"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

June 21, 2017

Giving thanks

"All is grace. 
God is always good and I am always loved.
God is always good and I am always loved.
Jesus, at the Last Supper, showed us to transfigure all things
-take the pain that is given,
give thanks for it, 
and transform it into a joy that fulfills all emptiness.
The hard discipline to lean into the ugly and whisper thanks to transfigure it into beauty.
The hard discipline to give thanks for all things at all times 
because He is ALL GOOD." 

-Ann Voskamp: One Thousand Gifts


June 18, 2017

The glimpses

My hubby was passionate about parenting. He poured his life into our kids and I'm so grateful! 
It is a bit of a rough day for us but here's one thing that is really fun. 

I get to 'see him' all the time, so to speak.
All of a sudden he 'shows up' in some of the things our kids say and do and I get a glimpse of him all over again. 

I see him in their quick wit,
in their servant-hearts
 in their work ethics,
in the one who cares for the homeless and knows them by name,
in the two who will talk your ear off about theology,  LOL
 in the deep thinkers,
in how wise beyond their years they are.
In the one who can talk to anybody, 
 in the one who always intercedes for their coworkers,
 in the sweet way they love, honor 
and...tease me! : ) 

Several Father's Days ago : )

Happy Father's Day!

June 17, 2017

The blurr

The day after graduation/the party, I slept until an embarrassing hour. And life has been an absolute blurr every since.

The blur included:

 ~Some fun time off  of work with my sweet, best friend, who was in town for Andrew's graduation.

~A funeral for a friend who impacted so many and who was such a good example to me when I was a newlywed. Watching her taught me how to honor my husband and then later how to parent patiently. Not that I learned that lesson right off the bat, because I sure didn't. : ) And she taught me how to balance my checkbook way back when we didn't have two nickels to rub together. LOL I'm so grateful for her life.

~A date with my oldest son. He only likes the beach on cloudy days, so we went to watch a storm roll in, which is always so dramatic on the beach in Florida. Then we ate a cute place across the street and watched the rain.

~Getting Andrew ready to fly off on vacation. His friend's family blessed him with a plane ticket for graduation and invited him on their family vacation to Colorado where they are having a blast at the foot of the mountains.
Bless his heart, he will actually be in CO on Father's Day which is so ironic! My hubby was from CO and we spent many vacations there ourselves, in the Rockies, while singing John Denver songs! : )

~Starting to facilitate our women's Bible study. This is way out of my comfort zone but our fearless leader is moving. We are reading and watching Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. Love her! Love being reminded that counting our blessing is really counting all the ways He loves us.

~And speaking of out of my comfort zone, being in a photo shoot to advertise an upcoming women's conference at our church! Thankfully, no speaking parts were involved! They just made video clips of a few of us ladies walking around  in a cute part of town eating gourmet Popsicles and chatting and pretending to shop. (and pretending to drink coffee in my case)  LOL We chatted and laughed and at one point ditched our little camera crew to pop in Anthropologie.

That's about it. Work keeps me busy and I love what I get to do. It's the cleaning and the cooking that are hard now. : )

This sporadic and often absentee blogger hopes to be back here a little more often in the future. : )


May 31, 2017

Wednesdays in the Word

Today, I was reading in Daniel. The famous chapter about the lion's den.
And I was struck with the fact, that this man of God was not delivered at any point BEFORE this, but DURING.

Then I thought about Joseph. He wasn't delivered out of the pit by an angel before he was sold into slavery. And he wasn't delivered before he went to jail for a false accusation.

Then I thought about Daniel's three friends, whose names I probably can't spell. ; )
They weren't delivered from the fiery furnance before it was turned up seven times hotter. They didn't get to avoid being thrown in.
But He did join them there! Amen?

He didn't deliver these people FROM the crummy stuff, but He was present DURING!
What have you been asked to walk through?
Following Christ doesn't seem to mean getting to avert the really hard stuff. But He does come!
He definitely comes!

"My God sent His angel and shut the lion' mouths so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him."
"Do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. So now it wasn't you who sent me here but God and He made me a father to Pharoah, and lord of all his house...and lord of all Eygpt." 
"Did we not cast three men bound into the fire? Look! I see FOUR men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. 


May 30, 2017

Class of 2017

Graduation weekend happened! And by God's grace, it was perfect!
So many things could have gone wrong and none of them did! Hooray!
Lots of love was poured out on my sweet graduate and he was blessed! 

One night before the fun started, I gave myself permission to cry about my hubby missing this and I think that helped somehow. Then I asked dear friends to keep us in prayer for the weekend ahead. And it did feel like he was 'with us in spirit.' 

Thursday night my bestie and her son flew in! Hooray! 
Friday I worked and then she and I cooked for a houseful of precious kids and went shopping and did party prep. And we stopped for mini-donuts without all the kids, because we could! LOL 

Saturday, we did more cooking and then drove Andrew and his friends to the hotel where the ceremony was to be held for the home schoolers  in our state. He attended the 5 hour practice (yes, you read that right!) and his friends enjoyed the hotel's water park. One of his 'gifts' was to stay there over night with his friends since the ceremony was in the morning. -I'm happy to say, no lamps were broken in the process! 
When I saw how nice their room was, I kept wondering why I was letting a bunch of boys stay THERE when I was driving all the way back home. LOL

Lots of decorating and the frosting of cupcakes happened late into the night.  
The next day these sweet friends and lots more, missed church and came to the longest ceremony ever. : )  

J made this shirt with Andrew on it! LOL

After he walked across the stage and received his diploma, I got this sweet text from him, which totally melted my heart on the spot! 

Somehow we were the only family out of 300 go to the nearest Cracker Barrel when it was over!  (they were literally at Chili's) This was much to M's delight because they don't have CBs in CA. ; ) 

Then we rushed back to throw Andrew's grad party! Both events were just a few hours apart. What was I thinking? ; )  

Eating and game-playing happened. Then the  kids ended the evening playing guitar and singing worship songs, which was the perfect way to end such a special weekend! PTL!

I'm happy to say that I've now accomplished 19 years of homeschooling! Whoo-hoo!
And in August we will go away to a cute cabin in the GA mountains and celebrate that fact. 

But now, I need a nap! LOL


May 24, 2017

Wednesdays in the Word

"Through God
we shall do valiantly,
It is He 
who treads 
down our enemies."
 ~Psalm 108:13

This verse encouraged me so much this week! 
Because of God we are valiant!
 (showing courage, determined, lionhearted, brave and fearless)

And it is HE who treads down our enemies!
What enemies has He trampled for you? 
Maybe not the literal enemies that David faced, but the kind that can war against your spirit and your soul. Enemies like fear, doubt, despair, depression, etc...

He's trampled so many enemies for my family in the last year and a half and I'm so proud of us for letting Him (Amen) and just so very grateful! 

Through God we are made valiant! 


May 21, 2017

Casting and reeling

My grandfather loved to fish. He taught all of us grand kids how to fish and took us on lots of fishing trips in his boat out on the bay.
I remember learning how to cast my line into the water and wanting to leave it there once I'd done it, like I had accomplished some big thing and I was done.
But that didn't seem to be how it worked.
Whatever type of fish we were fishing for, required that we constantly cast out our line and then reel it back in over and over again. I wasn't a big fan.
(and in all those years, I only caught one fish! ;)

In the arena of prayer though, it really is a big accomplishment to just "cast." We really are done then! How great is that?
No "reeling" is required! It is actually very ineffective to cast and then reel it all back in.

 "Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you." 1 Pet 4:7

Learning just to cast,