Monday, May 30, 2011

It's Memorial Day...

It's Memorial Day 2011... Another holiday whose meaning has been diminished by so many to mean a parade - candy - and a cookout with friends.  To Some.  But to some it means much more.  Oh So Much MORE.  My dad is one such person.  To him it is a day of rememberance and fighting yet another war, an unseen war that no one would ever know is raging on and on and on...and that is the war within.  He was but a young man when he signed up to serve in the U.S. Navy those many years ago.  He entered the U.S. Navy with great courage never dreaming of the reality of what was to come.  He as a boy dreamed of being a hero... a hero like his dad and all the other men and women who faithfully served during World War II who were celebrated when they returned to their homeland to cheers and praise.  But this was not to be his reality.  He found the harsh realities of war in Vietnam not as glamorous as he'd dreamed.  There was nothing that could have prepared him for the many horrors he would witness during his two - yes two - tours in Vietnam.  He left his hometown a young man of innocence, courage, eagerly anticipating his future, looking forward to being celebrated as a hero when all was said or done-whether alive or dead.  But he and so many others were robbed not only of their innocence, but their dignity as upon their arrival home they were spat upon, cursed, brutalized by the very people they were defending.  He left a proud American.  He returned ashamed... broken.  The war he continues to fight over 40 years later will continue to haunt him until the day he dies... and if you were to ask him if he'd do it all over again, he would probably tell you 'in a heartbeat'.  You see, he was part of one of those great generations of the past who had a great sense of allegiance to these United States of America, a true sense of duty, responsibility to the freedoms it offers.  He would still give up his innocence, put his life in danger- die if necessary- and watch his brothers die beside him all for the defense of his country. 

He is a hero.  A True Hero.

Today, the servicemen and women are engaged across the sea in a war all their own, with its own horrors to behold, and yet they fight on for the freedom of people here in America and all over the world.  They will return home to celebration and praises and honor - all of which they've earned - some of them will return to their families alive, yet broken, and some will return to their families in a box having given their very lives...for me...and you.

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."

~John 15:13

Thank a veteran today. 

Thank the families of veterans who have also paid a great price. 

Thank the servicemen and women who are on active duty.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I just don't know...

I just don't know... I had in my head & heart what I was going to write about... but it just wasn't coming out the way I thought would best be a blessing... so hmmmm...  I began reading a book yesterday (surprise, surprise) called 'Raising Real Men-Surviving, Teaching, and Appreciating Boys' by Hal & Melanie Young.  This couple has 6 boys- yes SIX!  And educated them all at home.  For most Americans that would be total overload, apparently we've been conditioned to think that having more than 2.3?? children is a lot (though I've never met anyone who has three tenths of a child)... actually, the average number of children per household in 2010 was 1.9 according to wiki-answers, and no, I haven't met anyone with nine tenths of a child either.  :)  But seriously, 'children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward,  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.  Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!  He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate'. 
~ Psalm 127:3-5
How did we get so far away from this, even as Christians?  I hear so many people talk about what a burden their children are- even when their blessings are standing right there!  Don't get me wrong, parenting isn't an easy task, it takes everything you've got all the time to raise these sweet blessings, and we all get tired and weary... and sometimes we need to share our struggles we're having with our children with a confidante or two.  I'm not talking about the occasional sharing of parenting woes, but about those parents who consistently talk negatively about their children- their blessings from our Father...

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.  ~Proverbs 12:18

I'm so continually challenged by this as I tend to talk a lot, and don't always do so with the true intention of bringing life to those whom I'm speaking.  It breaks my heart to see children whose hearts have been hardended by the words spoken to and about them by their parents, though I know all too well just how easy it can be for those hurtful words to come spilling forth from the lips. 

Anyway, I digress... what was my point again?  Oh right, I didn't really have one, I'm just rambling...  Okay, six boys. Right.  That sounds heavenly to me- I wish the Lord would have blessed us so greatly, though I am - as Jon is -so very grateful for the two we have and the freedoms that come with having only those two.  But still, as I look upon those who have it easy and can 'plan' when they want to have children, or those who have been given a sweet 'surprise', that little twinge comes back, making me think, 'just one more Lord?'  though I'm rather certain that our quiver is quite full...  :)   
Rambling done...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sweet Blessings...

I am continually amazed at God's loving faithfulness toward His children... toward Me- yes, sinful, selfish little ol' Me.  Sometimes He chooses to show His love for me via His Holy Spirit but more often than not He chooses to use random people in my life to bestow His wonderful blessings.  Today was just such a day... it was cleaning day at Mother's so the morning was a flurry of activity as I rushed to get everything finished so I could be home before my dear husband had to go to work this afternoon.  When I came in, Jon was sitting at the table looking over the latest plans he and Jacob D. had come up with (yikes!) and I happened to notice a pot of beautiful flowers in the middle of our table.  So of course I ask the obvious, "What's this?"  all the while thinking he and Jacob went to the store and picked them up for me.  Lo and behold he says, "You didn't buy them?"  Uh, no...I didn't.... I stood there looking at him with that look that says, 'you're trying to pull one over on me, yes you really did buy those flowers for me'... but actually, he didn't.  Enter Jacob D. hearing that we were talking about the flowers, he said, "Miss Brianna brought them over for Mom."  Miss Brianna is our neighbor, a sweet young (to me) lady who blessed my day with not one, but TWO pots of gi-normous begonias-simply lovely.  So, I thank the Lord for this sweet blessing today, He always knows just when His children are in need of a little pick-me-up...   :)

No Place Like Holmes

I am so excited to write this book review of  'No Place Like Holmes' by Jason Lethcoe.  Though written for tweens ages 9-12, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this detective story.  When young Griffin Sharp travels to London from America to visit his estranged uncle for the summer, he envisions a summer filled with adventure with none other than Sherlock Holmes himself.  But upon arrival to his uncle's home at 221A Baker Street, he is met with a big surprise... his uncle is not the renown detective Sherlock Holmes (who happens to live next door at 221B Baker Street) but a second-rate detective yet brilliant inventor named Rupert Snodgrass.  Griffin's strong faith in the Lord helps him to eventually win over his bitter, stingy uncle as they investigate together the case of a lifetime.  Now I don't want to give anything away lest you think you shouldn't have to read this book... I definitely recommend this to you and your children- I, for one, can't wait for my 10 year-old to read it!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, May 23, 2011


As my dear children are quietly doing their reading time, I'm finding a moment to reflect on where we are and where we're going... I've recently stepped down from a leadership position that has consumed much of my energies leaving little creative energy for my own little schoolhouse (much to the dismay of my children)... there are a few loose ends that need tying up in that ministry before summer hits and as I was emailing the ministry director, I found myself in that role I so easily slip into, and it goes a little something like this: "Oh, and it would be great to put this together, and then this could happen;  it would be easier if we could do this thing like that and so on and so on....  I just can't seem to help myself!!  Will it never turn off???  When I get in mode, the ideas come as easily as the rain falls from the sky... I so need to put that energy to use here in our own little school... my husband keeps telling me I have that 'leadership' gift, quality,whatever you want to call it...I can't really see that, I'm so bad with people, that is, I'm good at telling people what they should be doing, but not so good at the relational side-which is what keeps people and attracts people to ministry.  Anyway, it seems good to not have the weight of the responsibility on my shoulders, and am looking forward to what the Lord would do with this that I just can't seem to turn off in our own family/home (maybe my dear husband will wish I hadn't stepped down- lol)...

On another note, I've been reading 'Stepping Heavenward' by Mrs. Elizabeth Prentiss (an e-book free to read on  It's written as a journal begun by a girl-Katy- who has just turned 16 and walks through the next 30-ish years of her life/spiritual journey...  As I read this, though I don't struggle with the same types of things this 16-year-old girl does, her selfishness mirrors my own.  *sigh*  The Lord is ever showing me my selfish ways, and I so do wish that it was more natural for me to seek out ways to put my family and others first...  I heard a series of devotionals last week that centered on "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your strength."  This week I'm meditating on that particular verse, I certainly have been very lazy in loving the Lord as of late....