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Thursday, December 29, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Sunday, August 7, 2011
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I had no idea what my husband had planned. I worked out a dinner date with my girlfriends on the evening of my birthday. Well, Hubs informed me that it was just rude to not be with him and the girls on my birthday. So, I tried to reschedule with my girlfriends for Friday night instead. Well, I ended up with only one! I was a little sad that it didn't work out, but I had a great time with Gretchen. She was so sweet and she pulled off the ultimate! On Saturday, I had ran into another friend that apologized for not coming to the "date" and that she would see me tomorrow at church, that we would get together another time, ya know, that sort of thing. So, my daddy finally mentions that the family dinner is a 6:30, Yeah, I say, because now I know what time I get to eat!! The family piles into the rig and we head out on the highway, to my favorite place, Carlos'. They are so good to us. They remember us from years ago. Hubs and I went there last month on our anniversary too! We pulled in and I said, it might be too busy for us, cause the parking lot was packed. Jeff and the girls lead me in to the back room filled with my friends and family! They pulled it off again! Those girls that had ditched me the night before were there in force! Love them for that. I said, Now it all makes sense!! :~) So here is a few pictures in the album. Enjoy.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
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Thursday, May 26, 2011
"Lord, you know my inadequacies. You know my weaknesses, not only in parenting, but in every area of my life. As you broke the fishes and the loaves to feed the five thousand, now take my meager effort and use it to bless my family.
Please make up for the things I did wrong. Satisfy the needs that I have not satisfied. Wrap your great arms around my family and draw them close to you.
And be there when they stand at the great crossroads between right and wrong. All I can give is my best, and I, today, choose to do that. Therefore, I submit to you my family and myself and the job I have done and will do as a wife and mother. The outcome belongs to you." (Author unknown)
Thursday, May 19, 2011
I am so struggling with this parent thing, that when I read this, I knew that God wanted me to see it. So I thought I would share it with you.
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary (Galatians 6:9 NASB).
Friend to Friend
For years I told people that I was in labor for 23 hours. However, the truth is more like 21 years. Being a mother has been the most fulfilling, frustrating, exciting, exhausting, mind-boggling, hair-raising thrilling tiring, stimulating, soul-stirring, delightful, difficult, consuming, laborious, uplifting, inspiring, challenging, captivating, and rewarding job I’ve ever had. Did I mention difficult? I should have gotten a clue when I was told that having a child begins with a word called “labor.”
I’ve had times when I felt like throwing up my hands in frustrations and saying, “I quit!” Is what I’m doing making any difference to anyone? I want results! Show me results! Then I think about the bamboo tree.
When the Chinese plant bamboo, first they plant the seeds, then water, and fertilize them. The first year, nothing happens. The second year they continue to water and fertilize the seeds, and still nothing happens. The farmer continues this process for a third and fourth year with no visual results. Then sometime during the fifth year, in a period of approximately six weeks, the Chinese bamboo grows ninety feet.
The question is, did it grow ninety feet in six weeks or did it grow ninety feet in five years? The obvious answer is that it grew ninety feet in five years. If the grower hadn’t applied water and fertilizer every year, there would be no bamboo.
It is the same way with raising children. We pour into their lives. We plant seeds of character, pull weeds with discipline, water with prayer, and fertilize with encouraging words. Then one day, if we are persistent and consistent, we will see beautiful results.
If you are in the midst of raising your children, or even a parent of grown children waiting to see the results, I want to encourage you to press on. Don’t give up! Keep praying! Keep encouraging! Keep loving! And one day, when you least expect it, your child will “rise up and call you blessed.”
Dear Lord, sometimes I get really tired and frustrated as a mom. When I grow discouraged, will You help me to keep the goal before me … to raise a child who is a man or woman after God’s own heart? Help me to remember that You, as my Heavenly Parent, never give up on me. Even when You don’t see the results that You desire, You continue to love, nurture and teach me. Thank You for being my example of persistent and consistent love.
In Jesus’ Name,
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
It just has overwhelmed my thinking these last few days and weeks. We attended the Mother~Daughter Tea last night for Senior Girls. Mrs. Hall, the hostess, was funny and engaging of the audience, but she brought up a point about what graduation really means. It is that push/pull that we do to our girls at this age. We have prepared them for the world, go out and conquer it! BUT, don't leave me, stay right here by my side as you do it. She used the analogy of the Velveteen Rabbit, which most of us have read a time or two. It was so thought provoking...becoming real. To each other and to ourselves. I thought about what I want for my daughter as she prepares for this final "rite of passage" and I thought about what I didn't do for her. What things I should have done better or could have changed. What I wished would have been but wasn't. What I wanted for her and what she received.
Did I do my best? I did the best I knew how to do. The rest,I leave to God. Which from the beginning I thought I had promised Him that He could have her, but I wonder if I ever did let go, so that He could. Now, it's His turn. I have no other options, but to leave her in His arms and know that she will always have my love.
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011 Send to a Friend More Free Newsletters
April 29, 2011
Praise The Perseveres
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. (Acts 16:25, NIV)
Friend to Friend
Andrea lives in Lake Mary, Florida and is the proud momma to four beautiful girls. Two of her daughters are identical twins who have cerebral palsy and are severely disabled. Over the past 14 years, Andrea and her husband have been through the ringer. Her days are spent caring for the twins. And they are grueling days: filled with many tears, outbursts of frustration, and bouts of anger. There have been times that she has felt abandoned by God. Andrea admits that on many days, she has called out to God like the psalmist did: Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer (Psalm 4:1, NIV).
Through it all, however, Andrea has determined that she will praise God in spite of the daily complications. “I have always prayed for healing for my girls,” she shares. “I believe that with the mere thought of our God that my girls could be restored. I know that if He heals them I will spend my life praising Him for that miracle and telling others of His goodness. Of course, although God can heal them, I’ve had to learn to spend my whole life praising Him simply because He is God – whether He heals the girls or not. I decided very early on that God is still God no matter what He allows in my life. I can trust Him even when I can't understand Him.” She thoughtfully finished with this statement: “It sounds easy, but it hasn't been.”
Oh, how I can relate to honestly like that! How I’m drawn to this type of God-courage. Her challenges are great, but she is determined to praise God anyway. When I hear stories like Andrea’s, my heart stretches toward trusting God. I hear and feel that the trials in her life have led her to a greater dependency on God and a deeper trust in His sovereignty. I’m reminded that in every situation, I come to a crossroad and have a choice: I can pout or I can praise. I can turn away from God because I don’t understand or I can turn toward God in full assurance that His understanding is enough for the both of us – even if it hurts – even if anger lingers – even if doubt looms.
Have you been to these crossroads?
God shows us a powerful example of praise that perseveres in chapter sixteen of the book of Acts. During the Apostle Paul’s second missionary journey, he and his ministry buddy Silas encountered a collision of faith and trouble while in Philippi. After Paul cast out a demon that was terrorizing a young slave girl, he and Silas were seized by disgruntled Roman citizens and dragged to the marketplace before the rulers. They were then wrongfully accused of public disruption. They were stripped, beaten, and unlawfully jailed without a trial. After the flogging, Paul and Silas were taken to the in the inner cell of the prison, normally reserved for the most dangerous offenders, and their feet were placed in stocks.
Though they had every reason to sit and stew because of the injustice of their situation, Paul and Silas chose to trust in God's plan and praise their Lord, Jesus Christ. Though they had open wounds and would have been in severe physical pain, Paul and Silas chose to glorify the name of God. “After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them,” (Acts 16: 23-25).
Then God shook the earth and the prison foundations and loosed the chains of the prisoners. In horror, knowing he would be held responsible for the escape of the prisoners, the jailer raised his sword to kill himself – but Paul stopped him. He and Silas hadn’t fled. They stood amidst their dark circumstances and spoke and sang with confidence in their God.
As a result, several people, including the jailer and his family, came to believe in Jesus Christ. “The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’”
“They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.’ Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household,” (Acts 16:29-34).
Though we won’t always rejoice in our circumstances, we are commanded to always rejoice in the Lord. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:4, 6-7).
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance,” (James 1: 2-3). When we praise the Lord through, and in spite of what we face, our praise becomes our deliverance through the trial.
“We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will never disappoint us…,” (Romans 5:3-5a NCV).
No matter what difficult times we encounter, God is worthy of our praise. When we choose to praise, we choose to trust God. When we choose to trust God, the broken world around us lifts their eyebrows in wonder – just like the Roman jailer. Sometimes a sacrifice of praise is required. Offer it. We can and should choose to bless His name through the pain, which astonishingly can bring His joy into our hearts.
Dear Lord, Thank You for being trustworthy and praiseworthy! I ask that You will nudge me to trust You each time I approach the crossroads of faith and trouble. In spite of the burdens on my heart and challenges in my path right now, I praise Your name and celebrate that Your hope will never disappoint. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
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This is just a small sampling of the pictures we took on our little vacation to Driftwood Shores in Florence, Oregon. We had such a great time together. This is one of our last real family Spring Break trips, since Bugg will be heading off to college. So it was bittersweet. Extra special times. :~)
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
March 8, 2011
Laugh it up!
March 8, 2011
Today’s Truth Friend to Friend John 10:10 clearly states the promise of God, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” In this verse, “abundant” literally means “going beyond; full or exuberant.” In other words, an abundant life is a life filled with joy. Even in the midst of a joy-less world, we can live a joy-filled life for one simple reason – God is in control. And because He is in control, we are promised, “the cheerful heart has a continual feast” (Proverbs 15:15 NIV). Life should be an ongoing celebration. Now, be honest for a moment. Is your life a continual feast, a daily celebration? Would those who know you best describe you as a woman of joy? Laughter and joy are treasures from God, valuable to us for many reasons. 1. Joy heals. Proverbs 17:22 “A happy heart is like good medicine, but a broken spirit drains your strength.” .... In other words, God created us to illustrate the truth, that if we laugh more days, we will have more days to laugh. Joy heals. 2. Joy makes us strong. Nehemiah 8:10 “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Joy – humor – laughter – all cultivate inner strength that operates beyond our own human abilities. The joy of the Lord in us will produce His strength through us. A life without joy is like a car without shock absorbers. It will be jolted by every bump in the road. Laughter and joy are the shock-absorbers of life and can radically change our perspective of life and the tough times it holds. ... C. Joy makes the ordinary special. Someone said, “If you have to move ten inches from where you are now to be happy, then you will never be truly happy.” As we learn to celebrate the ordinary things in life, we build a life of joy because it is against the backdrop of the ordinary that God’s work becomes extraordinary. We don’t have trouble celebrating the big events in life. Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries – are celebrations we anticipate and execute with great planning and forethought. We tend to place unrealistic expectations on these celebrations because there is no daily celebration of life. So celebrate, my friends! Celebrate Tuesdays, half birthdays, haircuts, new jeans and report cards. Celebrate the day braces go on – and especially the day they come off. Celebrate if Dad comes home early. Hey, just celebrate if Dad comes home. ... I want it all. I want everything God has for me. I want to celebrate life, but I often get so wrapped up in the urgent things that I lose sight of the important things. A celebratory attitude is slowly siphoned from our souls by the countless “joy robbers” the enemy sends our way. Guard your heart and mind. Refuse to surrender your God-given joy to anyone or anything. Join me this week as we celebrate Jesus. Party on, girlfriends! .
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10, NKJV).
Jesus lived and died so that we can experience abundant life. Jesus did not come so that we can merely survive life. Pagans can survive life. God’s plan is for us to experience joy and peace – no matter what life holds.
Friend to Friend
John 10:10 clearly states the promise of God, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” In this verse, “abundant” literally means “going beyond; full or exuberant.” In other words, an abundant life is a life filled with joy. Even in the midst of a joy-less world, we can live a joy-filled life for one simple reason – God is in control. And because He is in control, we are promised, “the cheerful heart has a continual feast” (Proverbs 15:15 NIV). Life should be an ongoing celebration.
Now, be honest for a moment. Is your life a continual feast, a daily celebration? Would those who know you best describe you as a woman of joy? Laughter and joy are treasures from God, valuable to us for many reasons.
1. Joy heals. Proverbs 17:22 “A happy heart is like good medicine, but a broken spirit drains your strength.”
In other words, God created us to illustrate the truth, that if we laugh more days, we will have more days to laugh. Joy heals.
2. Joy makes us strong. Nehemiah 8:10 “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Joy – humor – laughter – all cultivate inner strength that operates beyond our own human abilities. The joy of the Lord in us will produce His strength through us. A life without joy is like a car without shock absorbers. It will be jolted by every bump in the road. Laughter and joy are the shock-absorbers of life and can radically change our perspective of life and the tough times it holds.
C. Joy makes the ordinary special.
Someone said, “If you have to move ten inches from where you are now to be happy, then you will never be truly happy.” As we learn to celebrate the ordinary things in life, we build a life of joy because it is against the backdrop of the ordinary that God’s work becomes extraordinary. We don’t have trouble celebrating the big events in life. Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries – are celebrations we anticipate and execute with great planning and forethought. We tend to place unrealistic expectations on these celebrations because there is no daily celebration of life.
So celebrate, my friends! Celebrate Tuesdays, half birthdays, haircuts, new jeans and report cards. Celebrate the day braces go on – and especially the day they come off. Celebrate if Dad comes home early. Hey, just celebrate if Dad comes home. ...
I want it all. I want everything God has for me. I want to celebrate life, but I often get so wrapped up in the urgent things that I lose sight of the important things. A celebratory attitude is slowly siphoned from our souls by the countless “joy robbers” the enemy sends our way. Guard your heart and mind. Refuse to surrender your God-given joy to anyone or anything. Join me this week as we celebrate Jesus. Party on, girlfriends!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
In honor of my husband, who for the last two weeks has held me up and kept me going when I wanted to curl up and give up. I hope that I am an example of this devotional. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to say how grateful I am that he has been there for me. Thank you, Honey. I am honored to be your Wife.
Words Can Captivate Your Man
(In honor of Valentine's Day, Sharon's February devotions will focus on marriage.)
"A good wife is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds" (Proverbs 31:10, The Message).
Friend To Friend
Today, I want you to use your imagination. I want you to imagine your husband sitting at his desk or at a quiet place at work. Imagine him lost in thought about how blessed he is to have you as his wife. He holds your framed picture in his hand and moisture begins to pool in his eyes. He is captivated.
All the riches in the world are not to be compared with the jewel I have in this woman, he muses. What did I ever do to deserve her? God has given me such a gift. All our married life, she has done nothing but love me, bring out the best in me, and look out for my best interest. All the guys at the office are envious of our relationship. I see the way their eyes soften when she comes by just to tell me hello, grabs my hand when we're at office functions, or pecks me on the cheek for no apparent reason. I notice that her loving words to me are in stark contrast to some of the cutting remarks of other wives...and so do my friends. I look around at the accomplishments of my life, but having this woman as my wife is my greatest. Oh sure, there are many women out there in the world who are accomplishing great feats, but my wife...well, she surpasses them all.
What a picture! That's the woman I want to be, don't you? And amazingly my words can be the determining factor as to whether this scenario is possible or not. Did you know that there are words your husband longs to hear? Did you know that there are words we should never say? Let me give you a few from my book, The Power of a Woman's Words.
Words to Never Say to Your Husband
1. I told you so.
2. You just don't think.
3. It's your fault.
4. What's wrong with you?
5. I can't do anything to please you.
6. All you care about is yourself.
7. You never listen to me.
8. I don't know why I put up with you.
9. What do you want now?
10. How many times do I have to tell you?
Words Your Husband Longs to Hear
- I've been thinking about you all day.
- What can I do for you today?
- How can I pray for you today?
- The best part of my day is when you come home.
- You are one of God's most precious gifts to me.
- You are so wonderful.
- You look so handsome today.
- I don't feel complete without you.
- I will always love you.
- I trust your decisions.
Today, be aware of the words you say to your husband. Do they build him up or tear him down? Do they make him glad he came home, or wish he hadn't?
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I often wonder...what are You teaching me, Lord? In all of this, what is my lesson?
As I have struggled the last two weeks with injury and illness, I have tried to see what my lesson might be. I long to have plans, structure, to know what is on the schedule and be ready to take it all in stride.....as long as it goes according to plan. Well, the injury was not a planned thing, really neither was the surgery. It had been planned later, but not now! So I am finding that the Lord is teaching me, that it isn't about MY schedule but HIS. I am able to sit at his feet and learn from Him, right here, right now....in this unplanned stage of my life. May I honor Him in all I say and do. This is a portion of my devotion this morning, it really spoke to my heart. Maybe it will speak to yours.
He is Waiting for You
"Now as they went on their way, He entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home" (Luke 10:38, NIV).
Seeking God begins with recognizing who He is and then inviting Him into our life as Lord and Savior. If He is not Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all. For some of us, the problem is not that we lack a personal relationship with God. Our problem is that we are not "making room" for that relationship. Balance comes when we yield to His plan in the everyday moments of life.
Mary's home revealed a world very different from mine and an uncommonly simplistic lifestyle I desperately longed to experience. The house was sparsely furnished with only the necessities but Mary described her life and daily routine with words like "calm, uncomplicated, peaceful and serene." When I asked why she had chosen such a lifestyle she sweetly responded with words of wisdom I will never forget, "I have discovered that when my life and my heart get too crowded there is not enough room for God." Exactly!
An unbalanced life is too crowded for God. It is so easy to relegate our spirituality to religious activity when all He really wants is to spend time with us. When the tears fall, He wants to wipe them away, collecting each one so that He can pour them back into our lives as a refreshing rain of restoration. God longs for us to forever run into His arms, sharing every hurt and rejoicing in every victory. The Father yearns to wrap His strong arms around us, bringing the peace and balance we so desperately need.
Instead, we often relinquish control of our life to unworthy demands dictated by a world that operates in "urgent" gear. We forget what is really important. The important rarely barges in while the urgent is always an offensive intruder. The important waits patiently while the urgent demands its own way, creating bedlam and imbalance. Certainly, there are times when the important is also urgent - but we must learn to discern between the two. We wrongly conclude that a busy life is automatically a productive life and think that a full schedule will surely produce a full heart.
I have great news! He loves who you are more than He loves what you do. Seek Him today. Make room for Him. He is waiting.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Today's devotion from Mary Southerland in my "GIRLFRIENDS IN GOD" email was truly touching to me. Sometimes I just don't ask. I don't take the time to ask GOD to bless me. I know I take my list of burdens to Him and wait for Him to take care of them all, but frankly, I don't ask for the blessing. So, this was meaningful to me today. I thought it might be meaningful for you, as well. Enjoy.
1 John 3:21-23 "Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us" (NIV).
When we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and seek to obey His commands, we can come before God in confidence, knowing that He wants to pour out His blessings on our life. He is waiting. We just need to ask.
Father, thank You for loving me. Please help me walk in obedience to Your commands and live my life in a way that pleases You. I really do want to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. Right now, I surrender all that I am to You and ask for Your blessings in my life.
In Jesus' name,
Monday, January 17, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Father, I am so tired of playing it safe, of bowing to the wrong crowd and listening to the wrong voices. I lay down my pride and surrender to You and Your plan for my life in this New Year. Stretch my faith. Give me Your eyes to see those in need. Fill me with Your power and strength so that others will be drawn to You.
In Jesus' name,
This was in my daily devotion from "girlfriends in GOD" the author being Mary Southerland. I found that it rang true in my heart. I felt compelled to cry out that prayer as my own. I struggle to live a life that doesn't offend others, keeps everyone happy and most of all keeps me safe. But, I read in this little devotion that I need to let go of some of those "safe" things. This is what she said before the prayer....
People are desperately looking for ordinary women like you and me whose lives have been changed by an extraordinary God - the One who is calling us to be "God with skin on" to those who don't even believe He exists. I want to love every excuse and doubt right out of their minds. I want them to see a power in me that they cannot explain in human terms and a message that shouts of God's mercy and forgiveness. I want to be hungry and thirsty for God as never before. I want my normal life to be abnormally extraordinary because God is alive and well and at work in and around me.
I just felt like this was meant only for me, just for my heart today. I don't really know what else to say but that I want to be "abnormally extraordinary because God is alive" in me.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
then the boys....
and the girls again.....
and the boys.....
then mixin' it up a bit...
then.....the snow began falling and they were more interested in playing outside in the snow. Which I totally understand! We loaned all of them some warm coats and sent them on their way.
Checking out their gifts and we are checking out the mess!