Wife to Greg, mom to 7, and grandma to 3! Welcome to a glimpse of our life. It is a place where chaos abounds, tears are shed regularly, laughter is inevitable, and family is EVERYTHING!!!! Everyday is about the choices we make. Let's choose today to be different. To live for him. To find joy in the little stuff. To worry less and to love more. To be who he created us to be. This blog is about my daily "choices" along the way. Won't you join me? It will be a wild ride. But, as I always tell my kids I once heard it said "there ain't no high like the most!”
Interesting picture isn't it???? We thought it was very ironic and so we had to snap a picture of it. Someone had an old t.v. outside and it was filled with trash. Today's choice has to do with what we are taking in. I always say to my kids garbage in garbage out...But as always I need to ask myself if I am walking my talk. It is so easy to get caught up in things on the Internet or on t.v. Especially if I am tired and I don't want to think about anything. I can turn on the t.v. or start reading an article that really doesn't build me up. I often get caught up listening to a country music station and a lot of the time the songs are fine but every once in a while something comes on and I really need to turn it off.
So today let's make a choice to be more intentional about what we take in. If we are tired let's rest and if we are bored let's find something to build us up. Hope you have a blessed day. I am off to the first day of Bible study with Cayla. We are getting together with some of her friends and I am taking them through the book "Lies Young Women Believe". Sure it will be good!
Did you ever say something to your kids you never, ever imagined you would need to say???? My friend Carla and I were talking about this on the way home yesterday after I had to reprimand one of my kids for setting off one of those poppers you can buy with fireworks. The reason for the reprimand was because we were in the car when all of the sudden the thing went pop and little pieces came flying up at us. After that the same child was throwing a frisbee in the car. Who would have ever thought I would need to tell my kids NO fireworks or frisbees in the car???? I will tell you I never thought I would have to say those words. Although I have said a lot of things over the last 18 years that I never imagined saying. You just never know with kids.
We did have the most awesome time this weekend. We left Thursday and followed Carla's parents. On Friday morning we got up and went to visit my parents. They live in a cabin that we used to go to when I was a child. It is the most beautiful place and I love being there. I don't get there very often because they own another place that has more space for us to all come together(my brother has 5 children and with my 7 we need space). I actually hadn't been to this home in years and we spent a long time walking around while I reminisced. After that I took Carla through the house. My dad is a very gifted man and it is simply gorgeous. A bit "museum like" so we didn't have the kids in for very long because it is not very child proof:) After that we headed back to her cabin and Greg met us there just in time to take a hike. Saturday morning we hit the snake hunt and it was soooo much fun. If you have never been I encourage you to go. Maybe it is the country girl in me but I thought it was very cool. In fact I think I will add "go on snake hunt" to my list of things I want to do before I get too old or lose my mind. It was really exciting seeing them bring in the snakes and I would like to actually go out and do the hunting someday. The kids had a blast holding snakes(non-venomous of course) and so did I. I couldn't resist going in the "kids pit" to handle some of the snakes. They also learned a lot so we had our first day of school! After that it was time to head back home and back to reality. I will leave you with some pictures of our weekend. Have a blessed night!
Leaving for the "snake hunt" today. Already started packing up. Greg isn't coming until tomorrow night:( My heart is a little heavy today. My daughter is having some struggles. She is due in 9 weeks. We have had some really good conversations lately. God is really showing me how to listen and not be so condemning when they make decisions I don't agree with. Why is it I expect perfection from them when I am not perfect???? Or does my sin cause God to grieve any less than theirs???? Ugh! Some lessons I hate to learn.
Had Bible study last night. These ladies have come from some really tough situations. We talked about the sexual abuse. That is a tough label to deal with. I tried to explain to them that just because that is a fact about their life they can't change it DOES NOT have to dictate their future and it DOES NOT have to define them. We talked about other labels we give ourselves that are lies. Some said "not good enough", "alcoholic", "drug addict", "bad parent", and even "slut". My heart was very burdened. I know that we can NEVER act differently than what we think so they act out of this false belief system and Satan loves that. I pray that over our next 4 sessions together they can begin to grasp who they really are. That will be the first step in change. If they grasp that it not only changes their life but the life of their children, their other relationships, future generations, and most importantly their eternity.
You know as believers we have been given the mind of Christ(1 Corinthians 2:16). Do we really grasp what that means for us???? We have been given His Spirit so we can understand what God has freely given us (1 Corinthians 2:12). We have the ability to know the truth and understand it. If today you are living out of any false beliefs ask God to reveal that to you. Your past, or any label you or someone else has placed on you does not have to dictate your future. You have the mind of Christ girlfriends. Do not operate out of anything but the truth. Strip off the old and put on the new(trust me this is the only time I will tell you it is good to be a stripper:) As a man/woman thinks in his/her heart so is he/she(Proverbs 23:7) What are you thinking today? Is it truth? Claim it today. Pray for the ladies in my study that they learn their value in Christ.
Greg and I have the opportunity to share in an Sunday school this week. I have been thinking about it a lot this week. I think the topic will be "the things we wish we had known, the things we still don't know, and the things we wish our spouse knew". Should be interesting. I will let you know how that goes. Maybe I will post some of what we share next week. No Fashion Friday tomorrow. I was going to try to have it scheduled to post but my mind is going in too many directions right now. Hopefully I will post pictures Sunday of my first "snake hunt" experience. Have a blessed day!
Can't believe it is Wednesday already. The weather has been so beautiful I feel like I am being lifted out of my fog. Even though we had rain on Saturday we had a good graduation party. I had some tears. I still can't believe the journey I have been on since I was 17 years old. I have been married and a mom over half my life. Greg was not quite as emotional and the highlight for him was wrestling Chris into the pool.
Sunday was Fathers day and my dad was actually here for awhile before heading back into the hills so we had breakfast with him and I went to church and Greg and Chris went to a 10k trail run. Chris was his moral support until I could get there. It was unlike anything he has ever done. He is such a wild man. Then it was home to cook out and he even had enough energy to take a small run with me. Monday morning came and the house was trashed and I needed to get Cayla ready for Creation and of course I needed to go to the pool in the afternoon. That night Greg had a game and then we hit Rita's. I fell into to bed exhausted:)
Yesterday Cayla left for Creation around 7:15. I am so sad and lonely. We have NEVER spent this many days apart. She is literally an awesome daughter and has become a really good friend to me. I often call her my bff and I mean it. She is so mature and loving and considerate. I always tell her I dream of the day when she and I go to Bible study together:) I am starting a study with her and some of her friends on Monday and I am so excited. I had Bible study at church yesterday morning and things seemed to go well. I then headed back to the pool to console myself since Cayla is gone. Did I mention the house is still a mess:) After that it was home and then to Roots. Home from Roots, went for a run with Greg, and went to see Carla's new kitchen. Came back talked to my mom until 11 and fell into bed exhausted(that seems to be a reoccurring theme doesn't it???)
Now today I really must clean the house. I will probably hit the pool and then I have my class with my ladies in Lancaster. Cayla's softball team made the playoffs. Because of all the rain outs and make-up games we didn't know until last night. Cayla decided she wanted to go to creation anyway. It was a tough decision.
Tomorrow Carla and I are heading to the mountains. We are staying at her families cabin and taking the kids to a snake hunt on Saturday. Greg is meeting us up there on Friday night. Sounds like fun. I have done a lot of things but not sure I have ever been to a snake hunt. I feel like I should pull out my cowgirl boots and wrangler jeans. I will post pictures when I get back. Because of this little trip I'm not sure if there will be a fashion Friday. We will have to see:) Well, cleaning is waiting. Hope your day is blessed!
Good Monday morning to all of you. Today we are going to choose to be wise women of God. Do you know the difference between having knowledge and having wisdom??? Wisdom requires action. Wisdom is our knowledge applied. God's word is full of riches on how to obtain wisdom. In Proverbs 2 Solomon writes how to get wisdom. It is written for those who are hungering for wisdom. When studying always look at small key words in the text. Today we are going to look at the If and Then of Proverbs 2:1-9. The if tells us our action and the then shows the result.
1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, 3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. 9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path.
Accept His words
Store up His commands
Turn our ear to wisdom
Apply our hearts to understanding
And if we……..
Call out for insight
Cry aloud for understanding
And if we……..
Look for it like silver and gold
Search for it as for hidden treasure
You will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God
You will understand what is right and just and fair
If we do our part God is faithful to do His. Psalm 111:10 tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and James 1:5-6 says if we ask AND if we believe we will get wisdom. Let's commit to do our part(the if) today and choose to seek wisdom and God will supply what we need(the then). Have a blessed day!
*I am so glad the anonymous person who left a comment yesterday knows that I am sensible and submissive. My husband DOES give me anything I want. He is sooo sweet. I am also glad that there will be a puppy in my future. Who knows maybe it will be sooner than later:)
Good morning my fellow bloggers! The sun is finally shining here and it is a beautiful morning. I was up early and able to watch the sunrise and it is a glorious thing! Speaking of sun can you pray for the weather tomorrow. At 2:00 we are having a graduation party for Chris. We have gone over all the scenarios and even considered rescheduling because of weather but we are going ahead and having it. I am confident that the One who controls the weather will work all things out just the way they should be even if that means rain. I can't write much today because I have a lot of prep for the party and I guarantee you if the sun is shining this afternoon I won't be inside!
Went shopping yesterday with Cayla. Love just being with her and she is just like her mama because she loves to shop. She had some gift cards to spend so we hit Forever 21 again and also Aeropostale. I found the cutest dress at Aero and thought I would share that with you(I bought it in vibrant orange - a great summer color). Dresses like this are so versatile in the summer. You can wear them very casually everyday with flip flops or dress them up with accessories and nice shoes. I have several dresses like this and I love them. This is coming from someone who rarely dresses up so you know they must be comfortable:)
Well I better be going. Hope you have a blessed weekend. I will post pictures of the party when I get a chance. I am sure I will spend the whole time bawling. I found pictures and a letter I wrote Chris when he graduated from Kindergarten. I can hardly believe it. I really wouldn't write anything differently to him today except to tell him he has exceeded all my expectations as a son. I am so proud of the man he has become. My children have been my greatest accomplishment along with hanging on to a marriage that spent many years on the brink of divorce. God is sooooo good.
*If you grabbed my button it was brought to my attention that it was linking to the wrong blog. You will need to delete it and re-grab it. Thanks! Sorry for the inconvenience.
I feel like I should apologize to all of central PA because of the continued rain. I have had the WORST attitude lately. I am realizing now that God is trying to show me something. Maybe because in my delay in learning He keeps sending the rain:) Hope my stubbornness hasn't hindered too many of others plans. Seriously though I have been begging for the rain to go away and to NOT come back another day. I have missed valuable opportunities to learn new things because of my stubbornness. Thankfully His word tells me His mercies are new EVERY morning.
On a more positive note Bible study on Tuesday mornings is going well. We are working through the glitches and we have 45 women and 70 children coming each Tuesday morning. I was talking to a friend this morning and we talked about how funny it is when we finally get what we have prayed for we then decide we don't want it or we can't handle. Bobbi and I prayed for years for women to come together and study God's word. We knew the value of it. We wanted it for every woman. Now we have a huge group and I catch myself saying I can't do it. Lie of the enemy and I need to nip it in the bud. No I can't do it but God can and will in spite of me.
Getting ready for the graduation party for Chris on Saturday. Thinking of a baby shower for Alicia and a b-day party for Catey. Heading off to Pittsburgh project with Cayla on July 13th which happens to be my b-day. If you happen to see Greg tell him how much a new maltipoo puppy sitting on the front porch with a bow when I return would mean to me. I just love dogs and miss Hunter terribly. Greg doesn't want another dog but I know he is a reasonable man:) I want a lap dog this time. Niah was supposed to be a lap dog. Weighing in at 80 lbs she thinks she is but seriously..... After leaving the vet in tears I said I never, ever wanted another dog but to loved and lost is better to have never loved at all or something like that so I am desperately wanting a puppy. We will see. I am trying to get better at submitting to Greg because I know that is what God wants for me but if He can change the heart of a king who knows maybe my man will learn to love dogs.
Had the most glorious morning at a dear friends house. We had what we called a "God talk" and it was awesome. We talked about so many things and I made notes. I feel a Sunday school lesson in the making. Another friend of mine and I worked out this elaborate childcare plan for when our girls are in 4-h classes this week. Some times I have her son Mark and some times she has my two boys so I was able to spend the whole morning this morning with my other friend kid free. I came home and went for a run with David Crowder and then picked up my boys and we walked home. I need to do that more often. We have some of our best conversations when we are walking. I love to see how their little minds process things.
Well I better be going. I am thinking instead of sticking my head in the sand I need to come up with a rain plan for Saturday. 50 some people and an outside party. Definitely need a plan b. Have a blessed day!
Hey ladies(and Greg) I don't have much time but I said I would post so here goes....I told you that this weekend I changed my plans for my class because I was praying on Friday about what I was going to teach on. I didn't feel at peace. It felt undone and incomplete. I had a bad week last week. For a few weeks actually with the dog, the weather, the busyness of life, etc....Well I woke up Saturday morning and I felt in my spirit like God was telling me to restore my confidence. I then started thinking of a verse I had memorized in Hebrews that said "do not throw away your confidence". I went to that passage and came up with a way to have confidence restored. Today we are going to choose to restore our confidence. Now when you look at the original language of this passage the Greek word for confidence means boldness, openness in speech. This is talking about being confident with who we are in Christ and having the confidence to share that. It does not mean being prideful or having a self-confidence or reliance. We should do everything in humility. I am going to post the whole passage so you can see where I came up with each step.
32.Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. 33.Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34.You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35.So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36.You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37.For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. 38.But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." 39.But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
Step No. 1 - REMEMBER
If we have lost our confidence and we feel defeated we need to remember what it was like when we first asked Christ into our life. The excitement we had. Or if we accepted Him as a child we need to look back on a time that we had a revival. If you have never had that maybe it is time for a revival right now!
Also remember what we have the confidence to do:
We can approach the throne through Jesus - Ephesians 3:12
We exalt Christ - Philippians 1:20
We can ask anything according to His will - 1 john 5:14
We receive mercy/find grace - Hebrew 4:16
We can enter the Most Holy place - Hebrews 10:19
That last one should be enough to make you jump up and down and dance down the street. If you have never studied the tabernacle. Get into your Old Testament. Only the high priest could enter the Most Holy place and only once a year. He wore bells on his ankles and had a rope tied to his ankle in case he was struck dead and had to be pulled out. That is NO MORE. Hallelujah. We enter that place through Jesus. We do it freely and confidently.
Step No. 2 - Do NOT throw it away
Evaluate. What is the thing that continually causes you to throw your confidence out the window. What hinders you? Is it fear, insecurity, pride, a huge loss, financial problems... Figure it out and make that thing, that thought obedient to Christ.
Step No. 3 - Know what you will receive
Verse 36 says when you have persevered you will receive what God has promised. What has He promised and what will you miss if you lose confidence? A good place to start is Ephesians 1:3-10. List His promises and read them EVERYDAY!
Step No. 4 - Be patient - Hold on
Know what will happen if you don't. Vs. 37 says in just a little while. Keep things in perspective. Verse 38 says if we shrink back God will not be pleased. We don't want that.
Step No. 5 - Know who you are
Know who you are in Christ. Also know who you are not. You are NOT those who shrink back and are destroyed. No! You are of those who believe and are saved.
That is our choice to ponder this week. Choose to have your confidence restored. I am off to a softball game. Have a blessed night!
Well, Sunday night came and went and I was too tired from all the fun this weekend to share with you all the rest of my weekend. I will share that now and I will post "Make a Choice Monday" later this afternoon.
Carla and I made it home on Saturday night and my house was empty. Everyone was at softball practice. I did find some interesting things....
I used to throw such a fit when I would go away and come home to a mess. I have learned to be thankful my family allows me the opportunity to go away and also things clean back up it is not the end of the world. I am not perfect so I am not sure why I expect it from my family. They were busy having fun too. So what if the kitchen table "caught" everything each time they came home or there was a random gatorade bottle on the floor not in the recycle bin. The blind thing I can't figure out????? But the point is it can all be put back. I would ruin my homecoming in years past by coming in grumpy over the mess. Greg did manage to get all the wash done and my dog did miss me. She didn't eat the whole time I was gone.
I left and went to meet my kids at softball. This is what I saw as I drove up.
What a beautiful sight. When they saw me I got the best hugs and kisses. After softball Cayla had a friend over and we cooked out. Chris and a friend of his actually hung around and played frisbee and dodgeball in the yard and of course when the frisbee got stuck on the garage roof Chris went after it.
After we ate it was bath time for the little ones while I finished my Sunday school lesson. Remember I said it was going to be on wisdom??? Well God had other plans and spoke something else to me that I will share later.
After that we fell into bed exhausted. We got up Sunday to our usual routine of coffee, newspaper, and just quiet time together before we woke the monkeys. I left early to make copies and Greg brought the boys later. He needed to stay after church for a Bible school meeting. He works so well with kids. I avoid it like the plague. That is terrible on my part. I just keep telling myself that with homeschooling it is not my season. While he was at the meeting we went to a friends house to pick up a turtle. They told Coco about it all week and her desperately wanted it.
Just what I always wanted:) After that it was already 1:00 so I decided to think outside the box for lunch....
Pretty lame I know but anyway, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. After that it was relaxing at home. Still no housework being done. I went for a run because I was feeling very ambitious. My husbands love language is giving and to my surprise my ebay king had scored me a bunch of Nike and Under Armour gear and surprised me with it when I got home. If I ever die running I will look cute in the process.
He is such a sweet man. After my run Greg had a softball game and then we came home and he went and did batting practice with Cayla. There was more cooking out(I cooked last night so Greg grilled tonight) and then off to Rita's to take Chris some supper and get some icecream. Icecream late at night is always good when you went running earlier:) After that we took Cayla's friend home and got home at 9:30. We got everybody into bed and fell into bed exhausted again!
See I don't have a perfect life but I am realizing more and more as I get older that I have a really good life. I have messes and we have stressful times. Beth Moore spoke about storms in our life. Right now I am not in a particular storm but I have been. I have been in major tsunamis that threatened to do me in but God had other plans. I know another storm will come. I may be in one by the end of this week but I ALWAYS come out of the storm stronger. That is just how life goes but for now I will sit back and enjoy the calm instead of worrying about the future. The future is uncertain but God is a constant amidst the turmoil. Speaking of turmoil did you know that I got pregnant at 17 and Greg was 7 years older??? Talk about turmoil. It was a rough start and we have had some really rocky moments(times we were definetely not in love)but he has become my best friend and the love of my life. That my friends is the gospel. The redemptive power of Christ's blood in our life. I will leave you with one last picture. Don't think my life and my marriage is perfect because it is not it still gets ugly around here a lot and it usually has to do with my stinky attitude but just know that God can and will redeem anything if you ask.