are you a creature of habit? Explain.
Yes, and I tend to get a little too comfortable in my routines.  I need to work on my flexibility and spontaneity.  I have the ability to be creative but it just takes that little added effort that so often I don't take.  
3. What food product (no longer readily available) do you remember and miss from days gone by?
No longer readily available??...sheesh...Joyce these questions make you sound ancient...which you are NOT!!  I miss those little oatmeal cakes.  I know they still exist but I never buy them...cuz I'd eat them all.  I remember my Mom having them for snack sometimes.
4. What's something you've lost that you've never been able to find? Any theories as to what happened?
Of all the things I've ever lost, I miss my mind the most.  Theories...hmmm?  Children...lost brain cells by the millions...yup!

5. Zoo~circus~ carnival...your favorite?
I guess I'll say the zoo...since I go so often with the Sweet Boobahs.  It's very relaxing and interesting.  When you live close you can make friends with different zoo keepers and connect with animals by name, etc.  That has given the zoo added dimension for me.
6. What song makes you feel instantly happy?

7. To what extent are you an argumentative person?
In my family we argue for fun....and I'm not kidding.  This is fine until it gets out of hand, of course.  We like to debate and play "devil's advocate"...It really taught me to think through issues...especially spiritual issues.  I love that my husband has embraced this part of my family over the years.  At first I think they freaked him out...but now he'll join right into the, discussion!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
God's timing amazes me.  Just a few posts ago I talked about wanting to shine and not shake...and about leaky pipes.  God has a sense of humor ya'll.  Yesterday we discovered a pipe was broken under the huge tree in our front yard.  As the guy from the water company was telling me it was pouring 1.5 gpm (gallons per MINUTE)...and I was feeling a bit pale and seeing huge dollar signs...I was also struggling internally...cuz I wanted to act Christ-like...*remember I'd just written that "I don't want to just appear...I want to really BE."...trusting God*...So, I took a deep breath and prayed for peace...and it came.  Full peace that God knew about this leak and would take care of it.  Then I called my Loverbrains...and he discovered that the sewer insurance we'd purchased 3 years ago was actually for sewer, gas and we are covered.  Praise God....for His faithfulness and for waiting long enough to show me that it would be okay regardless.  He's even giving me ample time to get my laundry done this morning before they shut the water off...cuz we all know they never start on time.  Haha!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

WHAM! Pride check.

I just love it when I'm studying a well known Bible story and something strikes me that never did before.  It just shows that God's Word is indeed living!

So, I was reading Acts 5...the story of Ananias and Sapphira.  For those of you who aren't fresh on the story, I shall sum up....They were a couple in the early church that sold some property and said they gave all of the profits to the church when in reality they didn't.  And...they lied about it.  They were struck dead...and the church was purified.

It's one of those favorite childhood stories...first the husband comes in and lies...WHAM!  He drops dead...they cart him out.  Then the wife comes in and lies...WHAM!  She drops dead...they cart her out.  Kids love that stuff.

Over the years I've taken away the truths that God takes lying (sin) very seriously.  It is stupid to try to lie to, He knows everything.  But today...I gained another teensy insight.

Ananias and Sapphira wanted to look better than they were. Don't say, "no duh" to me.  I hadn't looked at it from this angle.  Previously, they'd been dead so I only looked at the after affects and not the initial issue.

It would have been perfectly okay for them to sell the property and give part of the profit...but they knew it would make them appear super good if they said they gave it all!  So, they lied.

I was struck that sometimes I want to look better than I am.  For me...spiritual circles can be the worst.  I want to appear strong and godly...but this keeps any blessings from being real.  Fellowship should be Christian care at it's finest.

Sometimes that means being very real...letting the whole pride thing go.  I know this does work from the handful of times I've tried it.  There are huge blessings from just being ME and letting God do the work.

Simple obedience...having friends over when the house has seen cleaner days.  Accepting babysitting and admitting exhaustion when I should.  Scheduling a playdate when I feel like I don't have anything left to offer...and realizing Christ is all I need.

I think when we act in OBEDIENCE and we resist the desire to appear better than we are...God is able to really use us in powerful ways.

Ah...there's nothing like a little pride check to start the week, eh?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Loverbrains Returns...again!?

Yes, he's home again from another China trip.  He even found a tiny silk robe for Emmer-bean!  AW!  Yes, that's the whole reason he was gone so was hard to find one just her size.  Oh, and a teeny tiny Chinese tea set with Pandas.  Hehehe!

Caleb is enjoying his gifts too...most namely a small, brass dragon and a huge, green dung beetle (captured in amber and made into a key chain.)  Dragons and beetles...what could be better! 

I'm happy too...I can sleep again.  Any crashes in the night are now NOT my problem.  Not that I won't still get up and deal with stuff, of course...Just not alone.  Phew!

In reality, I am most blessed when he is gone.  I have a GREAT network of friends and church family that actually would come to my house in the middle of the night if I needed them.  Just thought I should say that...cuz I do so appreciate them.