Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wow! It's hard to believe it's been nearly two months since I've written on here. Seems like life has been crazy and the time has flown by.
We spent a year planning a trip to Disney World over Thanksgiving with my whole family. It was such a great trip and wonderful time together. It was far from being a restful trip overall, but we made some wonderful memories that week. I've really grown to treasure these opportunities for time together. We are not promised tomorrow, so I love it when we get the chance to do something different together. We were all very thankful to be together during that time of year, and to enjoy the gorgeous FL weather.
Now, we are preparing to celebrate Christmas. We will get time with both of our families as well as some dear friends, and we are all excited about this special time of the year. One of the things I am most excited about this year, beyond the time with family, gifts, celebrations, etc., is that I am almost finished reading through the entire Bible, chronologically, for the first time in my life! I got a little behind this fall, but have a plan to finish by December 31st. I've always known God's word was life changing, but have experienced it so much more this year. I finally understand so much more about history and how all the parts of the Bible fit together as a whole. It's truly amazing! I can't wait to finish so I can start over again on Jan. 1!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Three Little Pumpkins

My favorite time of the year has always been fall. I love so much about it, but especially, since having kids, I've loved the annual trip to the pumpkin patch. Thankfully, a nearby church in our area hosts a pumpkin patch each year as a fundraiser. This year was year number eleven for our family to visit it. Our oldest was only ten months old the first time we went. I have treasured these picture so much every year, although it is getting harder each year to get my son to cooperate for pictures. We usually start our trip with a lecture in the car about how we WILL smile when mom says to. Of course, we still have to go over this rule several times during our visit. Just wanted to share here one of the pictures from this year. Obviously, my son was ignoring the rule in this one. That's okay, these will come back to haunt him one day. :}

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby!

Today my baby turns 7 years old. I can’t believe how that sounds….to think my youngest child is already seven!!!! God has richly blessed us with three beautiful children. I am fully aware of what a treasure they are. I know that some struggle with having kids for years and never see that dream come to fruition. I know some have lost one of these little miracles and I am thankful for each day God gives me with all three of them.

On October 15, 2001, God gave us the blessing of becoming mom and dad to a little boy. I knew right away that this bond was different from the one I have with my girls. I can’t really explain it. I don’t love him more, just differently. He has always been such an easy, laid back kid. He goes with the flow, does not cause much trouble, is generally polite and easy to please. (Yea, don’t you wish you had one of those!) I am amazed at all God is doing in his young life. He’s smart and cute and has a magnetic personality, or at least seems to, based on the kids who want to play with him. I love his beautiful, big brown eyes, infectious laugh, and toothless grin. I love that he wants to hug me every day and tells me he loves me every chance he gets.

I think I’ve had a harder time watching my son turn from baby to little boy to big boy, knowing one day all too soon he’ll be a young man, looking for his place in a man’s world. I love watching all these stages, but am also sad knowing one day very soon, he won’t look to me for comfort or attention. And one day he’ll give his heart to another woman….and she better be really nice to me!

But today, I will celebrate seven. Seven years of joy, hugs, and love from this amazing little boy that calls me mom!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bucket List

I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie the “Bucket List” or not, but we watched it several months ago and it really got us thinking about what we want to do in life. The premise of the movie is two men who are terminally ill decide to fulfill all the things they want to do in life before they die. I know, it’s a little morbid maybe to think about, but really, if we never write down the dreams we have, how will we ever see that some of them at least come true. John and I have been talking about some of the things on our own bucket lists, but we’ve also talked about starting a family list. Maybe not of things we want to do "before we die", but just of life dreams. Things that are easy to fulfill, things that will take some work, planning and saving, and things that are likely to never happen but are fun to dream about. So, what’s on your bucket list??

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Why I Homeschool

Several weeks ago, a friend of mine who is brand new to homeschooling, asked me how I answer people who ask me why I homeschool. That’s such a great question and one I asked as well before we started this journey. It is a question that does not have a right or wrong answer and is different for everyone. I told her the basic reasons I give. Here’s why we homeschool.

1. The week I believe God began working in my heart to homeschool, a good friend of ours reminded me how little time we actually have left with our kids. That thought rolled around in my heart for several days and one day, I felt like God spoke into it and told me I could homeschool. I had always admired people who could do it, but never really thought it was for me. I was wrong! I do believe God lead us to homeschool for the first reason of really being with our kids. We have time with them in ways we never could have otherwise. We were so tired of the eight hours of school, then 2-3 of homework, and rarely having time for conversation. When we saw things in their lives we needed to work on, it was put on the back burner while we finished a project or homework assignment. Now, we stop and deal with a character flaw immediately. No more burners!

2. We are able to talk about God’s word and this wonderful world He created every day. Basically, we homeschool with a biblical perspective. Honestly, I don’t use the Bible during math. I am sure there are ways to incorporate the Bible in every single thing we do. I don’t….but I know they are getting FAR more than they ever would have gotten on the road we were headed down.

3. I am now in tune with exactly where my kids are educationally. Whereas before, I had no control over what they learned, the pace they learned or what they needed extra help in, I now know everything they’ve learned and heard in a day…which makes us all be able to talk to each other more intellectually. I know what they need to work on or where they can work more quickly to move ahead instead of waiting for 20 classmates to catch up.

4. It’s truly amazing. I can truly say I never imagined getting to be part of something so incredible with my kids. We have fun learning each day. We have lots of challenges, and some tears occasionally, but we laugh, we are amazed together and we experience wonder in all God is showing us all the time.

5. My kids are getting to have a relationship with each other I don’t think they could have had otherwise. Does that mean they are perfect angels with each other….yea, right! They still argue and fight daily. But they also help each other, learn from each other and play together through imaginations that are expanding because their world is expanding.

6. Are they getting enough social time? Are you kidding!!! Anyone who knows my kids, especially my eldest, knows this could never be a problem. I’ve sat amazed at times while at friends houses in the way she gives adults instructions. My kids have a blast with each other and they treasure the times they get to spend with friends. No, it’s not every day and I do have to be intentional about it, but I think they value this time a little more now. Plus, they are getting to participate in activities only available to homeschoolers.

7. We are committed to homeschooling year by year. This means I have never felt that God had called us to this for their entire schooling. We are praying about it each year, but so far, we are all very happy and would not trade what we are doing for the world!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Take Me Out To the Ballgame

I’m so proud of my son! He’s in his fourth season of playing baseball. He started at the age of three with t-ball and played again the next two years. We took a break last spring after being exhausted from basketball season, but promised him we’d try fall ball for the first time. He’s now playing coach pitch. He absolutely loves it.

Now, when I sign my kids up for things I enjoy knowing all the costs up front. I paid for baseball, believing that would be the only cost incurred. However, I was soon to be educated on the needs of a six year old coach pitch player. Apparently, the same bat that worked for t-ball is no longer suitable for coach pitch. It is also now a necessity, at least in my son’s mind, to own batting gloves. And the ball glove that has not stretched nor shrunk really needs to be replaced by a larger glove, even though the size of his hand is no bigger. New cleats were also in order since the night he wore his old ones to practice, he came home with huge blisters on his feet. What a great mom I am!!!!

So, I reluctantly agreed to some of the new purchases, and other’s we mutually agreed to wait on. I’ve learned after nearly 14 years of experiencing the inner world of a man, that men need different things for every sport. How rich I would be if I could just come up with a shoe that worked equally well for basketball, running and golf. Because of my 14 years of training, I am slowly accepting the fact that every new venture my son takes on will likely involve a new this or that since the old one just won’t do. And though this may cost something, he sure does look cute in his uniform, but don’t tell him I actually said that. I am not allowed to point out how adorable he is while he’s up to bat, or that he’s just too cute standing on 1st base. At the field, I am serious business and only point out things about his technique, or what a great job he did batting. I try not to comment on the sounds and smells I find in the dugout. But no matter what, he’s still my baby and he always will be.

Monday, October 6, 2008


About eleven years ago, God began to tug at our hearts regarding church planting. John was in seminary and I was working at a church that in its short lifetime, had already planted over a dozen new churches. I had always considered church planting to be something people did in Africa in huts. Though this can also be true, I was far from understanding all God was up to right in our backyard.

We finally decided this was what God had called us to and began the process of seeking a place to plant. This was not easy, knowing God could have sent us anywhere, and we were trying hard to be open to that. About that same time, our future sponsor church was praying about supporting its first church plant and the pastor happened to be one of John’s best friends. They began praying about whether this was the right place and partnership. I am so thankful it was.

I will never forget the last Sunday at our church in Texas. I remember standing near the back, probably because I was holding our first baby, who was only about five months old, and listening to the music and wondering how long it would be until we were able to stand in a room full of people and worship like that again. I felt in some ways that it would be forever.

Those first few months were not easy. John began knocking on every door in our neighborhood, then in surrounding neighborhoods, meeting people and developing relationships. It was hard for me, because I was home with a baby and knew no one.

A bible study started in our home in early July and by September we were able to move to an office building. We had about 40-50 people attending at that time. Those months were hard on me since I was now also pregnant again with our second child, a huge shock just after getting settled in our home. I was the only childcare worker for a short time and would barely make it through the morning service before I was sick again. But we knew even through the difficult days, God was up to something much bigger and better than ourselves.

A few months later, our public worship services began in an elementary school. Of course, we came into this whole thing with a vision and really big dreams. I believe those are two different things….we had a vision that God wanted to use us to reach our area, but our dreams maybe did not always line up with that. We thought we’d see a church birthed over night, with hundreds of people within the first few weeks. We soon realized we had to let go of some of those “dreams” and trust God with the vision He’d given us. The first few years seemed painstakingly slow at times, but God was truly changing lives and families. People came and went during that time. We grew deep relationships, some of which exist today and mourned over the loss of some of them.

After what seemed like an eternity, God blessed us with our current “permanent” location. We were thrilled to finally have a home base for ministry. God grew our character through difficult steps, through mistakes we’ve made, through things we’ve gotten sort of right along the way, and through the advice and teaching of so many Godly men and women. I can’t say it’s all been easy or that it’s always even been fun. I can say we’ve honestly NEVER thought about throwing in the towel. We’ve believed the vision God called us to since day one, trusting Him for every step along the journey. There were times we did not know where the next dime for ministry would come from. There have been huge faith steps along the way and at times, we’ve shuffled along in faith rather than taking big leaps.

It’s unbelievable to think it’s only been ten years. Sometimes, we feel as if we are just getting started. At other times, it feels like a lifetime. The only way it really becomes real to me is when I look at my almost eleven year old and remember how tiny she was when it all began.

Having grown up in a Baptist preacher’s home, I’ve known the joys and challenges of living in a minister’s family my whole life. And yes, around my senior year in high school, I believed God called me to be a pastor's wife long before I ever met John. As a kid, we were in some churches full of wonderful people who loved the Lord, and who often showed their love for us as their pastor and family. However, we were also in places full of darkness where there were few if any shows of gratitude. In fact, we were in some places all of us would love to forget.

That’s why I can never fully put into words how much it means to me to be in a place that really cares about its pastors. We’ve never looked for or expected any kind of "appreciation." In fact, based on my experiences growing up, I’ve been shocked to see that it can exist. But our sweet church body has blessed us tremendously time and time again just with sweet expressions of love all along the way. I have to admit it is a little hard to accept and we feel a bit undeserving, but it is deeply humbling. Most of us are used to receiving gifts only when we are in need or on a special occasion. This month, our church is digging deep in the way it shows love to us. We know it’s a sacrifice for them. But we are so honored by their love. Thank you North Point! We love all of you guys so much and can’t wait to see all God has for us as a church the next ten years.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday Morning

I’m enjoying a beautiful, cloudless fall day outside on my deck. I love hearing all the birds chirping, especially now that we have bird friendly backyard thanks to several new bird feeders and baths for science projects. The kids and I have really enjoyed becoming birders lately and trying to name all the new wildlife around us. In the distance, I hear lawn mowers running probably for one of the last times this year, kids biking on the walking path, and the sounds of several tennis games being played on the courts just outside of view. All my windows are open and my house seems to be saying thank you as it drinks in the morning air, refreshing itself after a long, hot summer.

I love this time of year. I have since I was a kid. I love the changing temperatures, the awe I feel as I see the changing colors and the change in my family. Everyone seems to be able to breathe a little deeper, taking in the freshness of cooler, shorter days.

That’s what I love about God. Every time I breathe in his word, it refreshes me. Every time I take a look at all He’s done for me, I am awed. I never walk away from receiving a little more of Him and not be changed.

Yesterday I had the incredible opportunity of spending the afternoon with my favorite person on the earth….my husband. We had about four solid hours on the boat together, without kids. The weather was gorgeous, a little warm, but a nice breeze. He fished for four straight hours, I read for four and occasionally we had a little conversation. That’s what I love about us. We used to think we had to find all kinds of things we both loved to do and could only do those things. The problem was, our interests and tastes are often very different. But I love this place in our marriage, where we finally accept the differences and rejoice in them. We know we can both be totally content being together, yet enjoying our time from two different perspectives.

I enjoy my time with God in a similar way. Sometimes, it’s unfortunately all about me. What I need, what I want, what I did not get. But He patiently listens, and talks to me in quiet whispers, waiting for me to shut up and listen. Other times, I’m just still, listening. Sometimes He’s also quiet and we can just enjoy that time together, soaking up the beauty of our time together. Other times, I am desperately pouring my heart out to Him, crying, begging for help and answers. I don’t always get the answers I am looking for, but I am always comforted.
Enjoy today….take time to smell fall, see it, feel it, take it all in. God is so good!

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Least of These

I just returned from an awesome weekend at the Women of Faith conference in Atlanta, GA. I spent a weekend with 34 other beautiful women from North Point and enjoyed time with friends both old and new. We worshipped together, cried together and laughed together as we sang and listened to incredible women of God sharing their lives with us. There were many “take away” moments from the weekend that I may write about in future blogs, but none stood out as much to me as the one that happened outside the walls of the arena, away from the spot lights and loud music.

On Saturday, several of us walked outside as a group to pick up our boxed lunches. We searched around to find a place to sit to enjoy the nice temperature. We had to walk down to an area a little outside of where most conference goers were sitting, near a stop for the public transportation. This meant that there were many “non conference” people passing through. Before we even sat down, all of us noticed two men who appeared to be homeless, sitting about a 50 yards away from us. One was stretched out on the ground, seemingly unaware of all the people around him. The other sat in a plastic chair beside him, several bags of his personal items propped nearby.

As we sat down, I had feelings of guilt at all the people scattered in the area, eating right in front of him. He was shabby looking, not at all kept or clean. He watching everyone around him, very observant of people. I felt sorry for him.

I’d love to say at this point that I hopped right up and sacrificially gave him my lunch. But I did not! If I have to be honest, I must tell you that my first thought was that I probably should be setting a good example to all these ladies with me since I was their pastor’s wife and all. (Real self serving, huh?) The second thought that crossed through my mind was not what would Jesus have me do, but what would my husband have done? He probably would have taken him a lunch. I wish I was as good as him. As I wrestled with these thoughts, one of the ladies with our group did go over and use her lunch ticket to take him a lunch. Wow! I probably should have done that. While she was gone, a lady from another church also took a lunch to him, which he set down beside his friend who still seemed a little out of it.

All of this was neat to watch, but the best was yet to come. I watched as he moved his friends lunch up closer to him, trying to get him to wake up, and making sure they both had equal food to eat. Soon, a lady from another church, came near where we were sitting with a large stack of Styrofoam trays to attempt to put in a trash can a couple of few feet from us. We watched her struggle, not able to get them in through the small opening at the top. Again, I ‘d love to say I got up to help with a servants heart. No! I sat, eating my lunch and still thinking about how sorry I felt for this man and trying to pretend not to smell the area around us, which we had decided early on was probably a rest room for men like these.

As she walked away to find another trash can, I saw this man running towards her. I was sure he wanted to save the trays to rescue any remaining food so I again felt guilty for not sharing mine. How wrong I was!! He ran over to her, gently took the trays from her hands, walked over to the trash can and actually took off the dirty top of that filthy can so that he could stuff the trays into the trash. I was amazed. Here was this man…somewhat unsightly, clothes hanging on him, hands filthy, unshaven, walking around in only dirty socks, no shoes in sight. He did what none of us would dare to do. He was acting as a true servant. I certainly was not going to risk getting dirty under my nails or on my clothes to take off this trash can lid.

Again, a few moments later, I watched as he came to the trash can to stuff down more trash, almost as if doing some house cleaning. His hands were covered in dirt, fingernails dark from not being washed. He stood only a few feet from me. My friend offered him her chips and I passed some fruit to him. I looked him in the face as he took it graciously, thanking us, and walked back to his seat. I realized for that moment, looking into his eyes, that I did not have pity on him….but perhaps him on me.

I do not know this man’s name. I don’t know his story. I don’t know if he had a spot to lay his head that night. I don’t know if he got to this place as a result of life’s hard blows, or from a series of his own poor choices. As I’ve had time to come home and get some rest, I’ve realized it does not matter. I felt like I looked into the face of God that day. Here was a man who acted out of compassion, with a true servants heart. He did not sit and ponder what he should do. He did not look around to see who was watching or worry what others would think. He did not look down at his clothes to determine how he could help in a way so as not to get messed up. Here he was….dirty, ragged, already probably at one of life’s lowest points, yet he acted humbly to meet a need at the very moment he saw it. I am ashamed that I could not do that same. I am touched by this man who I will never see again. He taught me at that moment far more than I ever could have imagined. Father, help me not to stay the same!!

Matthew 25:44-45
“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a
stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help
the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

Monday, September 22, 2008

Getting Real

John asked me and our Associate Pastor's wife to share a testimony on Sunday about how God has used our accountability group in our life over the past year. Those of you who know me well know that John was the one gifted with the speaking ability, not me, so this was totally out of my comfort zone. But, I thought I'd share with you the script of what I shared on Sunday.

"I accepted Christ at the age of six while growing up as a preachers kid.
I’ve been in church since birth and have heard most Bible stories at least
once, some of them many times. I’ve grown in my walk with Christ
through many seasons of my life….high school, college, being a
newlywed, seminary, learning my role as a wife and mother and then as a
pastor’s wife. The season I’ve been in for a little more than a year has
been one of those big spiritual growing times.

Almost two years ago, I was asked if I wanted to be in an accountability
group with several other women. Accountability was something I’ve
learned about all my life and always thought was great for “other people”
to do, but never truly considered as something I personally needed. I
thought being in this group would probably be a good thing, but never
really thought I could be really transparent, open and honest with other
women. Today, I am so thankful that God brought these ladies into my
life and allowed this group to begin. It has totally changed my life.

A year ago, if anyone from North Point had asked me how my quiet times
were, I would not have been able to reply honestly that they were great.
In reality, they were few and far between. The truth is, I’ve spent many
of my adult years being really good at playing the part of a Christian, but
not necessarily living it out in my daily life. I wanted to grow, but was not
putting in the time necessary to do so. I had enough head knowledge to
pretend like everything was all okay.

God has used a group of very special, godly women, in incredible ways in
my life. I know I have a group of sisters in Christ that I can share life with
in deeper levels than I ever imagined. I now am seeking to know my
heavenly Father in a deeper, more intimate way than ever before. I don’t
get it right all the time, and know that I never will, but I know these
women are going to ask me each week how my quiet times are going, or
how I’ve treated my kids, or how my relationship with my husband is
going. And I have to answer honestly.

I’ve been reading through the Bible in it’s entirety for the first time in my
life and continue to seek God’s will each day for all He has for me. I now
believe that being accountable to others is an essential part of a believers
life. It’s not something that is meant to be punishment or to be afraid of.
It’s not about getting a slap on the wrist because you messed up. It is a
joy and an honor and I would encourage Christ followers to seek out
accountability relationships with other believers.
I promise you will not be the same!"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More Fish Tales

Okay, we went into this whole fish ownership thing with me believing that all you had to do to keep fish alive was feed them and keep the water clean. When we purchased this fish tank in June, I thought we had spent the most money we would need to spend on the initial setup, and all it would involve from here on out was restocking the fish food pantry. Wrong....

We purchased this tank, with help from our kids from their "fish fund" they had been saving up and immediately realized we needed decorations to make the tank look realistic. I am not sure what is realistic about fish swimming in circles all day in a 16 gallon tank, but I was as equally excited as my kids about making it look beautiful. So, we purchased gravel, a glow in the dark corral type piece (in case they need a night light), some fake plants and a very large rock piece which I do really love. However, this rock needed a pump so that bubbles would come out of the top of it. I guess there are many rocks in the sea that actually have bubbles coming from them? But, I liked it and it adds to the atmosphere. Of course, extra tubing was also required to make it fit.

So tank, decorations, and pump in hand we set up the tank, filled it, and soon added our first five fish, followed by three more the next week.

I have now learned that it is necessary to own a vacuum to suck up all the stuff that the filter did not get up from the bottom of the tank. This process also involves a large bucket and usually some amount of water that has been spilled onto my carpet.

Then, when several fish died, including our two favorite dalmatian fish, we learned our chemical levels were all out of whack so it would be necessary to "upgrade" our filter. Apparently, the filter that originally came with our tank was only suitable if you were never going to actually put any fish into the tank.

Next came the need to purchase a chemical testing kit. I had been assured that this could be done for free by taking a water sample to our local pet store and having them test it on the spot. However, I guess it is more fun to get to play with test tubes, so we now have a test kit.

Then, two weeks ago, we discovered that one of our fish had babies. We found one little speck of a fish still alive at the bottom of the tank, but think mom may have dined on the rest of them. How sad!! This one we were not able to save, but a week later, discovered another tiny baby. Now, I have to add that we knowingly purchased three females and one male to see if they would have babies, thinking this would be educational and fun to follow. A couple of weeks after purchasing them, we started to noticed the females had put on some "padding" shall we say. One of our females looks like she could pop open at any moment. Of course, the male is swimming happily around, skinny as a rail. (Isn't that just how it is!!!)

So, I came home one night this week from my accountability group to discover that we now have a nursery floating in the top of the tank, which housed the largest female at the top, and the still tiny baby in the bottom. Who knew!!! I also began to look closely and noticed an algae eater that had not been there earlier that day. Would you believe all three of my kids denied having been to Pet Smart that night with their dad??? And we wonder why I had a lying issue with one of them yesterday?

I have now resigned myself to the fact that we need a line item in our budget labeled fish and that I would do well just to rearrange my furniture so that our fish tank can be viewed from every seating position. I do believe the people at Pet Smart have probably handed my husband a store key so that he can just come in and get what he needs anytime. And I am quite sure there are many more fish "necessities" that I have yet to hear about. But I do have to admit, it has been fun watching them and watching the excitement of all of our family as we see changes to them each day. And I love the peaceful sound of trickling water coming from our sparkling, new super filter!!

(After posting, we found three more baby fish in our tank this morning...two were added two the nursery. We lost site of the third. Did I mention these fish give birth to live babies, and can have 20-100 every couple of months?? Yea, I think next time we'll call all male. But it is cool!)

Faith of a Child

I am so excited to be seeing the first signs of fall….a cool night last night and a pleasant day today. The first signs yet that the summer heat will eventually fade away. Fall has always been my favorite time of the year and I anxiously await the cooler days.

I had the great privilege of spending about an hour with one of my three favorite kids in the world today. We had the rare opportunity to take a long walk, just the two of us. With three kids and homeschooling, this does not happen as often as I’d love it to. But this was a great chance just to talk…one on one….without the interruptions of siblings, tv, play, etc. To protect this child’s identity, I’ll not refer specifically to him or her. But after we’d been walking for awhile, I asked the question, “So, what has God been showing you lately?” To preface the response, I have to tell you that we spent part of our school morning with this child dealing with a lying issue that happened this morning. We talked about it, prayed about it and awhile later, a very repentant, tearful child had a very different countenance.

The answer I received to this question was this, “God showed me I’ve been doing some bad things lately.” I asked what God showed him/her to do about it and the reply was, “To start walking a different way.” Wow!! It seems so simple. We are breaking God’s heart, the Holy Spirit convicts us of this, and we just repent….we turn around and start walking a different way. Not veer slightly off the path we were on, not slow down or speed up, not sit down on the path and hang out there until we decide to move…no, we turn around and start walking a different way. I was really blown away by this child’s depth at that moment. He/she never realized how powerful that was for an adult to hear….it just seems simple. It’s what God tells us to do. If only we could all have the faith of a child all the time!

We did go on to talk about how that is sometimes easier than at other times and how our pride can get in the way and make us want to keep doing what we were doing. But I was very blessed today to get to spend some time walking with this sweet, child of God, and anticipating the change in seasons and marveling at the change of heart I’d seen today.

Friday, September 5, 2008

And then there were seven...

As I've talked about previously in my blog, we were coerced into purchasing a fish tank this summer by our sweet children. We successfully kept all nine of our first fish alive for about two months. One green fire tetra, four red wag poly's, two neons, and two dalmation fish. Last week, while cleaning out the tank, we discovered our first loss. One of our little neon fish had perished. I had warned my children not to get attached to the fish as they had short life spans and would probably not be permanent house members. I also knew our record of plant growing in our house so these poor fish were not looking too lucky. So this first loss was not a big deal.

However, we've noticed the water looking really cloudy since that cleaning and wondered what was causing it. A water test today at the pet store showed the water to be not exactly friendly for our fish. We knew we'd be cleaning it out again tonight. But sometime during dinner, one of my personal favorites bit the dust. He was a black dalmatian fish and I really liked him and his sibling, a white dalmatian fish. They had longer tails and fins they kind of flowed in the water, and though they sometimes appeared a little aggressive or domineering towards the smaller fish, they were really fun to watch. I knew I went against everything I told my kids....I got a little attached and admit to feeling a little sad after our discovery.

So, my kids being the great kids that they are, decided we needed to bury the fish and have a service. (I think the first one just got flushed!) All five of us attended....in our pajamas...under our deck in the backyard as we placed the fish in his final resting place. Our precious dog Boo was nearby. The kids thought this was really sweet that she wanted to be part of everything. I think she wanted to remember the spot for a late night snack! But we said some parting words, my son placed some flowers, and we went back inside. The tank is on the way to being clean again, and now we have room for our next victims.

Friday, August 29, 2008

How Times Have Changed

I laughed tonight when I walked in my kitchen and caught this site at the bar. My ten year old was talking on the phone to a close friend while they were playing together "virtually" on Webkinz world. Remember when we just rode our bikes to our friends house, with no cell phone to call home with and no computer to check our e-mail before we left and multi-tasking was a foreign word??? Wonder how her kids will interact with their friends? Maybe by then, they will be back to riding their bikes to their houses.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Favorite Parenting Tool in the Box

I’m going to share my secret to parenting. It’s such a great secret that you won’t find it in any parenting books. In fact, you’ll find that many parenting books would advise against it. It's just one word….bribery!

Yes, I am ashamed to admit it, but unfortunately, this is a tool we pull out of the toolbox more often than I’d like. Sometimes, you just have to do it. Most of the time it works, sometimes it fails miserably.

On our last Disney World trip, my son was about 4 years old. His all time favorite Disney character has been Buzz Lightyear. I was very excited about getting his picture made with Buzz, Woody, etc. One evening, we finally saw Woody next to a line of kids eager to get his autograph. For some reason, my sweet son put his foot down and was not taking his picture that night. I was not leaving DW without this picture, so I finally did what most of us never admit to…I offered him a dollar if he’d take the picture. He said okay and got in line. During the picture moment, he seemed happy and I stood thinking how proud I was that I had gotten him past his hesitation and that when he was older, he’d look back and think how thankful he was to have a mom who pushed him so that he had that picture to treasure. How wrong I was....as soon as the picture was over, he walked straight to me, put out his hand, and said “Now I want my dollar.” So much for treasuring!

Bribery works in many different ways and forms. A few weeks ago, we were having our family picture made with my entire family. My sister and I have had a tradition for many years of taking a picture with our little brother (much to his dismay) standing in the middle of us while we kiss him on the cheek. He’s such a sweet brother to allow us to do this, or knows it’s more dangerous to fight with us about it. We even did a picture like this on his wedding day. So, I decided it would be so cute to do this picture with Nathan and the girls in front of us doing the same thing. Now you have to know that Nathan HATES for anyone to kiss him other than mom and dad. Even his sister’s kisses are off limits. So of course, he flatly refused. I begin to slowly tug on my toolbelt. I offered a dollar, then two, deciding that would be my limit and what six-year-old would turn that down?? NO! That was his answer.

Before I knew it, John stepped in and started upping the ante. First it was an ice cream cone at Marble Slab. What was he thinking?? It was almost dinnertime??!! But, if it got us the photo, I would oblige. Out of nowhere, I realized he was offering the child a Wii for Christmas if he would take the picture. Can you believe it??? I wanted the picture, but really, at what cost?? And would you believe this kid…who DOES really want a Wii…completely turned it down and would not take the deal!! Thankfully, this was an example of the bribery card not working out.

So, on those days when pleading and begging just is not going to cut it, speak your child's true language. When they are young, it's usually easy to do with a food item, but the older they get, the more it can cost you. (Disclaimer: I have absolutely nothing biblical to say about bribing your kids. I'm quite sure it's not the best parenting tool to use and most experts would agree it's not best for your kids, but hey, if it works.....:})

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Early in marriage, I learned from various books on the subject, that one of the needs of men is to have recreational companionship with their wives. This was something we found difficult in the beginning, as it seemed we had been created in two different worlds. But as the years have gone by, we’ve found common interests in several areas. We both enjoy working out at the Y, we love Carolina football, going bike riding as a family (when it’s not too hot) and participating in or watching any sport our kids are in to name a few.

However, my husband does have some passions that I am less than passionate about. At first, it was golf. A sport I find pointless! Thankfully, though he still plays occasionally, he found other passions that were more budget and family friendly. His biggest passion as far as hobbies go is fishing. He’d be on the water daily if life allowed. (He says this sentence should read “if wife allowed it.”) I love that he enjoys something so much, but have thus far been unable to personally get excited about fishing. He keeps telling me if I’d just try it, I’d really like it. I am quite sure I am always going to be happiest with a book and a suntan.

Wanting to really show how much I love him and want to share in each other’s passions together, I went with him (and the kids) to a fishing event last weekend. There was a professional tournament in town and we went to check out all the activities going on. I must say, I was amazed at the number of people (including women) who love fishing even more than John. To say I was a fish out of water is an understatement….I had no idea what all the guys at the booths were saying as they explained their latest and greatest lures, I could not name you a single type of rod and reel and I have no idea what type of engine goes in what type of boat.

But…I did get great joy though out of seeing my husband act like a kid in a candy store and my kids act like, well, kids! I had fun watching the kids shoot in a paint ball booth, attempt to “surf” and drive the boat simulator. I’ve now heard the national anthem sung in a sporting event I never really realized existed and am the proud owner of a Wal-Mart coozie, Yamaha hat and various other “useful” items that I could neither name or explain. And though I am no more “hooked” on fishing than I was a week ago, I do have a little more appreciation for my hubbies passion, and I’ll be perfectly happy with him fishing the next time we’re on the boat (hopefully without the kids) as long as I have my bag of books and a mountain dew!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wrong Number?

Have you ever felt like God was really calling you to do something, but once you got into it, you wondered if maybe he'd dialed the wrong number? That's been my thought some days while in the middle of homeschooling.

When we started sensing God leading us to home school, I was looking ahead to having eight hours a day of solitude...the husband and kids gone and just me and all the projects I could dream of. Nathan would been starting kindergarten and I'd finally experience peace on earth or at least in my little corner of it.

However, when I received that "phone call" from God, my whole world turned upside down. Now, I was being kicked into the label of "homeschooler" and would have to learn to put my hair in a bun and start growing vegetables, two things I really don't know how to do. I had visions of grocery shopping only in the organic sections while my children called out my list to me in Latin. In between canning all of our own fruits and veggies, milking the cow, sewing all of our own clothes and undergarments, and playing countless outdoor games with my kids since we had thrown out the TV, we would do multiple math lessons a day in order to get ahead of the "normal" kids, read only from the classics, and memorize whole books of the Bible weekly.

As you can guess, I had a very skewed picture of what homeschooling looks like. Not that there is anything wrong with sewing, canning and growing, I just don't happen to know how to do any of those things, nor do I ever want to learn. We shop in the reduced meat section and if there happens to be some lean beef there, we get it. Milk comes from the store and clothes from wherever the best sale is, but never from my sewing machine (I don't own one!) We do manage to do a single math lesson almost every day, we have read some classics, but most of our reading is just whatever looks interesting, and if my kids do a couple of Bible verses a month, we are really happy. My kids can't wait to finish school to get to the TV or computer and they can actually tell you a little about the origins of Latin, but could never quote anything in it.

No, for us, homeschooling means I get to snuggle with my son while reading "Cat and the Hat" or at least I'm snuggling while he's reading the words to me through gritted teeth since he does not want to have to read! It means we get to study about great heroes of the faith and see where they fit into the history I learned as a child, but was never taught the Bible went hand in hand with it. It means we get to know each other in more ways than we want to sometimes and we see the good, bad and ugly.

Sometimes, our school efforts look pretty, with everyone doing as they are told and seeming to enjoy learning, other days, it's quite ugly. Sometimes a day is counted as "good" if only one person was reduced to tears.

But, even though there are days I do think "why," I do know God has called us to this, at least for this time in our lives. I know that on those days when the light bulbs go on, or when my daughter has produced a masterpiece in writing, or when my son aces his math and is so proud of himself, or when someone is able to actually apply a lesson from science or history to our life or to subsequent lessons, that I have received the gift of really being part of my kid's lives in a way that would not be possible otherwise. I would miss so much if we weren't doing this together. I only have such a short time with them anyway....just yesterday they were all babies and tomorrow they will be gone....so I will treasure this time, even through the occasional tears! God has blessed us so much with this opportunity. And some day, yes, SOME DAY....my kids will thank me...at least that's what I'm told!
My perfect little angels on the first day of school, Aug. 4, 2008:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Next Food Network Star....Probably Not!

For the past several years, I've experienced a "drought" in my cooking abilities. The first few years of marriage, and even while my kids were babies, I loved cooking and was always trying new things, even being creative. But somewhere along the way, that all disappeared. Maybe we're just busier with extra-curricular activities, or maybe I just got bored with cooking. Lately though, I've been convicted about trying to get back in the swing of cooking every night, and yes, being creative, in an attempt to help my family eat better, to expand my kids taste buds (who am I kidding) and to save money since eating out had become too easy and way too expensive.

We've always had a joke about my cooking....the first time I ever tried to make something for John while we were dating, I completely burned the grilled cheese sandwich (very creative huh?) John immediately cooked up another one worthy of the cover of a cooking magazine. (We are very competitive between the two of us, so I still try to make my grilled cheese sandwiches as beautiful as his. I'm almost there, right babe??)

So, I started out this week with a full 10 days of menu plans, had done my shopping and was ready to go. Now, I know that it's always a good idea to plan ahead when you are trying something new, and I really thought I had, but maybe not enough!

Sunday, the plan called for homemade pizzas and homemade cinnamon sticks....something I thought would be a fun family project and though would involve a mess, should not be too bad. I'll spare you all the details, but we ended up with a whole wheat dough that after cooking, resembled very thick cardboard, and pretty much tasted like it. At one point during the kneading process, John sweetly commented that he thought it needed more water. I gave him the stern "don't tell me what to do in my kitchen, I know what I'm doing" look. A few minutes later, my sweet, bubbly little Taylor came over and in an innocent little voice, said, "I think it needs more water mom." What could I say then?

Thankfully, I had purchased store bought dough as a backup plan. My husband was so sweet to actually attempt to eat the cardboard pizza, but I could barely choke down a bit or two. We did end up with one that was good enough to eat and my kids at least did not starve. Incidentally,the cinnamon sticks were really good and we saved the leftover cardboard to feed the fish the next time at the lake.

Last night, the plan was ham and cheese quiche, something I love, but of course knew the kids would cry over. Let's just say the dinner preparation ended up taking about 2 hours and involved a large amount of liquid flowing out of my food processor which John and Bailey help to mop up. It was not pretty. In the end, the quiche was edible and my husband was wonderful through the whole process, even making the kids stay out of the kitchen...of course, that could have been for fear of their lives, but we did have supper!!

So tonight, I will try again....this time with a little more forethought and planning, and will hope for the best. Of course, if it does not work out according to plan, John can always make his "Next Food Network Star" grilled cheese sandwiches. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll ever be a contender! :}

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Crazy Week (Part 3 of 3)

Crazy Event No. 3: After supper (on Thursday), we had promised the kids a shopping trip for our second round of fish for our new tank (more on that in a later blog). While we were still choosing our fish, we received a phone call that our church had been broken into. The lady that discovered it had actually gone inside the building and into the office area when she discovered a broken window. She was very shaken, but thankfully, okay. God really protected her! We arrived a few minutes before the police did, plenty of time for my kids to be a mess. We stayed long enough to know that nothing major was missing besides some cash, then I left with the kids to get our new fish settled in their new home. They of course were all distraught over the events of tonight so they are all asleep in our bed.

But before bed, I reminded them of the passage of scripture they just learned last week. The one God placed specifically on their hearts just before they were going to need it. We talked about how cool it is that thousands of years ago, this passage was written to remind them on this very night about God’s protection…how He says that we will find refuge under His wings, that no disaster will come near our tent, that we do not need to fear the terror of night and that He commands His angels to guard us. We prayed tonight that they would even hear the flutter of angel wings as they were drifting off to sleep. What a great reminder of God’s protection!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Crazy Events (Part 2 of 3)

...continued from July 31...

Crazy Event No. 2: Just before dinner tonight, dark clouds appeared over us and we ended up with a huge lightening storm and heavy rain. My poor kids are terrified of storms, especially the oldest. When she was about 3, I shoved her and my then two-year-old in a closet when we had a microburst/hail storm at our home. It was very scary and we did have damage but everyone was okay.
About three years ago, we had another hail storm on Mother’s Day, and spent several minutes in a hall closet. It was during those few minutes that my oldest accepted Christ…nothing like a life or death moment to put it all on perspective. It was a great Mother's Day gift, even though we had to have our roof replaced along with all the siding on the front of the house.
This spring, we had a tornado come through our neighborhood, and though thankfully our house was spared any major damage, a couple of homes one street over were badly damaged. We spent several minutes praying hard in that same hall bathroom on that evening.

So, anytime the wind blows hard, she starts to almost hyperventilate. I don’t blame her, but I’m trying to help her to understand trusting God’s hand in everything...to believe He will protect her tent! A tough one for young kids, and adults many times. But we enjoyed supper and my nine-year-old said the blessing and asked God to keep sending the rain to help the drought…she was seeing the bigger picture.
...to be continued...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Crazy Events (Part 1)

What a crazy week we’ve had at our house….isn’t it so cool how God gives us what we need before we even know we’ll need it…

Last week my kids were in dance camp at the Christian dance company they attend and the group memorized the following scripture all week:
Psalm 91
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you
will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes and see
the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-
then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you to
guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will
not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will
trample the great lion and the serpent.
"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

One night last week, we were watching a special on Animal Planet as a family, and learned about elephant trapping and the “snares” that hunters put out to trap them. A really sad story, but my nine-year-old burst out…”so that’s what a snare is…we’ve been memorizing a verse that talks about the fowlers snare so now I know what it is.” Really cool!

Crazy Event No. 1: Yesterday, the kids and I were at the pool trying to escape the heat with some friends. We started hearing sirens nearby, followed by what appeared to be a police helicopter passing overhead. I made a joke to my friend that I’m okay with seeing one until it starts circling, at which point it did…just on the other side of the parking lot from where we were, right above the trees. It was a little unnerving until we saw a car with lights flashing go by, then it became very unnerving…at which point I did the most logical thing possible and called John to see if he knew anything…duh, what’s he going to do….

I finally called the pool management office to see if they knew anything. Another mom at the pool discovered through a phone call to a friend that they were indeed looking for an armed suspect in our neighborhood. Yikes…we decided to pack up and head out quickly, only to learn, thankfully, (through the security guard who finally arrived when everything was over), that the person had been caught. We went back to enjoying the sun and water, thankful that it was all over. Thankful for God's protection.
...to be continued...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's Not Just Me!

I love this youtube video....it serves as a reminder that I'm not the only one feeling this way sometimes and it helps put everything in perspective.


Web Site Sharing

Wanted to share a couple of websites I'm sure some of you are familiar with. After talking to a friend today about my need to plan ahead better for meals, I checked out www.menus4moms.com again and found so much helpful information. They have five day dinner plans right on the site for you with recipes and shopping lists for each week. On this site, I also read an article by Jill Cooper called "Stop Eating Your Way Into Debt" which talks about how to stop making excuses and do something about your problems....whether it's weight loss, finances, time management, etc. Very convicting!

You can check out lots of great tips on saving money at www.livingonadime.com.

I love to be organized, but have struggled in this area since starting homeschooling. Check out www.flylady.net for great helps on decluttering and staying organized.

And for you homeschool moms, www.thehomeschoolmom.com has tons of great resources including free record keeping pages.

A great site for women...http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/

Just wanted to pass these along!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's Tuesday!

Normally, Tuesday would not be the day of the week I would choose to get most excited about, until about a year ago. I started meeting "casually" with a group of five other ladies in January of 2007 to form an accountability group. Though we were all friends already, we spent the first 7 months or so kind of getting our feet wet, not hitting anything too heavy, dancing around the big topics, etc. in our weekly conversations, but sometime towards then end of last summer, we decided it was time to step things up, or basically just meet socially occasionally. We chose to really be accountable to each other and I'm so thankful we did.

I love Tuesday night for several reasons....one, it's a night just for me, away from John and my kids, and two, I get to spend 2 (and often times 3) hours with five incredible ladies who are really seeking to know God in a much deeper way, and to speak truth into my life. It was not an easy place to get to. It's not easy to be vulnerable. And though it's not an excuse to not be in one, I had found it difficult for many years as a pastor's wife to be in a group like this with ladies in my church. As a pastor's kid, I'd seen too many times the trust get broken in relationships. But God really showed me how much I needed this and that others needed me as well.

I know there will be those days we let each other down....none of us are perfect...but we really care about each other as women, wives, mothers and especially as daughters of the King! I challenge you to surround yourself with people you can trust and be accountable to. We can't do this life alone...God created us for relationship with Him and with others. If you are interested, contact me and I'd love to share some of the things we've come up with over the past year to help us get the ball rolling and what we are using now. It really is amazing to be part of this group!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Gray Day

Do you ever have a day, that even if the sun is shining, everything else around you seems gray? That describes today, only the sky really is gray and cloudy outside. We had to get up early, after not getting to bed early enough, to get a trip to the doctor in before my girls last day of dance camp. This meant a tired mom having to interrupt very soundly sleeping children...never a good thing! All the kids were fussy, I was fussy, and even our poor dog Boo seemed like she just wanted to hid from everyone. It made the entire morning long, and not a lot of fun, and we all snapped at each other a lot, but because of our schedule, we arrived early at dance camp and had a few minutes in the car...a great time for a little family devotion. (My kids were thrilled....I can't say I was feeling much happier about it at the moment.) I've been reading through the Bible this year, for the first time I'm ashamed to say, but am LOVING all God is teaching me. (I'm using a chronological Bible).
I opened to some passages in Psalms I read in the last few weeks. Here's what we read:
1 Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
6 The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
7 He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.

How amazing to be reminded about our God....about how much He loves us, how even though we mess up all the time, He is slow to become angry with us....he does not even punish us for all of our sins and then forgives them and forgets about them. I think this was even a great reminder for my kids, who did not immediately become super angelic, but at least went on with their day with God's word in the hearts. And maybe the sun will come out this afternoon!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

This To Shall Pass....

"This too shall pass." This was a phrase I heard from my mom a lot when my kids were very young. I was talking to a friend last weekend who is still very much in the toddler/preschooler stage of life. I was remembering with her all the days when my 3 kids were four and under and I literally counted the seconds each day until John would get home. It seemed like an eternity and sometimes I wondered if we'd all make it through that stage of life unharmed.

But now, it's almost hard to even remember the 5:00 am wake up calls from my middle child who wanted her OJ before sunrise, or the grocery store tantrums, or the days of attempting to throw out the pacifier, or potty train, or teach them please and thank you, etc. I don't miss any of it enough to want to go back, but it is amazing to me how quickly those days fade away.

Now my ten-year-old does not want to hold my hand to cross a street and questions when she can have her own cell phone and e-mail address...and my nine-year-old seems to have wisdom beyond her years sometimes....and my six-year-old is gaining independence every day. There is a new freedom to this stage of life...one that involves mom and dad getting to sleep in on Saturdays finally, but I know all too quickly that the next stages are coming and soon they will all be off on their own. My six-year-old often reminds me that he probably won't be able to visit me every weekend when he goes to college because he'll be too busy....how can a kid that young think like that??

So, to my friend who wonders some days if she'll survive....I know it's hard and sometimes the seconds really do feel like hours...but "this too shall pass." Enjoy it, savor it, lock away the sights, sounds and yes, even some of the smells of this stage...and look forward to Saturday mornings sleeping in....someday!

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Fishy Tale

Thanks for checking out my first attempt at blogging. I put if off as long as possible! I look forward to sharing about my family, ministry, homeschooling, and the joys of being a wife and mom, as well as my relationship with Christ. I'd love your feedback!

Most of you know how much my hubby loves to fish and loves stories about the fish he's caught or that others have. This story is a very different kind of fish tale.

It started a few months ago when we discovered our kids had suddenly started a "fish fund." Apparantely they thought this would allow them to buy a fish and a bowl. Of course, after some parental intervention, a few trips to the local pet store and much time thinking about all the reasons we did not need a fish, it was decided we would actually go pretty big on the fish tank, enabling us to have a vast assortment of the cuddly little pets! Our only obstacle was the location we chose for this planned investment...our window seat located halfway up our stairs, which did not have an electrical outlet anywhere near it.

So, my sweet hubby, being the handy man that he is (this is not at all sarcastic...he really does do a lot...though he has no college degree in "handy") decided that "electrician" was just a fancy word for "men with lots of tools" and that he was perfectly capable of installing this outlet himself.

With directions printed out from the internet, he and our six-year-old son as his side kick, set out last Friday to do this quick install so we could move on to other family time activites. In his defense, we made the decision when we built our house to have spray foam insulation put in rather than traditional insulation. A great idea for saving on energy costs (and it truly has!) but not such a great idea when wanting to run electrical wire through the walls. Please keep in mind, the idea was to use an existing outlet located in a storage closet under the stairs, directly below where we wanted the new outlet. A simple plan....make a hole, drop down the wire, do all the "electrical" stuff, close it all up, done!

Although I did not take notes minute by minute, here's basically how Friday looked:

2:00 pm - Print directions from the internet...a great education source!
2:10 pm - Allow six year old to knock whole in wall

2:30 pm - Start trying to poke hole through insulation; realize insulation is very hard!
3:00 pm - Make a couple of phone calls to other "handy men who are not electricians either" for advice
3:30 pm - Allow six year old to knock second hole in wall

4:00 pm - Success at last....I am summoned to the garage to see that a complete passage has finally been made...why do I have a pit in my stomach??

4:30 pm - Begin trying to drill a pathway through the second hole in the wall

5:00 pm - This time I'm summoned outside to the front porch...please not the siding....

5:00 - 7:30 pm - Work tirelessy to finally create a passageway for the electrical cord and complete installing the outlet. Yes, I now had two large holes in my wall, three smaller holes in the garage and one through the front of my house, but I have a beautiful, shiny new outlet where maybe one day soon, a lovely fish tank, possibly even with fish in it, will be sitting!

Last Friday afternoon was a long day of work for my husband. I know he worked very hard and yes, maybe even saved us some money. I do really appreciate all his work...it was however very humorous to see something start so simple and turn into so much more.

Here's the spiritual connection I found through this: How many times do we go "poking" around for all the anwers in life, when all we needed to do was go straight to the source....the place where we can always be energized and ready for all life throws at us. I hope today you will take time to plug into God's word! Don't waste time on all the other "stuff" that gets tossed your way. It's a waste of time and all you'll get in the end are more holes in your life that don't lead to anything good.