Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bible In 90 Days: We Did It!!!

Yes folks, we finished! I am proud of our little family. We read the Bible OUT LOUD from Genesis to Revelation in 90 days: September 9, 2012 through December 18, 2012!

It required much discipline, changed attitudes at times, redirection, an act of our will some times, and an online person reading it out loud to us some times, but we accomplished what we set out to do. And, oh, the learning that happened and the loving Jesus that happened and the Word of God read OUT LOUD in our home for an hour to an hour and a half that happened! Well-worth the effort!

We learned, again, that God's Word IS living and active. There are things in stories we've heard that we didn't remember or never recalled learning. There are things in the Bible we didn't remember reading before, ever. God whispered sometimes and roared others. And, we prayed together every day. What an incredible gift and blessing!

Would I recommend it to you? ABSOLUTELY! It is well-worth the commitment and the time and the discipline to do it.

What next you ask? Glad you did. After prayerful consideration, we have decided that January 1, we will read the Bible together as a family over the year using the One Year Bible (a little Old Testament, a little New Testament, a little Psalms and a little Proverbs every day) and memorize 10 Bible verses a month as a family. Fun! Excited! Love it! Thank you, Lord!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Country Girls

We always love the trip to Grannie and Paw-paw's house in the country for a multitude of reasons. Here are a few ...

Helping pick up wire left over from the deer fence that was built.
Picking up sticks!

Watching Grannie walk through wire and wondering ...

... perhaps I could do it, too!


Discovering many cool things in the pole barn!

See? Very cool!

Shoveling and collecting rocks.

Hugging "big bear."

A girls gets exhausted there's so much to do!

Walkie talkie-ing. Is that a word?

And, heading out to hunt while blowing a kiss to your wife! :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Seriously, these people ...

and this little person ...

... challenge me in ways I could not imagine. They teach me and stretch me and, on some days, assist in turning my hair gray. The Lord uses them to grow my character and remind me to walk in humility and generosity and to slay the dragon called selfishness. And, they love me in ways unimaginable that I would never trade. They choose me and I choose them and I could never imagine life without them. Thank you Lord for the amazing family you have given me! Everything my heart desired you have blessed me with. You are amazing!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bible in 90 Days: Always There

A few days ago, we read this and it read to me like never before ...

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. ... He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.    John 1: 1-6, 9-14

Last night we read in Ephesians:

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will - to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  
Ephesians 1: 4-6

Isn't that a-ma-zing? His plan all along, even before creation, was we would choose Him and love Him, just as He chose us and loved us.

The Bible is the story of His amazing love for us and His desire for us to love Him back. He foretold He would send a Savior to us in the Old Testament.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.   Isaiah 9:6

And, then Jesus was born ...

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.    Luke 2:9-11

Because God always does what He says. And, He has always been, is and will always be with us. In fact, His name, Emmanuel, means "God with us."

He is before all things, and in hm all things hold together.  Colossians 1:17

How can you not love, adore, worship and celebrate our God who is always there, never let's us go, always working on our behalf, but most importantly wants a love relationship with us. To walk and talk and hang and laugh and cry and teach and ... with us! Yes!

Friday, December 14, 2012

December Birthday Girl!!

We celebrated the big THREE year old this year with a few of her favorite things: the carousel, Santa Clause, bubble gum, a train ride (her absolute hands-down fave) and Diego birthday cake, which she talked about all week and was the most excited about! What a blessing and a gift our Brianne is! So smart, so funny, so verbal and creative. She is pure joy! Happy Birthday Babiest Girl! We love you!

Getting ready to ride!

Mommy and me! :)

Figuring out the game in line for Santa with Daddy.

The Santa-man himself and three beautiful girls!


Here comes the train! Seriously, she would've ridden this all day long!

Daddy was a wee too "Daddy-big," as Brianne calls it, to fit into the train.

Waving to her public!

The Diego birthday cake with a mountain and flowers! Yum!

Can we eat it yet?

A few presents ...

Playing. Note the shoes! She's insists on wearing those princess shoes everywhere we will let her. Love!

Birthday Girl cook-out ... favorite: hot dog!

It was a good day, don't you think, Grandma?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

For Sharilyn ...

How do you honor a friend through a blogpost? I’m not sure I know, but I will tell you a little story about my beautiful friend whose name is Sharilyn. I’ve sadly never hugged Sharilyn in person, but we have been loved on by her lots. She taught us to look for God everywhere by sharing hearts.(here #667, here #619, and here and you can find her fingerprint in lots more place on this blog and in our hearts).  She has giggled with us. Decorated with us (all valentines stuff courtesy of Miss Sharilyn). Texted us. Emailed us. Eaten yummy treats with us. We’ve exchanged letters and pictures, and most of all love and an overwhelming love of Jesus. I have a small jar full of sand and baby shells and a sweet little heart rock on my dresser. A reminder of God’s love to me through precious Sharilyn, because it was under His direction that she sent it to me. Sharilyn is preparing to meet Jesus any moment now. She is in the last moments of Stage 4 brain cancer, which she didn’t even know was on the radar until she started feeling bad in July. That’s 5 months ago. But, God knew and He is waiting with open arms for His daughter, Sharilyn, who has spent her life and time on this earth loving and praising Him and loving on His family and is graduating in the same way. We will miss her dearly, but carry her with us in all the “hearts” God has placed in our day. We love you Sharilyn!
Here are a few awesome heart photo's that Sharilyn shared (did I mention she's an amazing photographer?) ...

And a few I've shared back with her ...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bible In 90 Days: What is love?

Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'    Matthew 22:37-39

What does that look like?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.     I Cor. 13:4-8

The Holy Spirit has been speaking to me a lot about love. Loving myself, which I don't do consistently or well. (So, if I'm not loving me, how can I be equipped to love others? And, how do I love them well, if I'm not loving myself well? And, by the way, loving myself does not imply a selfish love.) Loving my husband. Loving my children. Loving my family. Loving those around me. And, God gave us explicit instructions, that are simple actually, on what love is. Love is a choice. It is a choice we make and with every.single.opportunity that is presented to us. It is an act of my will.

Many times, days I have felt/still feel like this ...

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.   Romans 7:15

However, I am choosing, by an act of my will, to stand in this ...

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:13-14

I am empowered by the Holy Spirit, who lives in me. The old (my unloving, unlovable self) is gone and the new (love) has come. Love, not judge. And, love without expecting anything in return. This means myself, family, friends, people I don't know, people different from me and enemies.
I have understood love to deep degree's. I am learning it even deeper. Thank you Lord.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Back in Texas & Trick or Treat

Our first re-entry into Texas was to spend an evening trick-or-treating with my girlfriend of over 15 years, sweet Cassie, and her family. She has twin three-year olds, a baby boy and had invited her niece, who was 12. Perfection for our girls! We enjoyed trick-or-treating (first time for her 3-year olds), yummy chili dinner after (which included her sweet in-laws) and, while the big peeps handed out candy, the littlest decorated cookies. Can you say hostess with the mostest? It is a precious thing to move back to Texas and live close enough to do life with Cassie again. Thank you Cassie and Keith for a fun evening!

All the girls getting ready to head out!

This little guy wanted to keep up with the girls really bad. Isn't he adorable?!

Big girls leading the way.

I thought this was a way cute idea. Would be even cuter filled with orange water. :)

Trick or treat!

Wow, that results in candy!

Serious joy!

She was the vampire in that way cute movie, "Hotel Transylvania." Borrowed Cassie's hat for effect. :) 

She opted out of dressing up for trick-or-treat. Too old, I guess. :( But, did try on the hat. Fun!

Eating chili with the twins Grandmother.

Finally time to decorate cookies!

Serious fun!

Double the fun with twins!

Big girls enjoying themselves passing out candy and visiting with each other.

Cassie and I. Blessed!