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. be continued...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's Not Just Me!

I love this youtube 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 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

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

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

A great site for women...

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, 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 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 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 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.