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

September 30, 2013

Fire, Farkle, food, football and a few other things that don't start with the letter 'F'

Our youth group had their 4th annual retreat last weekend.
-The first year they did the retreat, one of our boys suggested they use the song Fix You by Coldplay and they did and the name stuck! This year they had a promo photo contest which our daughter won with this picture:

She was given a free trip to the retreat and our checkbook rejoiced! She had a lot of help from her brothers and a hose near by! (and praying parents) ; )
 (Zac and his buddy did this with their girlfriends initials while camping for a week this summer and that is where the idea came from) It sounded like they were a little hesitant to declare her the winner of this photo contest, lest everyone try it at home and burn down their houses. I was a little nervous myself when I heard how many middle school aged boys came up to her and asked her how it was done. LOL 

Andrew's best friend flew back for the retreat and stayed with us for a few days and it was just like old times around here again!

About 200 kids attended the retreat and it was amazing as always. Adults were praying and fasting and giving! -85 students who couldn't afford to go were sponsored! Eternal destinies were changed and God moved in teens lives in a powerful way. I love, love, love when that happens!

The son who is far away, finally got Internet in his condo. (Yay!!!!)
This momma got to SEE her son this week! Whoo-hoo!  (I will survive now) : )

Hubby wasn't home during the fun, so I filled him in on the details and added 'he looks the same.' To which he said 'Of course he does, it has only been one month.' LOL -Well, I've never gone a whole month without seeing one of our kids  before, so who knew! ; )
I had some technical difficulties though, due to the size of my tablet. (which my kids keep reminding me is a cheap one) Nate could only see my left eye and my nose on the screen!!! How attractive is that?!
-Our kiddos helped me out and I learned that I have to be a good 3 to 4 feet away from the tablet for my whole face to show in that tiny box while Skyping. Too funny. It certainly won't show any wrinkles I may develop from that distance, so I guess it could totally work for good. ; )

Here's our daughter who was right about to try out for the choir in this photo. There were 50 people trying out and only 20 spots available...

and she made it! Yay! 

Friday night was Family Game Night and we are pretty much crazy about the dice game Farkle. We also cored apples and rolled them in cinnamon and sugar and covered them with pie dough and baked them. Then we ate them with ice cream and played more Farkle.

Saturday night was our Date Night. A pretty much unforgettable night, because there is nothing worse than walking out to your car after dinner to find out that someone lost their Olive Garden right below your car door!!! There were pretty much no words! It almost made me loose mine! Oh my stars!

Sunday, we worshiped and watched plenty of football. (I actually watched Call the Midwife, but I was near by and fist bumping when necessary) ; )


September 25, 2013

Wednesdays in the Word

When your prayers haven't been answered yet, here's some comfort from Oswald Chambers in reference to Luke 11:5-8.

"Jesus gave the illustration of the man who looked as if he did not care for his friend and he said that that is how the Heavenly Father will appear to you at times. You will think He is an unkind friend (like the one in the parable), but remember He is not: the time will come when everything will be explained...
When God looks completely shrouded, will you hang on in confidence in Him? Will He find the faith which banks on Him in spite of the confusion? Stand in faith believing that what Jesus said is true, though in the meantime you do not understand what God is doing. He has bigger issues at stake than the particular things you ask." 

~Let's 'hang on in confidence in Him!'

September 24, 2013

Over the weekend

I found out whacking softballs

is a great way to relieve care-giving stress!

 But if I had my choice, I'd have picked a massage. ; )


September 23, 2013

Praying Scriptures over our kids

Over the years, the Lord has put various scriptures on our hearts to pray for our kids. Hubby has his list and I have mine and we pray them for our kids on a regular basis because we believe that there is power in the Word of God!  Amen! : )
When our son was about to go into youth ministry, these verses from 1 and 2 Timothy became some of the ones we both started to pray. And I loved them so much, I started praying I'd be and do these things and then I just made them a prayer for each of us! (minus the part about being a man) ; )
 -They are awesome! So, these are some of the prayers for our young evangelist (whom we love and are crazy about) which was what Timothy was too.

"You therefore, my Son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."
2 Tim. 2:1

You are going to be: 

A man who "prays everywhere, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting"
1 Tim. 2:8

A man who "loves from a pure heart, from a good conscience and from a sincere faith"
1 Tim. 1:5

A man who "rejects profane and old wives fables and exercises (himself) toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things"

A man who "is an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity" 1Tim. 4:12

A man who "does not rebuke an older man but exhorts him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity." 1 Tim. 5:1

A man who "does not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor shares in other people's sins; but keeps (himself) pure." 1 Tim. 5:20

A man who remembers that "godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing with these we shall be content." 1 Tim. 6:6

A man who knows that "those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and harmful lusts" 1 Tim. 6:9

A man who "pursues righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness."
1 Tim. 6:11

A man who "Fights the good fight of faith, laying hold on eternal life to which you were called and have confessed the good confession" 1Tim. 6:12

A man who "avoids foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing they generate strife"
 2 Tim. 2:23

A man who "does not quarrel but is gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition" 2 Tim. 2:24-25

A man who "stirs up the gift of God which is in him" 2 Tim. 1:6

A man who knows that "God has not given him a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Tim. 1:7

A man who "Flees also youthful lusts, but pursues righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart." 2 Tim. 2:23

A man who is "diligent to present himself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" 2 Tim. 2:15

A man who knows he "must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."
2 Tim. 2:3

"Oh Timothy (Nathan)! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoid the profane and empty chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge -by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith." 1 Tim. 6:20

"Meditate on these things, give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them for in so doing this, you will save both yourself and those who hear you." 1 Tim. 4:16

"You be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."
 2 Tim. 4:5

"I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the Word! Be ready in season and of season, convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching." 2 Tim. 4:1-2

"The Lord Jesus Christ be with your Spirit. Grace be with you." 1 Tim 4:20

                                       And remember: 

"He who is blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings and the Lord of lords, who alone has immortality dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power” will be with you. 1 Tim.6:15  AMEN!

Mom and Dad  : )
and the Apostle Paul

September 20, 2013

Birthday Mom and the awesomeness

 I had a birthday this week and I woke up to these in the bathroom:

So I did! : ) 

And then I woke up to this:

Beautiful and yummy!
Then I was given two dozen red roses! What an awesome morning!

That night I found out I had the night off too. My kiddos made me one of my favorite meals, which is grilled chicken and pineapple quesadillas. And Joy made the biggest bowl of guacamole I've seen since the last time I visited my family in CA.
It was all divine.
While they were cooking I got several phone calls from some of my very favorite people.
Then I ate my weight in guacamole! Then we had the best hand spun milkshakes our city has to offer.
Thanks, Lovies!
This weekend I hope to go on a fun date with the guy I love with one of those sweet gift cards I received from my very special friends.

September 18, 2013

Wednesdays in the Word

we are God's pillars.
Corner pillars that hold up palaces!

"May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace." 
Psalm 144:12

Here's what I've learned about pillars lately:
We are both decorative and weight bearing. We can stand up to a lot of pressure! Corner pillars hold everything together! Can all you moms say, 'Amen?'
The entire structure is dependent upon corner pillars and if they are cut wrong or placed wrong, the building will not be sound. We are graceful and useful, beautiful and strong and perfectly placed by the Master Craftsman who is polishing us with various trials so that we will brilliantly shine for Him.We hold families together.
Don't get cracks in your foundation by comparing yourself to others. Follows God's specific plan for your life. Let Him make you stately, strong and high polished. Let Him use you to be a source of strength to those around you.

"He that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem which cometh down out of heaven from my God and I will write upon him my new name." Rev. 3:12


September 16, 2013

Your home vs. a restaurant

I LOVE this quote from Jen Hatmaker on hospitality:

"There is something so nourishing about sharing your living space with people where they see your junk mail pile and pee wee football schedule on the fridge and pile of shoes by the front door. Opening your home says, 'You are welcome into my real life.' 
This square footage is where we laugh and hold family meetings and make homemade corn dogs and work through melt downs. Here is the railings our kids pulled out of the wall. This is the toilet paper we prefer. These are the pictures we frame, the books we're reading, the projects we are undertaking -the raw material of our family. It's unsanitized and truthful. We invite you into this intimate place, saturated with our family character." 

(when I read this to my hubby, he pointed out that we don't make homemade corn dogs and we need to) LOL Anyway, in this busy world, I think it means so much more than it used to, when we invite someone into our homes or are invited into theirs!

Jen's book is called 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess  Great read! Lots of food for thought!


September 13, 2013

Happy Anniversary to us!

Tomorrow is our anniversary! Yay!
And I've been waiting for us to reach this milestone.

 It isn't a fantastically huge number, but one I've been waiting for none the less.

I'm so excited about 22 years!

22 years means that I have now been married to my wonderful husband longer than I was alive and single!!!!  : )

-More of my life spent with him than without him!

I love, love, love that and I love being his!


September 11, 2013

Wednesdays in the Word

Dear Sisters in Christ,
"Don't unwittingly be fodder for the mental Rolodex of some devoted married man just because of how you dress. 
You are cluttering up a good husband's mind
and tempting him to dishonor his wife. 
As much as depends on us, let's
make sure this doesn't happen."

Yes, and amen! : )

 ~From Shaunti Feldman's: For Women Only 
(A great book if you want to learn how to better love your hubby!)


September 10, 2013

The Hair Disaster of 2013

That title pretty much sums it up!
On Thursday, I thought I would color my hair a SMIDGE darker than usual, 
but the box LIED
and it came out many, many shades darker...as in jet black, a color I'm pretty sure God never intended me to have because it makes me look sooo pale.
My sweet hubby tried to convince me that I 'always look cute' but it wasn't working. 
I tried a gazillion things to get it back to normal, none of which worked. I didn't want to pay to have it bleached at a salon, so I kept thinking, maybe I'll just live with it and pretend that I want to look all Emo or Goth or whatever. LOL

I joined Anne Shirley in 'the depths of despair' 

and it was all my poor family heard me talk about all weekend. 
Sunday was coming and the thought of going to church was freaking me out.

 Then Hubby thought of this "helpful" solution: 

"As I see it, your best strategy is to go into church late, you know, after praise and worship has started when they've already dimmed the lights."
Oh my word! That did not help. LOL! 
(but it is a statement that I will remember and laugh over, all my days!) 

In a last ditch effort, I got up early Sunday morning and dyed it another time
 (don't ask me what number this is) 
and got a color a smidge lighter than black which meant I felt OK enough to go to church on time. ; )
Thank the Lord!
After the Sunday night service, a sweet young man was telling us that we are 'the coolest parents around' and then "Hey did you dye your hair? It looks good."
Hubby thought that was a fitting way to end the weekend that was The Hair Disaster of 2013. 


September 9, 2013

There once was a chicken...

in our yard!
Even though we live smack dab in the middle of the city and we have a fence around it and none of our neighbors own chickens!
This explains my shock when I came outside and found our dog, chasing one on Saturday.
That shock was evidenced by the fact that apparently I screamed 'What should I do?' to one of my boys, who yelled back something about grabbing Bree being a good idea. ; )
Bree ended up getting a mouthful of tail feathers, but thankfully not the chicken.
In a brief one moment of insanity, I thought we should keep it but Hubby quickly vetoed that idea

    and we headed off to the neighborhood pond to give her a home

  with all the other fowl, which appeared to be only ducks and cranes.

When, out of nowhere, came 5 roosters! 

            Yay, the chicken can join her own kind!

Except at the moment she was set down this rooster decided she was his and all that that implied. 
The terrified chicken ran for cover inside a random cinder block.

Here they are! 
Being the city slicker, I am, I yelled to the kids to "do something!" And she was rescued a second time that day! Then we drove her to a safer part of the pond, where only ducks lived, and left her to reCOOPerate. ; ) And live happily ever after....or until the roosters find her.

I drove home happy that I only own a dog. Amen!
                                                                      The End!

September 6, 2013

There was football and food

So, apparently a little celebration is in order when NFL season starts up again.

Joy and I made Big Mama's Mississippi Sin Dip. It rocked! : )
We used a sourdough loaf since I couldn't find French bread. It was great served with Fritos scoops. Being a fan of all things that resemble (but not close enough) roll tacos, I had to try the new Delimex apple filled cinnamon taquitos and they were yummy too. My cute hubby teased me about the bowl of carrot sticks I had sitting out which I later found put back in the fridge. So much for my 'healthy' illusion! ; )

One of the boys thanked me for doing so much for an event that I care so little about. LOL

I got a kick out of this status on Facebook:  
"Wives all over America are now saying goodnight to their
 man with the TV Glow still going on." 

Until it becomes too painful, we root for the Bucs. ; ) 
-Actually, I read books and listen to my guys cheer and scream from the other room.
Happy football season! 

September 4, 2013

Wednesdays in the Word

Here was the state of God's people:
"For My people have committed two evils, they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns-broken canisters that can hold no water." Jer. 2:13
Then Jesus came and said:
"If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink." John 7:37
Actually, He didn't just say it, it says that during the "great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out" which struck me as possibly a party killer ; )
but then I read up on the feast, which was the Feast of Tabernacles, and learned about the 'water libation' ceremony and decided it was the most beautiful thing He could do!

You see, each day during the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot, there was a joyous procession and it was in remembrance of the time that God brought water from the rock for His people in the desert.It was a time of great rejoicing with the Levites playing instruments and members of the Sanhedrin dancing. (I have a hard time picturing the Sanhedrin dancing but maybe that's just me) : )
In the ceremony, the priests would bring water from the Pool of Siloam in a golden pitcher while everyone in the procession was probably remembering this:
"..I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert ,to give drink to My people, My chosen." Is.43:20

And while they were all reciting this:

"Therefore with joy you will draw water from the well of salvation," (Is. 12:3) and looking forward to the Messiah's coming and the blessings He would bring.

Then the water would be poured out on the altar as an offering to God while people shouted and sang!

So, picture it again.
Picture the people reciting the verse about 'well of salvation' and they watch the priest pour out water on the altar and then they start shouting and singing, 
and THEN Jesus stands
 and He cries out 
"If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." John 7:37 
Beautiful, isn't it?
His loved compelled him to make the good news known! He let them know that He was the reality of the symbolism of the water ceremony! They knew what He was saying and maybe they thought of these verses "I will sprinkle clean water on you and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you." Ezekiel 36:25-26

And this reminds us of  "...and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ." 1 Cor. 10:4

And aren't we thankful for this:
"It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts." Rev. 21:6 Amen!

and this (which I pray for my kids all the time) "For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants and My blessing on your offspring;" Is.44:3 Hallelujah!

Let's never stop thirsting,