Friday, June 26, 2009

A Prayer

I read this today at A Holy Experience. I consider Ann Voskamp one of my "mother mentors," though I've never met her. This poem is from "Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: Prayers of Walter Brueggemann." It touched me today, perhaps it will touch you, too!

The Din Undoes Us

(written in anticipation of reading 1 Samuel 2-3: [Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening])

Our lives are occupied territory…
occupied by a cacophony of voices,
and the din outdoes us.

In the daytime we have no time to listen,
beset as we are by anxiety and goals
and assignments and work,
and in the night the voices are so confusing
we can hardly sort out what could possibly be your voice
from the voice of our mothers and our fathers
our best friends and our pet projects,
because they all sound so much like you.

We are people over whom that word shema has been written.
We are listeners, but we do not listen well.

So we bid you, by the time the sun goes down today
or by the time the sun comes up tomorrow,
by night or by day,
that you will speak to us in ways that we can hear
out beyond ourselves.

It is your speech to us that carries us where we have never been,
and it is your speech to us that is our only hope.
So give us ears.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"Entertaining Demons Unaware"

Monday night was the last part of a class at church called, “Entertaining Demons Unaware.” The class was so enlightening, profound, thought-provoking, and touched my spirit in ways that I am still processing them. It was about entertainment and media and how it affects us spiritually in ways we don’t even imagine, how it steals from our children, hardens our hearts and affects our relationship with God. Not to mention, what is happening in the USA mirrors the downfall of Rome … scary! But, not surprising considering, “What has been done will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiates 1:9. There is so much that instead of writing my thoughts, I will share a few of the teachers thoughts and some pointed questions to ponder ….

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained (to host) angels unaware.” Hebrews 13:2 … Is it possible that I entertain demons unaware, as well?

You become like what you worship.

Demons taste in entertainment: nudity, lust, murder, deception, violence, hatred, incest, adultery, depression …. We are subtly “entertained” by demonic qualities. For example, soap operas, romance novels, pornography, slasher movies, MTV … the character traits portrayed in these things are NOT character traits of God.

Demons cannot come into your home without your permission.

Our participation in sin and enjoyment of depravity brings honor to demons!

Children WILL imitate what they watch and are entertained by ... what am I setting my children up to imitate? Who is training up my child?

Do we mean to entertain demons? No, we think we are just “relaxing” ... while we are actually entertaining the character of demons.

It is not just about lust, it is about changing your whole attitude toward purity. Desensitization!

“You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons, too, you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.” I Cor. 1:21

“It is nothing but folly, nothing but pitiable aberration, to humble yourself before a being whom you would hate to resemble in the conduct of your life and to worship one who you would refuse to imitate. For surely the supremely important thing in religion is to model oneself on the object of one’s worship.” St. Augustine on theatre around 400 B.C.
Great rules of thumb:

1. Don’t be entertained by something I wouldn’t imitate in public!
2. Remember, I live in this world, but I am not of it.
3. Ask yourself, “Would God, who is sitting next to me, be watching this movie or t.v. show?”

I am convicted to think ever more carefully about what I allow in my children's hearts and minds. Even "funny" shows deliver messages that I do not want them, or myself for that matter, to be imitating. It's about guarding our hearts ... "Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Proverbs 4:23

"Lord, teach me love what you love and hate what you hate and be aware that what I am worshipping reveals my heart. May it be pure for you. And, Father, help me to be vigilant in protecting my children, Your children's, hearts. In Jesus name, Amen."

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Camping We Will Go ...

This year we celebrated Father's Day with the great send off ... Madison left on her first long (5 days, 4 nights and no calling home) camping experience at Dry Gulch in Oklahoma (a whole different state ... ugh!) ... and we drove Peyton to "Camp Grannie" (a.k.a. my mom's house) for possibly the same amount of time, fortunately, she is allowed to call home! Can't wait to hear the stories when they return. Sure is quiet around here, but I know they are both being blessed tremendously! God is good!

Sisterly love ... I'm thinking Peyton is really going to miss her big sister and favorite playmate. I just LOVE this picture of them. Such JOY!

Father's Day love for the Daddy-O!

Hooking up with friends ... Callie and Madison. Madison was excited to find she had quite a few friends she knew that were going to camp.

Madison and Brooklyn ready to get on the bus and get going!

"Resting up" on the drive to "Camp Grannie."

Peyton and her favorite "camp" counselor ... oh what fun is in store!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sports/Art Camp 2009

The girls joined their friends for VBS Sports/Art Camp again this year. They opted to do art versus a sport ... might have had something to do with the heat. As usual, they had a great time and learned much. One of the coolest things they do at this camp is to send home a CD of all the fun songs they learned so we can keep singing them and praising God. Awesome! Here is a sample of their artwork and a few friend pics ....

Peyton's painting.

Madison's painting.

Group activity.

Sweet friends ... Madison, Aubree and Peyton.

Rachel and Madison.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Think on these things ....

We went to part one of a class last night that I'll blog about later. We are only half-way through it and I am so convicted. Wow! God is good. This verse is on my heart today. I want this to be the way I think always. Conform my thoughts to His thoughts and not be swayed by the world and what is considered okay. This is what I want to teach my children and to have them see when they look at me ...

"For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]."
Philippians 4:8 (AMP)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Amazing Grace Indeed!

I just watched this video and wow!

My heart was stirred by the loveliness of it ... grace.
And, more than that, by the Truth that is ... grace ...
God's grace and Jesus' sacrifice that allows us to live freely in Him.

May I live conscious every day of His grace and,
more than that, may I consciously extend His grace to others in my life.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Every year we plant a "container" garden. It is most wonderful and we really enjoy watching the seeds come up and eating what we've grown. Last year we had a large container garden, but since we started late this year, we had to make it a little smaller. There's just something about dirt and plants and growing things that is good for the soul! One day, Lord willing, we'll have a really big garden and a greenhouse ... and maybe a chicken coop! :) Won't that be fun?!
... getting started ...

... the gardeners ...

... watering ...

Can't have a garden without flowers :)

Gardening is hot work, phew!

Contemplating the harvest to come ... yummy!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Such Lavish Gifts ...

It has been too long since I posted gifts ... God's gifts to me, to us. I have them in a seperate word document, but I need to post them often. Because gratitude fills my soul with joy and makes every day shiny and new and ... reminds me that He loves me ... loves us ... lavishly!

541. How amazing it is that this gratitude … these gifts lift me up! Thank you, Ann for your challenge.
542. Mashed potatoes!
543. New baby on the way!
544. God provided another house for us to lease that exceeds our expectation and meets our budget.
545. Stepping out of my comfort zone.
546. God moments that are everyday and so exciting when I see them. AWESOME!
547. Nausea because that means a baby is being knit by God.
548. Love … God’s love for us so great that Jesus, who loves us, too, gave his life so that we might live.
549. Loaned packing boxes.
550. The anticipation of new spaces.
551. Supportive friends.
552. Encouragement.
553. Redemption that is all the Lord.
554. Enjoying having hubby at home in the interim of life changes.
555. Hearing the baby’s heart beat.
556. Homeschool friends who live on farms and the non-stop fun that comes from play dates with them.
557. Chickens … did I mention I have a chicken fetish? Yep, I want a hen house.

558. Greenhouses … I want one of those, too.
559. What I am learning from my blog friends.
560. How God makes everything new when we submit to Him.
561. “Alpha Summit” and the way the Lord blessed my husband at it.
Friends that Job’s friends can learn from.
563. Being on adventure with the Lord … there’s just no one better.
564. Less than two weeks and I can quit taking progesterone … yippee!
565. The new laws for COBRA that help out-of-work families. Thank you, Lord!
566. The ability to agree to disagree and still be friends.
567. Satan has lost and He knows it and all we have to do is remind him and claim God’s glory.
568. Opportunities to bless others.
569. Being on the same page with my husband in this journey with the Lord. Wow!
570. Breakthrough in baby steps with my sister.
571. Offers for sharing maternity clothes and cribs. Sweet!
572. God working out the details in my sweet friend, Jennifer’s, adoption journey.
573. Sweet little reminders that God is standing next to us and providing all the way.
574. Submission.
JOY! Seriously, in spite of life’s circumstances, there is JOY!
God teaching me about grace … receiving it and dishing it out.
577. The fact that we all have an “in line” to the Lord.
578. Salty warm foods like cheese grits and Whataburger potato and egg taquito’s … YUM!
579. The miracle that God did in healing our friend, Steven.
580. Watching God’s love poured out on people who are in His family. Amazing!
581. Homemade buttermilk bisquits … yep, I mastered them.
582. Tadpoles.
Rainstorms … and how they remind me the Lord washes out the old and ushers in the new.
584. Cooking and knowing that all the ingredients are fresh and wholesome for my family.
585. God speaking over me, rejuvenation! Hallelujah!
586. Our AWESOME spiritual family and how they lavish us with love and care.
587. The peace that overwhelmed me when I quit listening to satan and asked for prayers.
588. George Mueller and what I learn from him ... prayer! You do not have because you do not ask and NOTHING is too small to ask.
589. 2 Samuel 14:14 - "Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him." Such lavish love!
590. Being all unpacked!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Such Truth!

"The only way to pray
is to pray;
and the only way to pray well
is to pray much.
If one has no time for this,
then one must at least pray regularly.
But the less one prays, the worse it goes."

~ John Chapman

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tadpoles and Budding Frogs

One of the fun things about swim lessons this year was the creek right next to the house. The girls and Julia (whose Mom is the swim teacher) collected hundreds of tadpoles and a bucketful of these lovely creatures came home with us. The girls check on them everyday and Daddy has even gone to the pond to get "fresh" water for them so they can grow and thrive in their lovely environment of pond muck. After two weeks of waiting, one of the little guys has sprouted legs and is beginning to look like he is preparing for freedom! :) So cool!

Sort of like us ... the Lord teaches us and grows us and strengthens our arms and legs until we are ready to hop. I love the Lord! And, we are really enjoying watching these tadpoles. Thank you God for speaking them into being in just this fun way!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Yesterday, our ingenious girls set their minds to a new game ... marbles. I found them giggling and having great fun seeing who could knock the most marbles out of the circle. When I asked where they learned to play marbles, the response was "Little House on the Prairie, Mom!" Duh! Yes folks, there is still some t.v. where wholesome learning still occurs. :)

Not to be left out, Daddy joined in for the second game. And, being the "expert" tried to share a few tips. Not received so well. Two against one and the rules stayed the same as the first game. Ahhhh, Dad! I'll let the pictures tell the story ...

"Mom ... Dad is meeeeeean!"

Seriously, they are all very competitive and had a rip-roaring, marble-rolling good time!