Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas...An Important Reminder from a Child

The music is playing softly in the background, the lights are twinkling, the boys' laughter rings throughout the house as the last few preparations are made before our celebration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ officially begins.  In the midst of the gift exchanges, food, and carols, parties and the like I was reminded yesterday of what is really important.

After our church service yesterday morning I gathered up my Bible, church bulletin, purse, etc., put away my pen, coat on, and stood up only to see our older son plop down on a chair across the isle to 'have a little chat' with an elderly lady.  She has no husband, no children or grandchildren.  She has no family nearby with which to share in holiday festivities.  In those moments, it is the child who teaches the adults, for with that one act of reaching out, one heart to another, a soul was blessed, a heart a little less lonely.  The woman called my mother later in the day yesterday to tell her how she had been blessed by my son and had then bought a small gift for him and his younger brother. 

A powerful reminder of what is important during the Christmas season (and all through the year as well)... being Jesus with feet... reaching out to others in divine appointment, as our Father in Heaven reached down to us all those years ago...

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord ~Luke 2:11

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winds of Change

The winds of change have begun to blow here... 

The winds of change, when they come, begin ever so softly... you barely notice the caress against your cheek as they begin to rise.  A heart-tug here.  A fleeting thought, 'what if...' there.  A stir deep within... a whisper: 'It's time...' He says.  The stir gives way to a restlessness as He unfolds His plan before you.  Fear creeps in at the changes ahead.  'I Am sufficient...' He says...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tough Guys and Drama Queens...

My oldest son is quickly approaching those years that most parents dread:  the Teen Years.  There are days when I feel confident that his 'teen years' are going to be great and I'm looking forward to watching God work in his life and experiencing life with him.  Then there are the other days when I wonder 'how are we ever going to survive'?  Hence, I was very excited to have the opportunity to read and review the book, "Tough Guys and Drama Queens:  How Not to Get Blindsided by Your Child's Teen Years" by Mark Gregston.

From the back of the book:
'Parents of preteens and teens can move from scared to prepared with a new approach to parenting their adolescents. 

Parents of preteens intuitively know that no matter how good their kids are, there is turbulence ahead. Many feel lost and unprepared as they watch the damaging effects of culture collide with their child's growing pains and raging hormones.

For the past 35 years Mark Gregston has lived and worked with struggling teens and knows what it takes to reach them. He says, "A parent's success has little to do with either the validity of their words or their intent as messengers, it's more about how they approach their child and engage with them."

The book is divided into three sections:

*What's so different about today's culture *Why traditional parenting no longer works *A new model for parenting teens

Foundational and practical, and written from the crucible of experience, Tough Guys and Drama Queens answers the questions that parents are asking, helping them become the parents their children need them to be.'

The prevailing message throughout the book is this:  Relationship Relationship Relationship.
"If they don't get wisdom from you (the parents), they'll search for it somewhere else." pp.102
"It's all about relationship.  If they don't have a relationship with you, they'll have one with someone else." pp. 103

Though there was nothing completely earth-shattering in his book, Gregston, through his book, has increased the burden I have for keeping my own children's hearts, and has reminded me of the importance of intentionally building and strengthening the relationships I have w/ my children.  I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who's children are coming into the 'Tween & Teen' years.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://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.”

Though I don't agree 100% with the perspective from which Gregston has written his book, it's definitely applicable to today's parenting/teen culture, and is definitely worth reading.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Truth About Grace by John MacArthur

From the back cover:  Simple definitions can make grace feel like an obvious- even mundane- concept.   Best-selling author and pastor John MacArthur illuminates this profound concept with verse upon verse of Scripture.  He also shows that misunderstandings about grace have led to some of the church's greatest problems, perhaps because grace is her most precious gift.

We often hear, when asking what grace is, that grace is undeserved and unmerited favor.  While that is true, God's grace goes far deeper than merely extending His favor upon us... I wanted to explore the depth of God's grace and what it looks like in the lives of His children, so I was excited when the opportunity to read and review this book came along.  Grace Defined, Grace Received, Grace Misunderstood and Twisted, Grace Realized, and Grace Lived Out are the five areas of grace the author explores, though the dry, scholastic manner in which he communicates was not quite what I had expected or hoped for.  (I really desired a devotional/study type of book.)  All-in-all 'The Truth About Grace' was a great platform for me to take what the author has written about and use it in more of a devotional style, and is a book I would recommend to anyone who wants to explore the depth of God's grace. 

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

Friday, June 1, 2012

Be Dangerous, But Be Safe

Well, I think I've given up thinking that my 2 boys (11 and 8) will gain common sense any time soon... though I am still consistently praying that the Lord would give them just an ounce of common sense to get them through these "tween"  and  "teen" years alive.  Since my boys were tiny, I have consistently prayed that God would show me their strengths, weaknesses, and the gifts and talents He's given them, and I'm not surprised to say that He has given me great insight into each boy's character.  I have one who struggles with fear, is a self-admitted 'messy', is compassionate, yet courageous;  and one who struggles with selfishness, is a strong leader, very detail oriented/organized (just one look at their desks will tell you which is which).  :)   Anyway, quite a long time ago God showed me that I've had a deep root of fear in my life, and that one of my boys also has that struggle.  :(    However, even though he struggles with fear, he has the in-born desire to live an adventurous life... one day he said, "Mom, I'm dangerous... I love danger!"  Then proceeded to tell me of an experiment he wanted to do involving gun powder, a gas tank, and a stick of dynamite...  Wow!  Quite honestly, as a woman, I really have never had the desire to 'be dangerous', and as a mother, I always want my boys to be safe and careful... though that's not God's design for them.  God designed them to love adventure and challenge, to get out in the world and take it by storm, not sit quietly by in the 'safe zone'.  So, against my natural mother's instincts I've resolved not to say to them, 'be careful' when they're headed out to the sledding hill, or driving the golf cart or mini bike on the trails at my parent's house (even though they've crashed), or even when they visit a friend's house... instead I say, "Be dangerous, but be safe!"  (Again, common sense has to come into play somewhere doesn't it?)  My desire for them is that as they grow, they'll use their gifts and talents to further the gospel, and they'll face what the Lord has in store for them with courage (even in the face of fear).  

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  Deuteronomy 31:8

Saturday, April 21, 2012

More Random Thoughts...

I could be wrong, but it seems that in recent years I can't keep a single train of thought for very long ... could it be I have AOADD?  (Adult Onset ADD)  Or is it just that I spend my days with two boys (although one of them can follow a single track for MUCH longer than I can if he's interested in the subject)?  Is it our instant society that is having adverse affects on my brain power?  More than likely it's a combination of the above...  Has anyone else experienced AOADD? 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Three Hearts: A World Away, Three Children Need A Miracle

Each year over 1 million children are born with congenital heart defects... most of these children live in areas where surgery is not an option.  That's where The Children's Heart Project (CHP), a ministry of Samaritan's Purse, comes in.  CHP works with top-quality hospitals to provide surgery to children who live in countries where the medical expertise and equipment are not available.  Since 1997, CHP has arranged life-saving operations for more than 800 children  from Bosnia, Kosovo, Honduras, Uganda, Mongolia, and Bolivia.* 

The documentary "Three Hearts" chronicles the amazing journey of three children from Mongolia all who were born with a heart condition known as tetralogy of fallot, a condition that is fatal by age twenty if not corrected.  At the outset of the documentary, I wasn't all that sure I would like it as it begins with Cissie Graham Lynch's internship, and struggles to balance her role as intern and new wife.  That all changed, however, when we're introduced to a Texas family (the son of whom had heart surgery as a young boy) who were invited to travel to Mongolia and escort the three children (Otga, 16, Uunga, 18, and Toggie, 3) and their mothers to San Antonio, Texas, for operations. 

Click the link for Garrett's story:
Click the link for Otga's update:

But if you think this documentary is just about the physical correction of the children's heart defects, think again... Throughout the film, we see the love of our Lord and Saviour worked out through the hands and hearts of everyone involved, from the Texas family who brought the children to the US, to the surgeon, to the host families.  The children were not just physically healed, but the Lord met them and their mothers in the midst of this trial and healed their broken spirits as well.  All in all, this film captured my heart for these three children and all those like them who without ministries like CHP have no hope of ever experiencing normal, healthy lives.

Click here for more information on the Children's Heart Project:

Click here to order your copy of "Three Hearts":

From the DVD cover:
Graduating college senior, Cissie Graham Lynch, granddaughter of evangelist Billy Graham, takes on an internship at Samaritan’s Purse working with the Children’s Heart Project. This project is dedicated to saving the lives of children by providing medical procedures that aren’t available in many countries. Cissie is charged with supervising the arrival and surgeries of three Mongolian children suffering from fatal congenital heart defects.

But the task is not easy and filled with unexpected challenges. Cissie balances responsibilities as a newly married wife to a professional football player and her tasks with the internship. Meanwhile the Children’s Heart team turns to a Texas family who travels to Mongolia for the adventure of a lifetime to help bring the children to San Antonio for their surgeries. In Texas, two host families make sacrifices to care for these children and their mothers, while a team of doctors and nurses volunteer their time only to stare directly into the face of life and death. How far would you go to save a life?

It’s a fight for survival, a fight of faith, and a fight for a new life for these three hearts.

Bonus Features include: trailer, deleted scenes, and video clips about the Children’s Heart Project.

* Excerpt from Samaritan's Purse, Children's Heart Project website.
** I received this DVD free from Thomas Nelson Publishing as part of their Booksneeze Blogger program.  There was no compensation for a favorable review of this, or any, product.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The "Perfect" Homeschool Kids

Last night as we were leaving church a fellow Awana volunteer was walking out with us and commented on my 2 boys that she thinks are 'perfect'...  Now don't get me wrong, I do appreciate it when people say our boys are well-behaved, but... but... perfect?  No!  They are just normal kids who do normal kid things...  while I'm partial to my boys and think they're pretty awesome (because they are), they are far from perfect.  The people pleaser in me struggles with wanting to be perfect to everyone... if I'm 'perfect enough' I'll be good enough for friendship, ministry, parenthood, marriage... the list goes on and on and on....  The truth is my boys get angry with one another and say unkind things sometimes;  sometimes they are disobedient or sassy;  sometimes they are too competitive and have a bad attitude.  The truth is they have a sin nature just like everyone else, and they have their own individual areas of sin in which they struggle...  all that said, I hope that when that very nice lady learns my boys aren't 'perfect', she will still love them as Jesus loves her, and them, and me...



Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Jesus- the Saviour for the sinner- the giver of hope. 

"This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you." ~Jeremiah 29: 10-12

I love these verses... We read time after time after time in the Old Testament how the Israelites turned from God only to be handed over to their sin and rebellion.  Then in the midst their anguish, crying out in repentance to Jehovah God, and finally ... deliverance.  Even in the midst of their suffering for having turned away from God so many years earlier, God Almighty shows He loves them and gives Jeremiah a reminder of His great promise... even though they turned from Him, He gives them a message of hope- He has plans for them and doesn't want them to be discouraged in their circumstances.  He has a future and a hope for me... and for you as well.

The following message from Nancy Leigh DeMoss of Revive Our Hearts on the story of Rahab gives me great hope.  Like Rahab the prostitute, I don't want to forget from where God redeemed me... don't get me wrong I don't want to dwell on my sordid, sinful past and beat myself up about it... but I always want to remember the state I was in when my Redeemer  pulled me out of that miry clay.  We identify Rahab as prostitute.... though my label wouldn't necessarily be 'prostitute' it would be something.... I'll have to think about it for a bit... if I were in the Hebrews Hall of faith maybe it would say: and Wendy the_____...  What would your label be?    Anyway, take the time to read or listen to Nancy's message on Rahab.



Monday, February 27, 2012

It's the Little Things...

Sometimes all it takes to bring a smile to my heart is to unexpectedly run into a friend while grocery shopping or receive that unexpected phone call...  I love those God-stops so much because they're always an unexpected gift, and always bring joy to my heart...  

My Dad called this afternoon 'just to say hi'...  he hardly ever calls... but it's so nice when he does...

(Just thought I'd share since I had so many posts on him...)



Saturday, February 18, 2012

Courageous- Finale

It was my 18th birthday and I was in California spending a week or so with my dad and Ruthann when it happened.  I removed the wrapping paper, opened the box to see a small box wrapped with Mickey Mouse paper, bound with a small red ribbon and bow... the very small matching tag read:  I love you.   It was the first time those words had come to me from my dad... he didn't say it, didn't even write it himself, but it was the greatest treasure he'd ever given me....  I still have the box in my armoire.  Several months beforehand I was fed up!  For more than a decade we'd played this awkward dance at the end of our phone conversations, you know, that time when normal people would say, 'Love you, talk to you soon.'  So I decided in a moment of reckless abandon that I was going to say that to my dad before hanging up the phone... Needless to say it rocked his world quite a bit, he didn't quite know what to say (I admit, without shame, that I experienced much pleasure at his discomfort).  He has since grown quite comfortable using those three little words...

Quite a while ago I was counseling with a pastor who was going on a cruise with his wife, daughter and son-in-law.  (His SIL is a musician and was performing on the cruise.)  During our conversation, he expressed with much love and emotion that what he was most looking forward to was the opportunity to dance with his daughter.  I was a little taken aback at the deep emotion that came with that statement from him, and I wondered if his daughter took for granted the love of her dad, or if she realized the great gift she'd been given.  You see, he loves his daughter truly, sacrificially- it mirrors the love our Heavenly Father has for His children.  It's a love I've not known from my own dad, but only known from my Father in Heaven.  (Remember, I'm not talking about my dear mother here, just my dad.) 

The Lord still has a lot - A LOT - of work to do in me, but I've learned that my worth is not in doing or saying all the right things;  that my goal in life is not working to please man, but glorifying my Father in Heaven;  that I'm good enough for people to like me for who I am- who God created me to be, and not for what I can 'do' for them.   Do you see a pattern here? 

Through the years, the Lord has allowed me to see my dad for who/what he is:  not so much as my 'Daddy', but as a man who needs a Saviour... my fervent prayer is that the Lord would bring into his and Ruthann's lives strong walking-the-walk Christians... that he would gain salvation through the grace and mercy of our Holy God... 



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Courageous 4

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

Well the years passed, and I compensated... I compensated by learning to be a bit of a chameleon, becoming the person I thought I needed to be so everyone would 'like' me.  I became totally numb to my father's harsh words (which were always spoken in a joking manner)- "Hi, Wen, Ruthann made me call...."  or "So, you really *!@#* that one up didn't ya?" (another regular phrase that still graces our conversations to this day)  and so on and so on (as well as numb to the harsh words of others).  But I still loved him dearly, and longed to be "good enough" to really feel (or at least know on some level) that I was loved by my father and not just a burdensome responsibility.  Not once did he say 'I love you' when dropping me off or ending a phone call*, not a band concert did he make it to, not a prom dress did he approve, not a date did he have a 'fatherly chat' with... he essentially missed my entire life, and I missed his as well.  The teen years came and with it my interest in boys grew so that I was dubbed "a boy-crazy teen".  What is so sad about that is no one realized that I really wasn't all that 'boy-crazy' I just desperately wanted/needed to be loved by  my dad.  Statistics show the unhealthy patterns of girls (and boys to an even greater extent) whose fathers are MIA, and I was no exception.

Many years ago I watched the movie "Hope Floats".  In it the main character, played by Sandra Bullock, finds out her husband was having an affair with her 'best friend', after which she and her daughter move back to her childhood home with her mother.  *spoiler*  The woman's mother dies and her husband comes to the funeral only to deliver divorce papers.  The daughter is totally set on going with her father, though he has no intention of taking her along... she packs her suitcase and puts it in his car, only to have her father take it out again and again.  He hops in the car and the little girl is sobbing, "but.... you want me!  You WANT Me!!"  He ends up driving away with his daughter screaming/sobbing after him, "YOU WANT ME!!!!!"  In that moment, I realized I was that little girl.... and sobbed ... and sobbed ... and sobbed... the Lord had used a silly movie to break through the wall I had been building since I was tiny.   I had only been a Christian a short time, but God spoke so very clearly to me and here is what He said, "Dearest Wendy, I Am your Father...never will I leave you, never will I forsake you."  Total peace.  Total comfort.  With that one simple statement, He released me from the emotional bondage which characterized my entire life up to that point. 

*He did eventually learn to say, "I love you", a story I'll share at another time...I was 18...

Blessings ~


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Courageous 3 and a *Disclaimer*

I have to say that my purpose in blogging about my father, I in no way, shape, or form wish to dishonor him.  He is simply a man who is lost to the Lord, who was carried away by his own rebellious nature, who fought in Vietnam (2 tours) and is still haunted by the memories of what he did and what he witnessed there, who had a poor relationship with his own father, and who battled various addictions throughout his life from alcohol to spending... all of which lead to very little time for a daughter...  My only purpose is to show by real-life example the brokenness that happens when a father is not "Courageous".

One day shortly after I turned 5, my dad came to pick me up to take me to Gaylord for the day to ...  meet his new wife.  He had gotten married.    What????    Married???    I was shocked, to say the least.  I had no idea that he even had a girlfriend.  Due to other circumstances in my life during the previous year and a half or so, I had learned to stuff any thought or emotion that would lead to an emotional response of any kind, so I quickly put all my hurt and all my tears in a little box, saying little.  Words cannot express the hurt I felt, though.  A wedding, one of the most important events in a person's - my dad's - life... and I, his daughter, wasn't invited.  On the way there, my stomach was tied in knots... the only thing I knew about step-mothers was that they were supposed to be ugly and mean.  At least that's what I had learned in the movie Cinderella.  I was in for quite a shock.  Ruthann was a beautiful woman, with a gentleness I was not at all prepared for.  I had been prepared to dislike her... but much to my confusion and alarm, I actually really liked her.  The most important thing she said to me was that she did not intend to try and take my mother's place, but she just wanted to get to know me and be my friend.  Phew!  However, I then faced another dilemna...  I was torn in my loyalty to my mother.  I felt I had betrayed her somehow by liking this 'new wife' that had taken the place that was supposed to be reserved for her.  My father returned me that day and I went straight to my room sobbing... for a couple of hours, according to my mother.  Finally, she coaxed me out of my room trying to get me to tell her why I had been crying.  Finally she asked the right question, "was she mean to you???"  (This only started my sobbing all over again, by-the-bye)  "NO!"  I croaked. "She was nice!"  I am so very thankful that my mother gave me permission to 'like' Ruthann, and never said a cross word about her (or my dad, for that matter), and that Ruthann never sought to take my mother's place in my life, but simply showed me kindness.

Now that I am an adult, I understand a little more all the 'stuff' surrounding that time in our lives, but I still see his wedding as incredibly selfish on his part... and even still a faint glimmer of the hurt from that day arises every time I see their wedding picture hanging on their wall. 

As God has grown me in Christian maturity, the Lord has made me increasingly aware of the depths of my selfishness- especially when it comes to my children.  I've been so blessed by my husband's example and have learned through it, with the Lord's help, to put aside my selfishness for the betterment of those around me... I definitely do not want to continue handing down this heritage of selfishness and detachment to these two precious gifts Jon and I have been given!

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking only to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. ~ Philippians 2:3-4

Important life events should be shared within a family, even if it's more convenient to not have to compensate for young ones to tag along.



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Courageous 2

As I was growing up, I really didn't see my dad much... maybe once a year, though there were a couple of years when I did see him a few times (he was in the military and so moved around the country quite a bit).  Phone calls were few and far between, and always at the prompting of my dear step-mother.  How would I know that, you might be asking?  Because every phone call began like this, "Hi, Dad."  "Hey, Wen.  Ruthann told me it was time to call..."  or some such variation.  It was always said somewhat jokingly, and my response was always some joking thing about doing what his wife said...

After years and years... a lifetime, really... of hearing that, a person becomes numb to the affect of the words, but the message becomes crystal clear with each passing year:  'I'm not important enough to you for you to think of calling me by yourself.'

I've been so convicted of the affect my words (and tone) have on others (mostly because I have a tendency to say the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time), and especially the affect my words have on my children... my desire is to practice daily Proverbs 31:26 ~ "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue."  and to be aware of Proverbs 12:18 ~  "There is one whose words are like sword thrusts, but the words of the wise bring healing."



Sunday, February 12, 2012


It's a tad late for me to really get into writing/blogging about what's on my heart, yet here I am.  So, I think I'll just start by saying that we've watched the new film by Stephen and Alex Kendrick entitled "Courageous"- if you haven't seen it, GO DO IT, especially if you have children.  This movie is very moving and thought provoking on many levels, but to me (and to many others, I'm sure), there was the additional element of my own relationship with my father. 

During one of the scenes of the movie, the young officer asks one of the other officers if he really thought not having his father in his life while he was growing up 'messed him up'.  The senior officer replied, "more than you know."  Having grown up without my father playing a significant role in my life was very damaging to me personally in many different ways, but it wasn't until I was married with children of my own that I realized just how damaging it was.  Quite honestly, my relationship (or lack thereof) with my father has affected every aspect of my life, from my friendships, to my marriage, to my relationships with my children.  Sometimes in good ways (thank You, Lord), and sometimes in things I struggle with daily (thank You, Lord for Your redemptive work in my life!)...

I'm looking forward to someday having the freedom to write my story - God's story, actually- but for now, it has to come out in little boxed snippets.... one of those snippets will be posted soon...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Book Review: Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll

From the back cover:  "While a wonderful wedding day is important, it's the last day of marriage that really counts.  Will the last day of your marriage come prematurely through divorce?  Will it be filled with regrets as you sit at the funeral of your spouse?  Or, by God's grace, will the last day be a day to rejoice in the life you lived together? 

Marriage is such a wonderful gift from God, but it is also perhaps one of the most difficult relationships into which a man and a woman can enter.  That being said, we all need encouragement.  In the 11-week DVD driven study "Real Marriage: the Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together," Mark Driscoll and his wife Grace delve into these topics and many more providing just such encouragement.  Each session is done in a conversational style between the two, who are sitting comfortably on a love seat together in a large church's sanctuary discussing their own marriage and the many things God has taught them over the years. 

The DVD-based study presupposes the participants are either currently reading or have already read the book of the same name.  Each session in the Participant's Guide is broken up into several parts:  Introduction, Video Response questions, Scripture passage for reflection, Group Discussion and Prayer during which the group breaks off into men's and women's (most weeks), Homework for the Husband, Wife, and Singles (there is a  men's and women's section), Connect during which those who are married would come together and discuss what they've been learning, and lastly Experience during which the couple (or single) will have something to do together, a date night, dinner with a mentoring couple, writing letters to one another, etc.  There is also a comprehensive leader's guide providing additional guidance in leading a small group.

All-in-all this study is one I'm not sure I would recommend, there are quite a few others out there providing more 'meat'... though some young-in-the-faith believers who are single wanting-to-get-married, engaged couples, and younger married couples might enjoy 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.*

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Quiet Time...

At the beginning of this week the boys and I were talking about the importance of choices... that our choices we make will either draw us closer to or farther away from God.  During the course of our devotion time, our oldest son asked if I could wake him up early two mornings a week (Wednesdays and Saturdays) so he could do devotions with me at the time I do my normal quiet time.  Of course who could refuse that?  I asked him if he had an idea of what Scriptures/passages he wanted to focus on and he of course did.  Wednesday we had our quiet time with the Lord together, it was such a sweet time with him, I'm so looking forward to the fruit the Lord brings forth from it...    It is a little funny to me that he wanted to do this since we do family devotions and Bible study together as well on a daily basis...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Not much to say...

I don't really have all that much to say, but I'm thinking that on my goals list for 2012 I should have set the goal to blog on a more regular basis and intentionally.  Anyway, last weekend we had our final holiday get-together, so it's been great this week to get back into our normal routine.  (Whatever 'normal' is...)  Now, as I look around in our small and cozy home, I'm really wishing Mary Poppins would come and tidy things up a bit... organizing our home is an on-going issue for me, one I think I'll always struggle with.  Over the last week our boys have battled colds and ear infections, our older son is all well and fine at this point, but our younger son is still working to get over it.  I'm so thankful the Lord has provided us the opportunity to homeschool them, my dear husband and I would miss ever so much of their lives if we didn't. 
Last night after I blessed our children and was leaving their bedroom, our younger son said, "Mom... Thank You." 
I was a bit puzzled and asked, "You're welcome... but thank you for what, buddy?" 
"Thank You for taking care of me when I'm having swimmer's ear."
Seriously in that moment he could have asked for just about anything and gotten it!  :)   I posted this on my FB page, and many of the comments were kudos to me for being a 'great mom' and so on... while I truly appreciate those comments, I know without a doubt that it is the Lord who has given this boy his grateful heart and has much less to do with my husband and me than what others would believe. 
As parents my husband and I are definitely faithful... faithful in praying over our children and home, faithful in our discipline and character training of our children, faithful in educating our children... but in no way are we perfect in any of that...and I don't think the Lord wants us to be perfect parents- I think He wants us to be faithful parents.  Faithful to Him and His ways.  Faithful in passing down a heritage of faith to our children that they would also pass down that heritage to their children...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Back in the saddle...

Well, here we are back in the saddle... or almost, anyway.  Sunday night before the boys went to bed we reminded them that Christmas break was over, and our 'normal' schedule would resume the next morning.  As you might imagine, one of our boys was none too pleased with the prospect of having a schedule to keep, schoolwork and chores to do and let us know just exactly how he felt about the whole thing.  I was expecting this week to go horribly, and for the Lord to allow the boys to test and stretch my patience level (I have ceased asking God to give me patience- anyone who has ever done that could tell you that He does not just hand over a hefty dose of patience, but provides countless circumstances for you to have to exercise patience... but I digress...) however, as of Monday late afternoon, getting back into routine hasn't been quite the struggle I thought it might be... then comes today... Caleb woke up with a sore throat, which I was hoping was just because it's so dry in our house.  So we went to our homeschool group meeting, had a great time reconnecting with everyone, took my dear husband lunch (I didn't get it made before he went to work this a.m.), stopped at the store at which time Caleb took a turn for the worse (at least that's when he told e about it) saying his throat was really really sore and he had a headache AND he felt a bit warm to me.  Soooo, afternoon lessons didn't go quite as planned, but then that's part of the beauty of homeschooling, you can adjust your schedule as needed.  I'm thinking he has strep throat again....  :(  not good timing since we are headed up to Mackinaw City this weekend for our annual get together with my husband's side of our family.
The verses I'm praying over our oldest this month are Philippians 2:3-4 (go ahead and look them up!) mainly regarding his relationship with his brother.  The Lord gave these verses to Caleb last year and are his 'Life Verses'.  The verse I'm praying over our youngest this month is 2 Timothy 1:7 (go ahead and look it up!), because even though he has a very adventuresome spirit and courageous heart, he is very much affected by fear and will let his fear control his decisions.  As for verses I'm praying over my husband Psalm 119:9-16 (One of the greatest chapters in all the Scriptures!).  Last, but certainly not least that which I am praying and meditating on for me personally is 2 Corinthians 12:9 ~  "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."

I would love to hear what others are doing in their devotional lives, homeschooling, any specific goals for the New Year and the like!   :)