Saturday, June 20, 2009

We Won't Be Quiet

Our family is tired today after a long, but really great week! My kids attended another great week of VBS at a large church in our area. This was my oldest daughter's seventh and final year to attend. They love going because this church does everything really big! They have tons of bouncy games for recreation and just do a lot of really great stuff. But what I love the most is their chance to learn a little more about God's word and to really get to have fun worshipping. I LOVED getting to sneak in during worship time this week and watch from the back of the auditorium as all three of mine sang. My son had a great time with the songs this year and seemed to really "let is all out" for the first time. He's always been a little more reserved at this church than at our own. His favorite song is now number three on my playlist below! Check it out....We Won't Be Quiet! Great Song....

We are looking forward to another great and long week next week as our church hosts it's own version of Vacation Bible School. We call it Nick At Night...VBS with a Mess!! The part I'm most excited about is getting to watch my two girls help lead during the worship time. They love helping to lead the songs and watching them practice with the other kids this week just blessed me so much!! I love seeing them get excited about serving and using their gifts. My oldest daughter is finally getting to also help in the preschool area. She could not be more thrilled! I'll let you know how everything goes next week. Praying for no rain and cooler temps!!

Monday, June 8, 2009


My husband told me today of a pastor friend/acquaintance of his that had to step down from his position of senior pastor this week due to infidelity. That's such tough news to hear. It's so easy for any of us to judge a person in that position. Yes, he is a pastor and is held to a "higher standard" so to speak, so everyone expects more of him. Yet he is just a man....just human....and is vulnerable to the same temptations as any other person, maybe even more so. Satan wants nothing more than to destroy the church and destroy it's leader and he's working overtime to make that happen. It all comes down to being on your guard, to being diligent about being in the Word and to being 100% accountable to those close to you.

My husband and I have talked about these matters through the years, and yes, there are times you can be lulled into thinking it could never happen to you, and that's exactly when the enemy strikes....when you've let yourself think you are untouchable. Though I don't know them personally, my heart breaks today for this family. I can only imagine the grief and heartache they are experiencing. I know God forgives and makes all things new, but their lives will never be the same again. I pray for them that God would hold them tightly down this dark road and that they would come out so much stronger on the other end.
I was reminded today of a devotion I read last week that I thought I'd share here. It was entitled "How to defeat your giant." Maybe it will encourage you whether you are dealing with addictions, weight issues, are struggling with what you watch or listen to, what company you keep, or sexual temptations. All of these are giants that we cannot overcome ourselves.

1. You're not unique: Your temptations "are no different from what others experience" (1 Cor. 10:13). Our giants are usually little sins we overlook and indulge until they assume a life of their own and come back to haunt us.
2. You can't do it alone: Your giant will defeat you anytime you tackle him in your own strength. You need divine help to overcome old habit and establish new behaviors. David told Goliath, "This is the Lord's battle and he will give you to us" (1 Sam. 17:47)
3. You must confront your giant head on: Don't run away, don't try to negotiate, don't compromise and don't excuse. The Bible says: "As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly meet him." (1 Sam. 17:48) Force your giant into the light and don't let him back into your life. Establish boundaries and make yourself accountable. Stay out of the wrong company. Above all, don't look at God in the light of your giant, look at your giant in the light of God.
What this looks like for me: I have to understand I am not alone and that there are others going through the same things I am. I can't pretend I'm "special" and that this sin is okay because I am the only one ever affected by it. I have to understand that only God can help me overcome it. That's right, Oprah can't fix it, neither can the next self help book. Only God can help me lay aside old habits and replace them with ones that reflect His word. And I can't excuse those little temptations. This is kind of like believing a little white lie is not really a lie. When we do that, we allow our selves to move to the next level of sin! When we hold these sins and temptations in the light of God's word, we see them for what they really are. I have to set clear boundaries for myself BEFORE I am in the middle of a tempting situation. I can't wait until I'm smack in the middle of it to start thinking about this. And I have to be accountable, first to God, then my husband, then those friends I've surrounded myself with whom I can trust to speak truth into my life. We can't do it on our own, but with God's help, we can defeat our giants!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Wonderful Words of Kids

One of the things I love the most about my kids growing older, in addition to longer nights of sleep, and the increasing freedom we are experiencing, is the wonderful words that come from their mouths. I love that they can express themselves more eloquently and thoughtfully.

My oldest daughter has been writing very sweet, heartfelt notes to us lately, ones that I'll treasure in my heart and not share here, but that have been so meaningful to John and I. I love it!

My middle daughter thinks deeply with all heart. She's always been quick to show deep emotion. I won't tell you what popular Christmas movie quickly brings her to tears, but it's just adorable when it does. Not because I want to see her upset or in tears, but because it shows how compassionate and tenderhearted she is.

My son...we'll, he's just down right funny. Takes after his dad. In almost every way! One night at dinner, I asked him a simple question about school that day, and his answer, in a very funny voice, was "hot tub." Once he got the first laugh, he was on a roll. We all sat crying, laughing so hard at the table that night as he said it over and over. (He also answers Nefertiti to any question he does not know the answer to. Apparantely, he was enamored by her when we studied her in history last year.) Funny thing about the hot tub, he loves them and would spend most of the day in it if we had one. We are currently looking forward to a family cruise this summer. Driving down the street one day, he asked me if they have massages on the ship. I answered yes, and he said good, because he wanted to be rubbed. What does a seven year old need with a massage anyway?? I love it shows that he's thinking about so many things in life, and I'm glad to see he's going to enjoy some of life's little pleasures.

Kids...they encourage us, they lift us up, they make us laugh and sometimes cry. They are such an awesome blessing!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Choices We Make

I've been going through the "I hope I'm not ruining my kids by homeschooling" phase this week. Seems like I went through it last year as well. It's really tough to watch all the "end of the year" stuff happening around us with their friends who are in traditional school settings. We've cried a little...okay, a lot this week, knowing we can't ever get back some of those opportunities. It's hard. Homeschooling is a sacrifice in so many ways. I've given up so much of my time, and sometimes my sanity, to teach my kids from a biblical perspective and to keep their hearts and minds from being exposed to so much junk in the world. No, I don't believe in "sheltering" them forever and ever. We deal with and talk about real issues in our home, but are able to monitor how much is coming at them.

But it is also a sacrifice for them to give up the little things that we don't ever get a do over on....the last day of school parties, the field trips with the whole class, the kindergarten performance on the last day of the year, the fifth grade graduation and tea! I've told my kids this week that one day, I hope they can look back and not just remember the moments lost, but all the moments gained. The times they got to play outside on a beautiful spring day ALL afternoon, rather than be stuck inside doing homework, or taking the day off from school on their birthday to go to the park or hang out on the boat, or the extra curricular activities they did because we actually had time for them, or the family walks in the evenings or game nights, or the science lesson about the awesome sea creatures God created and then getting to see them in an aquarium or on the beach (on a school day), or getting to laugh and learn with their siblings in ways that they never would have otherwise. I hope they will be grateful for those moments and feel like they gained so much more, rather than feeling like they've missed something. The choices we make as parents are hard. Sometimes we make the right decisions, and sometimes not. I just keep praying God will lead and guide and direct us as we walk this road of parenting....and maybe my kids won't be on a therapists couch one day lamenting about missing a Valentine's party in the fourth grade!
The ballons in this post are in honor of the ones my oldest daughter did not get to release yesterday with her fellow fifth grade classmates at the public school she once attended. I love you sweetie and am so proud of you!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's Not All About The Kids

So far on my blog, I've steered clear of the more controversial issues, not delving into politics or social issues. I've just wanted to share about my family and what God is doing in our lives. However, I've been a fan of a show that has recently been under much criticism and I feel I need to share my opinion on it. There are always two sides to every story and I fully understand that. But, watching last season's episodes of Jon and Kate Plus 8, my husband and I began to sense some changes in their family dynamics. Things that in reality where probably there all along, but become more clear as their lifestyle began to drastically change. We watched last week's premiere of Season 5, wanting to see it first to decide if our kids could watch it or not. The answer in the end for me was no.
I believe Jon and Kate most likely started out as a normal, American couple desiring to start a family and give their kids the very best they could afford. Nothing wrong with that! I was always happy that they seemed to have a strong faith and shared that when the show allowed. But one of the comments I've heard a lot lately amid all the turmoil they are going through is that "it's all about the kids." They both say everything they do is for the kids! That sounds well and good, but is it really?? In my opinon, they have it all wrong. Maybe if they had not had that backward mindset from the beginning, they would not be where they are today. Let me explain my thinking:
1. First and foremost, their relationship with Christ should have been front and center. Granted, I know TLC does all the editing and for ratings purpose, probably cut out a lot of faith talk from the beginning. But I wanted to see that without a doubt, they were seeking God's will and plan for their lives and they were surrounding themselves with godly men and women who would hold them accountable for all their decisions and help pray them through the tough times. They did not do at least this second part. If you believe the tabloids, they have shut out any of the trusted friends and family that may have been the very people that could have helped prevent them from getting to the place they are in now.
2. It's not all about the kids. Their (and my) marriage came before the kids, and my husband and I will be together when our kids are long gone from home. We tell our kids this often so that they never feel they are front and center in our home. Yes, we love them unconditionally and will do just about anything for them that is for their well being. And there are many times while kids are growing up, especially when they are young, that you have to put their needs first above everything else....when someone is hungry or needs changing, or is sick or injured...just to name a few. But in the grand scheme of things, if I'm putting my kids above my marriage 100% of the time, then it won't take long for my marriage to fall apart and and crumble around me . From where I'm watching, that looks to be exactly what this family has done.
I watched a very sad couple last week try to pretend things weren't as bad as they are, but never once mention that they wanted their marriage to last or to work it out or that they still loved each other. How sad that all those precious kids may not get the chance to grow up in a healthy, thriving, loving home with both parents in the home working together to make everything work, all the while teaching them about God's love and plan for their lives and living His word in front of them daily. And all because of a stupid TV "reality" show that they allowed to consume them, bringing with it greed and the desire for more stuff and notarity. Let me be clear, I know ALL of us make mistakes. I do not believe there is any such thing as a "perfect" family and if anyone says they have one, they are lying. Yes, I do believe this couple can turn things around and be a healthy family once again, with a lot of the right kind of help and a lot of prayer. But, I think Jon and Kate can offer many lessons (straight from God's word) for the rest of us not living in the limelite and with far fewer kids.
Keep your mind and heart focused on God's word and seek to live by all of His principles; desire and run after His will for your life; be accountable to and with others; listen to the wisdom of other Christians; love your kids with all your heart, but hold your marriage high above them and don't let anything or anyone snatch it out of your hands; don't seek after those things that bring destruction; guard your heart and your mind; stay away from evil and RUN from temptation!

Monday, June 1, 2009


We were excited on Saturday to celebrate two big events. My son received his first coach pitch baseball trophy and was very proud of it. He had an awesome first spring season!

Later that day, we got to celebrate with lots of people at a baby shower in honor of my sweet sister-in-law (my brother did good!!). We are anticipating the arrival of a baby girl in just a couple of months and can't wait to meet her. Even more, I can't wait to watch my brother change a dirty diaper!! So glad I get to be past that stage and laugh at him instead! In all seriousness, we are so excited!!! My kids ADORE all their aunts and uncles and are thrilled to get to be the older cousins!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

School's Out

Honestly, I have not forgotten my blog. I just went through a few weeks of not really feeling like I had much to say. But I have quit a few posts up my sleeve that I hope to get on here in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, I wanted to share some new pictures I took of my three precious kids today. With homeschooling, we miss "picture" day at school, which saves me money, but we have to make a special effort to be sure we are getting what we call "school" pictures. In this case, they are spring pictures. I prefer the outdoors anyway and would rather find a nice park instead of a fake backdrop of a tree. So, here are my sweeties!! In the pictures above, they are all three celebrating the fact the we have finished another year of school. 180 days in the books! Enjoy!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I have to make a confession….get ready…it’s big. I have to confess that I have always longed for one gift that God did not give me. I’ve always been jealous of people with this gift and have secretly wished I had it all my life. It’s the gift of music….specifically, being able to sing. Now, it’s not that I don’t have vocal chords and a fully function mouth, etc. But God just not gift me with the ability to make all these parts sound the way I would love for them to sound. I can sing, but it’s not the kind of thing you want to listen to necessarily. (My kids are gracious to me sometimes in the car!) However, I truly love to be able to lift up words of worship to my Father. Today, I had the rare privilege, thanks to some precious friends, to have about three hours alone. Yes, with no kids and no husband. Just me and the dog. And she might have wished she were somewhere else too.

I contemplated all the things I could do in three hours. Nap, watch a movie, exercise, go to the store, hang out at a coffee shop, read, write, grade papers, scrapbook, visit a friend, make a phone call, write a blog, check my e-mail, etc. I opted for worship…not the kind you do in a padded seat on Sunday morning. The kind you do while you are cleaning the house. I don’t get this opportunity very often anymore, but one of my favorite things to do is to blare some praise music while I’m cleaning house. First of all, it makes the job seem less of a nuisance and more of a joy. Second, it passes the time much more quickly. Third, it allows me to enjoy the music I want to listen to as loud as I want to. (I’m sure my neighbors are pleased!) and finally, it allows me to sing. I can sing as loud as I want to and guess what? It sounds wonderful!!! At least to my Father.

I’ll write about this next part in depth later, but my music of choice today was a hymns CD from Selah. I love their voices and I love many of the old hymns that my children have never heard of. It was so refreshing to just think about God’s goodness and blessing on my life, to remember His sacrifice for me and to think about all of His perfect plans for me. I know, not necessarily what you always think of when scrubbing a toilet, but I got to use my “secretly longed for but won’t have this side of heaven” spiritual gift and God completely blessed my afternoon. Anybody want my kids tomorrow?

Saturday, March 14, 2009


The simple fact that I have not blogged in three months says one Life has been happening all around us, moment by moment, since Thanksgiving. We enjoyed a wonderful time at Disney World with my family that week, and came home to life. Life seemed to creep into every crack and crevice in our lives. Nothing earth shattering has happened, nothing devastating, nothing that we can't move past or work through. Just life. We've run the gammat of a relatives surgery, another's ER trip, revelations about our kids abilities in school, ups and downs in ministry, allergies and illnesses, mission trip planning and going, sports and so much more!
God has been so awesome to get us through these crazy, busy months and has been so faithful to continue to show us so many wonderful things about His character. Through this time of life, I was able to finish reading through the Bible. Yep, the whole thing! I started in the late summer of 2007 and was kind of on and off while getting going on it, and did not finish until February 2009, but the point is, I finished. And it truly changed my life. I have such a clearer picture of God's plan for humanity now and am so much more in love with Him. And I've already started over. Just finished Job...oh yea, someone else who really experienced "life." Glad my God is with me through ALL of it!