Sunday, September 30, 2007

How I Beat the Blues

Went to Starbucks.....treated myself to a pumpkin spice latte

Went for a run in the rain...... nothing makes me feel stronger and more empowered, then running in the rain. I feel so tough, running with the rain beating against my face. I even went a mile further then I planned. I still don't think I burned off all that ice cream though.
Took a long hot there any better treat? Besides chocolate that is.
Got completely caught up on the laundry

Made dinner for the fam.......even though everything inside me wanted to crack open a can of Campbell's

Baked chocolate chip, no, not for me, lest you think I am some sort of chocoholic. OK, you're right, I am. But I made them for Jon, they're his favorite.
Braided Sarah's hair.......she loves to have the crimped look for school in the morning. I'm kicking myself for not saving my crimper from 8th grade - those were so rad!
Prepared the coffee pot for my sweetie.......complete with love note and all! He comes home at 4:00 am for his break. After many nights of being awoken to the sound of the coffee grinder, I realized it's best if I get it all ready for him. He just has to push start!
Put the kids to bed 8:30 I had a quiet house. Nothing short of a miracle!
Had some quiet time with truly, there is no better treat. I am doing a Beth Moore bible study right now, going through the book of Daniel. IT IS AWESOME! I am learning so much. And oh, how I need this time alone with God. He truly fills me up much better than chocolate peanut butter ice cream ever could.

Rainy Day Blues

It doesn't feel like a Sunday morning.
Due to Jon's work schedule we have been going to the Saturday night service at church, so Sunday mornings don't feel like Sunday mornings. I miss the old Sunday mornings. And today, I am misssing the sunshine. Right now, the kids are making forts with couch cushions and watching a Land Before Time marathon....they're on number four. I am still in my pj's, sitting at the computer and loathing paying bills, and balancing the Garland Budget....not fun. The sky is a dark shade of grey and the rain is streaming down the window. So being the emotional eater that I am, I broke out the chocolate peanut butter ice cream (that's right, straight from the carton, I'm finishing it off baby!), and am feeling much better after such a healthy breakfast. Thank you God for chocolate, sometimes I think you created the cocoa bean just for me. I have nothing clever to say, nothing exciting to post. Only that I hope everyone out there is having a wonderful Sunday, and enjoying the blessings God has so graciously given them. We all have so much to be thankful for, even on a dark, dreary, rainy day like today.

O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.
Isaiah 25:1

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Daddy Duty

I just have to gush for a moment. Look at this sweet man, just look at him, painting his little girl's nails pretty pink. He's going to hate me for posting this, but it really melted my heart today. Thursdays are not my favorite of days, I have to work 10 am to 10 pm.....yeah, not so fun. As I rushed into the kitchen to re-heat my Starbuck's coffee (which this sweet man went and got for me), before running out the door......I see this. And I just had to snap a picture! My sweet hubby is such a good daddy to Olivia while I'm gone. And not only does he play princesses and horses with her, he does the laundry, the dishes, cleans the floors, and whatever else I leave for him. He loves to take Daniel and Sarah to school in the mornings. Unlike me, who mostly pulls up to the curb, and says, "bye have a good day". He parks the car, walks them into school, into their classrooms, and hangs out for a while! What a guy! That young, naive, 20-year old girl had no idea what she was getting when she said "I do". But I'm sure glad God knew. What a wonderful gift He gave me.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
~James 1:17

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Day Picked by God

Today Is Brian's Birthday
Brian was Jon's cousin who he grew up with and we have been missing him since March of 2004. I realize these posts have not been the most upbeat lately, but sometimes that's the way our lives go. Living through the joys and the harder times. Pressing on, trusting and loving our God, even when we're not understanding His ways.

I post this today to honor Brian, to remember him, and to just say we will never forget him. Today is the day God ordained from the beginning of time that Brian would be born. God had a purpose and a plan for Brian's life. And He knew all along the number of his days. Brian touched so many lives for the Glory of God. I can't even begin to describe him as the wonderful man that he was, as I know many others could do that much better than I.
I do however want to share an excerpt from a book by J.I. Packer, that is so relevant for today (and yesterday):

God's power, blended with his knowledge, has sobering implications. "In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them" (v. 16). I, Carolyn, remember well the day when I sat down and calculated the days that my own firstborn child had lived: a mere 8,175 days until a car crash on the way to work ended Sheri's life as well as that of her own unborn child. At age seven, Sheri had completed nearly a third of her lifetime—and God knew. He had counted the days. When Sheri danced at her senior prom, she had completed more than three quarters of it—and God knew. He had counted the days. At college graduation, she had completed all but seventy-one days. God had already counted them. I am grateful that those counted days were in God's knowledge, not mine. It is comforting to know that the length of Sheri's life did not somehow escape the knowledge and the power of God, that her life (far too short by human measure), continues to this day in his presence. God the Creator shapes, conceives, constructs, connects, controls all that he brings into any mode of being, and this shaping is His omnipotence in action.

Happy cousins! Duane, Brian, Carey, Jon, and Darrin. Wish I had more recent pictures, but this is all I had on hand! But these are pretty adorable!

The world and it's desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. ~1 John 2:17

Brian was indeed a man who did the will of God. Praise God for His promise!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Need for Prayer

Like all of you, I will never forget the Tuesday morning of September 11, 2001. Our kids were so little, 2 and 4, that we didn't go into great detail about what had happened that day. But the following year, on that day, the kids and I put up the American Flag outside. I sat down with them, and explained to them in an age-appropriate way what had happened on that day the year before. I got out our book "Let's Roll", by Lisa Beamer. Her husband Todd was a passenger on flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania. On that day she had two boys, David 3 and Drew 19 months, and was 5 months pregnant with a little baby girl. I showed Daniel and Sarah the pictures of those boys and the baby girl, and explained to them how we needed to pray for them on that day. It was so precious to hear Daniel and Sarah pray for these children by name. It is a tradition we have kept every year. We have a time of prayer for the Beamer kids specifically and also for all the children who lost parents, for husbands who lost wives, mothers who lost sons, and so on. I know from my own life experience, the pain of losing a loved one does not go away with time. In fact, I feel that it intensifies, as you have to go on with your own life with that empty space. With each new life experience, milestone, and celebration, that loss is felt all the more. So today, will you please pray. Even though this happened six years ago, I can assure you there are still men and women, and children who are suffering today. Please pray for them. Pray that through their loss, which they are so painfully reminded of today, they will turn to God, and find the joy and peace that comes from having a relationship with Him.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
~James 5:16

Never before in my life had the difference between those who believe in the Lord and those who do not believe been so obvious to me. Following Sept. 11, I saw firsthand many dear people who were trying their best to cope with loss, hurt, anger, fear, and a host of other feelings. Some had lost a husband, father, daughter, mother, or friend. They wanted to soar like eagles; they deeply desired to get on with life. They wanted to look on the bright side and do the things the cliches recommend, but they didn't have the strength. Worse yet, they had no hope. My family and I mourned the loss of Todd deeply that day....and we still do. But because we hope in the Lord, we know beyond a doubt that one day we will see Todd again. I hurt for the people who don't have that same hope, and I pray they will see something in our family that will encourage them to trust in the Lord.
~Lisa Beamer, describing the day she and other victims' families visited the Flight 93 crash site in Pennsylvania

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Ignorance is Bliss

I just have to share this little tidbit:

This morning we had a last minute wardrobe change. The outfit I had laid out for Sarah was vetoed. She informed me she had P.E. today and wanted to trade in her sparkly ballet flats for her Nike's, and the perfectly coordinated denim skirt for shorts that she could "run fast in". So as we tried to come to a compromise of finding an outfit that would be hip and athletic at the same time, the sweetest, most innocent words came out of my 8 year-old daughter's mouth....."mom, why can't I just wear what I wore yesterday?"

I knew my kids had been sheltered from being home-schooled, but I didn't realize how much, until I heard Sarah say those words. She has never learned the unspoken rule of girls everywhere: NEVER, EVER repeat an outfit! At least not for a week or two. When I was in 6th grade, I remember my friend Muffy bragging about how she was not going to repeat an outfit for the whole school year.....and she did it!!!

Don't get me wrong, I definitely will not encourage my daughter to be materialistic, or obsess over what she's going to wear. I just found it sweetly amusing how she couldn't understand why she couldn't just wear the same thing she wore yesterday! It's a good thing she has a savvy, trend-setting, fashionista for a mother who is able to help her out! Ok, well, maybe fashionista is the wrong word, but I can still give some good motherly input!
Sarah (and her American Girl doll in matching nightgowns), has thankfully not yet entered the "peer-pressured world of fashion"

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

God Is So Good!

God is so good! I will never forget when I was in the Philippines, and I was in the city of Davau, which is this tiny little dot on the map. Well, I remember walking down the street, and seeing shoulder to shoulder people as far as you can see. And I remember so clearly thinking, "Wow God, you are amazing" Here are all these people, each life filled with some measure of pain and suffering, and yet you see them all, you hear them all, and this is just a tiny dot on a map on the other side of the world. The world is filled with billions of people calling out to God, and yet He cares for each one, the smallest request to the most dire are all heard by Him. I write all that to say, God is so good. Yes, a simple little prayer for my children's first day of school was heard, and He blessed me beyond measure. A day I thought was going to be difficult and emotional, turned out to be completely wonderful. The kids popped out of bed today, excited for the unknown adventure that awaited them. We all buzzed with excitement as we got ready, and there was a special feeling in our house this morning, a peace that I know was an answered prayer, and I quietly said, "thank you Lord". By special request, I made them their favorite breakfast and Jon took over devotions while they ate. Thankfully, my camera was sitting on the kitchen counter, and I snapped a picture while they were deep in conversation. Sarah's nails were painted, her hair was curled, and I even put a small spritz of my perfume on her, just for fun! She loved that! As I stayed up late last night making sure all their clothes were ready, school supplies packed, lunches packed, complete with a special note for each of them, I realized that I can take all the energy and work I put into homeschool and put it into making the time we do have together, GREAT! One thing I am so thankful for is that their school (which is five minutes away) doesn't start until 9:15 and Jon gets home from work at 8:30 am. We told the kids, that every morning they will be completely ready for school by 8:30, and when Dad gets home we will sit down and have devotions together. And also, Jon doesn't leave for work until 9:00 pm, so we will be able to have dinner every night of the week together.
God is so good!

When we picked the kids up from school, their faces were beaming, and they had these huge smiles on their faces! They excitedly told us every detail of their day. Sarah even said, "I was having so much fun, I kept forgetting I was at school!" They both had a great day, and can't wait to go back!

God is so good!

And although it looks like Olivia is off to, not yet. She forgets she is two, she wants to go to school so badly!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Goodbye Sweet Summer

What will we miss about our lazy, care-free days of summer?

Flip-flops lined up by the front door
ready to be quickly slipped on to run out into the sunshine!Lemonade Stands
Or fruit punch, or whatever mom has on hand. Look at that beautiful sign they made

Running barefoot through the grass under the sprinklerLazy days spent at the pool with good friends Slumber Parties
A best friend and American Girl dolls, sweet childhood innocenceSwim Team

Swinging in the park
Olivia's favorite summer passtime
Good Bye sweet summer days!