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

May 31, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word...continued on Thursday!

Ruth, Boaz and Bozos

Ruth told Naomi about all that Boaz said/did and Naomi thought that staying in his fields was a great arrangement and informed her that Boaz was a relative of hers.
So, Ruth gleaned in Boaz's fields for the barley and the wheat harvests. When the harvests were done, Naomi asked Ruth the cutest question. "Shouldn't I see security for you?" And since 'security' in Hebrew means 'rest and protection in one's own home,' I'm guessing she was asking if she could try her hand at matchmaking. : ) Nice of her to ask first! lol
Then she told Ruth how it was done in Israel which sounds really odd and hints at being improper, but it wasn't. (read Ruth 3) In humility and trust, Ruth said "all you say to me, I will do." So, following Naomi's instructions, she laid down at Boaz's feet, at what sounds like a sleep-over for people who've been threshing wheat and celebrating the harvest. He wakes up and sees her and she asks him to do what the law says a close relative can do -redeem her! As in, marry her and restore her life for the sake of the dead to whom he was related.
Well, she didn't have to ask him twice! He blessed her again in the name of the Lord for showing him more kindness now than when he first met her by "not going after young men, whether poor or rich." I'd say he's thrilled. Then he says "All the people in my town know that you are a virtuous woman." Amen! Love that! (Girls, Ruth was virtuous and didn't chase after guys! -Just saying!) : )
Before she left, he had her open up her shawl and gave her 24 gallons of barley to carry home so that she wouldn't go home to Naomi "empty handed." Still providing! So sweet. I bet that lasted until the wedding! ; ) There was an issue with another guy who was a closer relative than Boaz that he had to work through but that got all worked out. The elders were thrilled by this turn of events. (Girls, older people in your circle will know he's a Boaz  and rejoice for you!) There were more blessings, from the elders this time, who blessed Boaz "to be famous" because of his offspring. There's an interesting blessing...
Ruth and Boaz married and it specifically says 'God opened her womb' so maybe Ruth had been barren in her first marriage, anyway, they have a son! Then the women of the city rejoiced with Naomi because God gave her a 'redeemer' through Boaz and they have a blessing to offer too, actually it is the same one, that her grandson would be "famous in Israel" and "a restorer of life" (after so much death)...And I LOVE the next part where they proclaim that "your daughter in law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him." 
Wasn't Ruth awesome?! What a testimony her life must have been to the women around her.
Their son was Obed, (who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David) was in the lineage of JESUS, (Whoo hoo!) which totally equals 'famous in Israel'! Amen!? He was certainly a 'restorer of life' as in the eternal kind! : ) Amen again!

Girls, let's be busy diligently serving and blessing others while waiting for Boaz. 
Or, if you are like me, and you've already got him, 
treat him like a king! : )


May 30, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

"Girls, wait for Boaz and don't settle for a Bozo!"
I love this quote from our pastor. He says he's sick of seeing "Bozo and Barbie" in need of marriage counselling. So, Girls, wait for your Boaz! It will be worth it. Amen?
After hearing this quote, I was excited that I had to teach on the book of Ruth for a high school girl's class! (yippee! I love teaching that class!)

Here's my crazy, fast overview of this romantic story:
But first the quote by Ruth that I'm sure everyone has heard in a wedding or read on a greeting card. : ) It is so sweet.
  "For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die...The Lord do so to me, and more also if anything but death parts you and me." ~Ruth 1:16-17

As you can see, Ruth would not be persuaded to head back to her parents after her husband died and her mother-in-law Naomi was going back to her homeland. It is was a good thing for Naomi that she didn't  because that sweet girl became her provider.
Ruth humbly took up gleaning. (a provision God made in his law for the poor) Gleaners were allowed to come into other peoples' fields at harvest time and pick up what was left along the edges of the field or dropped by reapers. And reapers weren't allowed to 'pick the field clean' so that the poor could be provided for. Cool arrangement.
On her first day of gleaning, the land owner, Boaz, saw Ruth and got the scoop on her from one of his men. He introduced himself and sweetly told her to always come to his field to glean and not to go to anyone else's because he had commanded that none of the "young men (who work for him) touch her."
Here's where I imagine that she was quite pretty and that gleaning might not have been the safest thing for a young woman to be doing. Then Boaz adds that he will provide for her thirst while she works. So, right off the bat, he's protecting her and providing for her. Sweet huh? (Girls, your Boaz will protect and provide for you..Bozo, not so much)
That offer meant so much to Ruth that "she fell on her face," bowed to the ground and asked why he's noticed her and why she's found favor in his sight when she's a foreigner. Boaz said he heard a "full report" on "all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband" and how she had left her parents and her homeland to live among people she doesn't even know. (Girls, a Boaz will rejoice in your service to God and honor you for it)
He blessed her (in fact there's a lot of blessing going on in this book) and I love this verse:
 "The Lord repay your work and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge."
Ruth thanked him for comforting her and speaking kindly to her even though she was a foreigner and "not like one of your maidservants." Sweet!
Then he invites her to have lunch with him and his his reapers, which was not a privilege gleaners usually had! She stuffs a little of the food in her napkin or pocket to save for Naomi. (isn't she a dear?)
When it was time to head back to work, Boaz told the reapers to PURPOSELY drop grain for her. How cute was that?! He's still looking for ways to provide for her.
Ruth worked until evening (Girls, to get a Boaz, you have to be a Ruth and she was diligent) and then she took home the equivalent of 4 gallons of barely. They must have dropped a lot of grain on her behalf because when Naomi saw how much she picked, she said "Where did you work?!?!?"
And I guess because she's pretty smart, she said "Blessed be the one who took notice of you!" lol

Here's where I realize this is getting really long, and decided to divide it into two posts! So, come back tomorrow for the rest of: 'Ruth, Boaz and Bozos!'  : )


May 28, 2012

Some yumminess for your holiday weekend

Today, Joy reminded me of a recipe we made a couple times last summer that I'd forgotten about. It is pure summer yumminess and if you find a watermelon on sale, you should totally buy it and go for it. : )
It is all watermelon-y and lime-y and slushie! (pioneer woman's watermelon granita)  Perfect for a hot day and kiddos who want a treat!

Happy Memorial Day!

May 25, 2012

Proud of this guy!

Zac finished his year of college with a 3.7 grade point average (insert home school mom rejoicing!)
and has been working at our neighborhood Starbucks for 9 months. He's been diligently saving his money and the time has come....

 to go car shopping!


 To. Pay. Cash. For. His. First. Car.

-Sometimes people think he's saving for a down payment, but we had our boys take a Dave Ramsey class in high school and they are too smart for that! ; )

~Super excited for him and praying for God to lead him to the right one and bless him.

Since it would've cost him (and that's how it works in our family)
over $100 a month to be insured to drive our mini-van, he hasn't even obtained his drivers license yet. He wanted to be able to save that money too and it seemed wasteful to him to pay to be able to drive our mini-van once in awhile when I'm not. (I secretly think that if we owned something cooler than a mini-van he might have) lol
So, this home schooling mom got to experience what it was like to drive a kid to school everyday for the first time...but it was for college. Kind of funny. (I'm glad I missed the other 13 years) ; )
And on occasion, he got to experience the city bus! And he's not a fan. lol

I'm not sure many people buy a car, insurance and get a license in the same week, (or there about) but I guess that is how it will work for him. : )
Super proud of this guy!

And I'll miss those 10 minutes of driving time, where I got to catch up on his life and pray with him for his day. : )


May 23, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

Our most precious possession....the presence of God in our lives.
"Let your conduct be without covetousness, be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' " Hebrews 13:5  : )

Have a great day in Him!


May 21, 2012

Some frugal fun

So, I'm doing an experiment. 
We had this water bill a couple of months ago that was 2 times what we usually pay. So, I started policing the length of showers around here and only using my dishwasher when we had company. Then I wanted to save money on my electric bill, because heaven knows we use our a/c almost constantly in the summer in FL. So, I started line drying our clothes! Well, the water issue turned out to be a leak (that explained everything) and my handy hubby fixed it. 

The line drying turned out to be kind of fun, like a new hobby or something. I'm using the poles/hook from our volley ball net and have it in the corner of our backyard where it isn't visible to the neighbors, lest they wish we lived in a subdivision with rules about these things. : )

It has taken me awhile to get the hang of it. The towels truly felt like cardboard and nobody was buying my 'they will exfoliate your skin' spiel and my hubby says he feels like he is wearing paper-mache underwear! LOL
I read online that I must be using too much soap and that I need to add vinegar to my wash. I also decided to put the towels in the dryer for 5 minutes after they are dry to soften them up.

I think there is something satisfying about the whole thing. Kind of like baking bread, which I don't do anymore. I love that load after load are dried for FREE. But actually, I read it doesn't actually save much on your electric bill. We'll see. We have lots of laundry in this house! And the rainy season hasn't started yet, which could cause me to throw in the towel, quite literally. : )

-Life has slowed down a lot around here recently, which is I guess why I have nothing more interesting to talk about than my laundry, (sorry!
but slow is good! ; )

May 18, 2012

The weekend and the week...

Wow! What a week! This time last week we were packing up my hubby's brother whose stay with us was ending. We got up at 2:00 AM Saturday morning for more packing and then I saw him, my hubby and Andrew off on their road trip to Orlando for the early flight Phil had to catch. Andrew volunteered to go along and help with his uncle and all the luggage. And oh the luggage! Highway robbery in fees...But everything else went smoothly and hubby and Andrew got home at 7:00 AM and did a little napping. Then hubby decided he'd rather go to Joy's last softball game then get anymore rest. And boy does that girl play some ball! The last play of the season was a double play she made while lying in the dirt playing shortstop. : ) The team decorated the coach's truck and then headed to Steak and Shake to celebrate.

When we got home, it was time to transform Phil's 'bedroom' back into our family room. Not as easy as it sounds since two beds had to disassembled and reassembled in different locations. Then there was the floor rug in the attic to get back out, and of course, lots of cleaning.We finished it all at 9:50 PM and were ready to drop into bed. I think I'm the only one that did. The rest of the fam got a second wind and stayed up for a movie.

Then I had a lovely Mother's Day! It included some sweet letters from our four kiddos, a little rose bush, calla lilies, an Outback gift card, chocolate covered strawberries, a candle, Reeses pieces, lunch at Sweet Tomatoes and an evening at the beach with the fam. -Quite the celebration! Am I ever blessed to be loved by such special people!

Monday through Wednesday we enjoyed a mini family vacation.
We saw the Avengers and had dinner in Downtown Disney! (loved that movie!) Had some fun times at our "quirky hotel" as Zac called it.

 (our kids were too old for it but it was a steal of a deal!) Went to the cheapest breakfast buffet ever, played at an arcade, rode go-carts,

did some more swimming and mini-golf

and then

-we paid to feed alligators dog treats using fishing poles. -Only in Florida, People! lol

We had a very nice Italian dinner out, played several rounds of Uno in the hotel and enjoyed having cable and 3 TV's. (my boys love the Food Network! lol) Joy spent a good part of the trip feeling rough and having a fever. Hubby and I worked out in the fitness room both mornings and decided we really want a treadmill. Andrew had a blast on the water slides and got 'slimed.' The slime turned out to be hundreds of gallons of green food coloring in water which meant that he was not a very happy camper.

 We headed back to Downtown Disney for some shopping,

then had lunch on the road back home. Our church had a concert that night with the Katinas! (always a blessing!)

School was a little hard to get back to, but we did it!

I got a call to be a rep for Teaching Textbooks at a home school book fair in the area soon and sooo that means a used treadmill came to make its home here thanks to craigslist and another steal of a deal. What a fun blessing. It also came with an exercise bike thrown in for good measure. Ask me in a week if I'm still using them please! ; ) My hubby says these things become 'really big coat hangers' and my house is too small for any 'coat hangers' of this magnitude!

Joy is still re-cooperating and the boys have friends over and they are making deep-fried Oreos. -Must have been all the Food Network they watched! lol Heaven help my kitchen and Heaven help me not to eat too many! They are amazing. Can deep fried Oreos and exercise equipment even co-exist in the same paragraph? ; )

What a week!

May 16, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

Another zinger from Oswald Chambers, which is why I love him so.

God "will bring any number of people about you who you can not respect, and you must exhibit My love to them as I have exhibited it to you."
"The knowledge that God has loved me to the uttermost, to the end of all MY sin and meanness and selfishness and wrong, will send me forth into the world to love in the same way.
 God's love to me is inexhaustible, and I must love others from the bedrock of God's love to me. Just think of how disagreeable I have been to God! 
Am I prepared to be so identified with the Lord Jesus that His life and His sweetness are being poured out all the time?"  
Have a blessed day!

May 10, 2012

Giving honor where honor is due

Our latest caring-giving mission is almost completed. On Saturday, my brother-in-law will head to California to stay with my hubby's other brother/family for the next 6 months...

I have to say that I am ever more impressed with the man I married 20+ years ago.
Dealing with brain damage from a stroke is not an easy thing we've found out, and my hubby was always seeking God for wisdom on how to deal with the various situations that would come up. My hubby may be the youngest brother but he had the help of a big God, (Amen!) and he prayed for us for an hour before he left for work each day which was such a blessing. He listened to me for hours on end when I needed 'therapy' because he's sweet like that. : ) He saw the big picture when I only saw the small one. He made sure that we had boundaries to keep us all 'OK.' -Loving boundaries that were necessary and he always tried to protect our hearts from pain.  He also did the yucky care-giving jobs without ever one complaint.
This was just another season of life that has reminded me that I have the best hubby there is.

We are both so proud of our kids. We could not have done this without them. They gave their uncle love, honor, respect, service, laughs and physical therapy for 6 months (even in the hard times). Here are just a few sentiments to each one of them:

Dear Nathan,
You have done an excellent job of putting yourself in your uncle shoes. You've tried to understand what he is feeling and to lighten his load. Thank you for the times when you helped me to understand him better.You have found ways to make his exercise time more enjoyable by adding the Monty Python (via You Tube) time to the E-stem segment. You've also been his help with anything techy that he's not been able to do. (you are the reason he can purchase songs off iTunes now and not get the karaoke versions : ) and access his pictures on his iPad) You always insert a quote into daily life, that will make him chuckle and it blesses him more than we know. Your eukelee playing is always a big hit with him and he likes to tease you about your "random singing" which is just who you are and we love it.

Dear Joy,
As the only girl in the entire extended family, you bring your uncle special JOY. I know he likes all the attention you've given him. -There isn't anything he likes more than watching you play sports! He looks forward to your softball games all week. I'll always remember how you gave up your free time at lunch, to teach him how to cook pasta by himself. It was so sweet of you and he felt so accomplished. I know those exercises you helped him do weren't easy for you when his nails scratched you and his effected arm didn't always smell great.Your grace and kindness were such a blessing and always are.

Dear Zac,
As the guy whose is busy working, saving and going to college, you've been exempt from any duties relating to helping your uncle, but you have helped him. You have blessed him more than you know. Sometimes when I am rushing off to pick you up or drop you off at work, he'll get all choked up thinking about your life, and tell me how proud he is of you. When you take the time out of your busy days to talk about 'econ' with him or oil, he's so thrilled, it makes his week. He'll talk about how he enjoyed that one conversation for days. The other night you bought a VERY cool air-soft gun and you wanted to show it to him before he went to sleep because he collected guns before his stroke. I know that none of us can know how much including him in things like that means to him. Proud of you!

Dear Andrew,
When the Lord hands out rewards, your crown is going to have some especially bigger gems in it than the rest of us for this season of life. You've not only served your uncle, you've been his best friend. When he thinks something is funny or interesting, you are the one he tells. When he needs help, you are the one he calls. When he goes outside, you are the one he tells. When he's thinking about donuts, you are the one who hears about it. (which is quite often) ; )  And I'm sure it wasn't always easy to be you. I am so very proud of your patience and kindness. You are the MVP of our care-giving team. May the Lord mightily bless you for it, all of your days.

And to my brother-in-law,
I know that I can never understand the pain and confusion you've been through. To be a successful, single businessman out skiing with friends one day, and in a stroke patient's body the next...I'm sure there are no words to describe it. One time you said "This is really hard, I have a 4 bedroom house with a view of the Rockies, $500 cowboy boots at home and I have to listen to you guys tell me not to walk down the street by myself." I'd say that sort of sums up how crazy-hard all this is. I know it could not have been easy to be thrust into another life that included a small house full of people and no cable TV. ; ) But you handled it well! Our prayer is that God would restore your health and your life and walk beside you and assure you of what He said in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Remember that you are loved.

I don't know what things will look like 6 months from now for my family or my brother-in-law. Maybe we'll be doing another round of caring-giving. But right now, I'm thankful I don't have to know. God does, and I gave up control of my life to Him a long time ago. For now, it is time to do a bunch of packing and get him ready for his trip. Then our family is headed off on a mini-vacation to relax, regroup and play.


May 9, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

Let's keep, keeping on, Friends!

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
 let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,
 and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us....
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful...
Do not cast away your confidence which has great reward.
For you have need of endurance...
We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved."
 (scriptures taken from Hebrews chapters 10 & 12)

"If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were those who thought the most of the next...their minds were occupied with Heaven." ~C.S. Lewis

~Becky, who is off to the doctor to find out if a crazy puppy + tangled leash = broken finger for son #2.

May 7, 2012

Awesome randomness

If I ever see UPS bring me a box like this again,

I will jump for joy on the spot!

Some beautiful encouragement from my mom!

We celebrated Andrew's birthday last weekend

The traditional bear-shaped pancake for the birthday guy. (which may or may not always resemble a bear)
And his new sonic screwdriver. (if you are a Dr. Who fan you will know how cool that is)

The fabulous birthday guy!

The fabulous party food!

My hubby makes the best BBQ apricot chicken in the world. And this is Andrew's favorite meal. (if you don't count peanut butter and jelly) ; )

The birthday blessing and prayer

The eating and celebrating

Are you blessed with a BFF who would volunteer to fill and tie at least a hundred water balloons?! I am! : )

Hubby took his brother to the Museum of Science and Industry on Saturday

Pretending to news anchors! -They are still wearing red from cheering for their favorite Lady Red Sox -Joy, who hit an in the park home run with two people on! Whoo-hoo!

This weekend, I read this

 to see what all the fuss was about. ; )

Joy and her coach at the awards ceremony. She was honored to be chosen the 'most Christ-like player' on her team.

 Celebrating our girl at Stake and Shake!

We ended up waiting over an hour for our food in a restaurant that wasn't even crowded. But our college student (who got 3 A's and 1 B this semester! whoo-hoo!) gave us a good reminder that this was a "first world problem."  -Amen.

The end!

May 5, 2012

More Strawberry fun

 Joy and Dad went to the Strawberry Festival, a first for anyone in our family, even though we've heard about it for years. They went with some new friends who bought their admission and tickets to see TobyMac!!!!

 Joy, who was the girl who knew no fear when she was little, went on all kinds of crazy rides her mom would have said were unsafe. lol (good thing I wasn't there!)
-In fact, when Joy was about 4, we had Busch Gardens passes for the year, and she was the first kiddo in the family to go on a roller coaster. -Her older brothers didn't want to. : )

So, of course she rode this and it had a problem and they were stuck at the top!  Really good thing I wasn't there. 
And she rode this

Then, I think it all caught up to her because she got sick to her stomach during Toby Mac, poor thing. 
They had to leave even though Toby had just popped out in the audience to do a song right near them. : (
Love our brave girl who will do "great exploits for God" one day!


May 3, 2012

The hills are alive...

You know you are blessed when:
-Your daughter asks if you want to watch The Sound of Music with her!

(Yes!!!!!! Always and anytime!!!)
My daughter is the best!

-Then your hubby comes in and cuddles up with you and sings along to all the songs with you!
Yes, my hubby is the best!

 ...And our daughter might have tuned us out by turning on her ipod right about then. bahahaha! : )

I love my life!

May 2, 2012

The big Fine Arts weekend

It was time for National Fine Arts Districts this past weekend! Nathan was on a human video team and in a worship band.
Zac's best friend decided to coach a human video team this year and Zac was his assistant. -These sweet guys, who go to school full time and work 20 or more hrs a week, gave up a bunch of their free time for 4 months, to pour into some other kids lives. Proud of them!

They had a showcase the other night for all the parents who wouldn't be traveling to Districts in Ormond Beach. I was pretty much stuck in the lobby the whole time selling snow cones as a fundraiser but I did get to see Nathan's human video. -The very first snow cone I made sent blue syrup flying right at my face. Such fun! ; ) Anyway, we were SO surprised that Nathan had a 'solo' in his human video, because he had kept it a secret to surprise us all. It was awesome.

Afterwards, he said, "Mom, I thought of you the whole time I was doing it and wanted to make you proud." (what a sweetheart who melts my heart and always makes me proud!) : )
Then he said  "But, I dropped God." I assured him that I couldn't tell! -Then we had a little laugh about how funny that sounded.

Zac said that "Nate knocked it out of the park!" Yay!  (obviously 'God was not dropped' during the real thing) ; )

We watched it again as a family last night and after all these years, I still have a hard time interpreting them. Here's a perfect example, I said 'I liked how you guys did the water' and Zac said 'that is grass.' lol (then Andrew gave me some good advice about being quiet. bahaha)
I, oh so love human videos even if I don't catch everything...They are powerful!

This human video is about having relentless faith! They portray the faith of David, who stepped out in faith to go against Goliath, the faith of Job in hard times and the faith of Jonah, to believe God loved him even when he didn't obey... Enjoy! Here is the link to his team's performance at Districts:

We are excited to say that his worship band made it to Nationals in Kentucky this summer! : )