~ 3:16 Max Lucado
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
~ 3:16 Max Lucado
Monday, December 29, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Looking back over the year brings a mix of emotions - we have had some of the best and worst moments of our lives. Through it all though, we know the Lord was faithful and regardless of the circumstances, we know that now more than ever.
So, in spite of our recent family tragedy and the great loss of Trent that we think about daily, we still recognize that God is good and has blessed this year, like all the years in our past.
The Blessings of the Past Year:
~ The birth of our little miracle, Alexa. Though I have posted on this before, I never want to get over thanking God for her. She is without a doubt the best thing that has happened to us in this year. To think that almost two years ago we thought we would never be able to have more children.... She is pure joy, and the best baby a parent could ask for. At nearly 6 months old she is full of character, but content enough to allow mom a little time to breath - she is a perfect mix of character and peace.... she is a breath of fresh air and a great personality. I can tell already, the Lord has such big plans for her.
~ The ability to stay at home and my hubby's awesome job/business: These didn't happen this year, but are a continual blessing in our lives and I don't want to ever forget to thank God for them!!
~ A new van: we recently got a new van, and while this is a material blessing, and I want to be careful on not putting too much value on material things, going from my SUV (which I do miss by the way) to a minivan has been far beyond what I imagined. Incredible!! The space, and the conveniences that have come with owning a van are truly a blessing for our family. For the first time with either of my children, we can put them in the car and they can stay awake without crying - something I thought was only true in fiction stories!!
~ A new church: since we moved here over 2 1/2 years ago, we have gone from church to church. We had a pretty strong guideline of what we were looking for in a church, and while we had found two churches we liked a lot, neither of them ever felt like "the one", but this past August after Tim attended a men's conference at Celebration Church in Green Bay, he called me and said "I think I found our church", we attended the following sunday and during the first song, I was moved to tears, and I knew that we had found our church. God has blessed us with a church home and we look forward to building relationships and a church family there.
Spiritual Growth & Blessings
~ Daily Quiet Time: this past year I grew so much in my relationship with God and one of the areas that I felt the strongest area of growth was in a deep desire to spend alone time with Him everyday. While I went times without it, I have definetly developed the heart, desire and habit of drawing near to Him daily!! What a precious gift.
~ Homeschooling: the Lord placed many things on my heart this past year, primarily through my daily time with Him, and one of the biggest desires was to homeschool. Though the enemy has enjoyed spinning lies and doubt among this word of the Lord for me, I know that God has given me this desire and has also put so many other great christians in my life with the same heart. I am learning so much at this time and am so grateful to have received these thoughts from Him a little early to give me the "prep time" that I enjoy. Though we are only doing preschool right now, and we aren't that constant with it, it has been so much fun and I have learned alot about myself and Treyton and what we are capable of and what we are not.
~ Family devotions and memorizing Bible verses: We have started trying to do family devotions after dinner as well as memorizing verses. Tim and I learned more than 6 verses in the past 6 months, we wanted it to be more, however, we are happy with what we have accomplished. Treyton has learned so much as well through not only the family devotions, but watching Tim and I grow and relying more on the Bible.
~ Family Prayer: We have begun to teach Treyton the importance of prayer and how we can talk to God anytime about anything. When he gets hurt, Tim is so good at asking Treyton if he wants to pray about it, and Treyton always says yes. It wasn't this way a year ago. Part of this comes from the realization that God cares about the details of our lives, and living in that reality.
Lessons I have learned (and am learning)
~ The importance of friends - not to take away from the importance of family, but in addition too.
~ Joy is not contengient on my expressions and feelings
~ The Lord is sovereign, He is in control, all things go through His hands
~ I have to let go of some of the little things so that I can grab on to the big things
~ The Lord is speaking - most of the time through His word, sometimes through a still small voice. I need to put myself in a position to hear Him through either way He choices to speak to me.
~ My dreams and desires are from God, and He will fulfill them in HIS time!
My Verses of the Year:
There have been a lot of great verses that have ministered to me throughout the year - I'm sure I'm forgetting some but a few of the first ones that come to mind
Psalms 55:22 "Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved."
Isaiah 43:1b-2 (this has been my "life verse" for a while now.... I LOVE it) "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame will not consume you."
John 15:10 "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full."
Romans 12:2 "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good, acceptable and perfect will of God."
My Verse for the upcoming Year:
Isaiah 40:11 "He will tend to His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in His arms; He will carry them in His bosom and gently lead those that are with young."
Thursday, December 18, 2008
- Principles About the Family in Scripture, Jess compiled a list of attributes of children, mothers, and fathers in scripture
- Cute Thanksgiving Traditions
- Using Number Charts to teach children counting
- 40 Ways to Pray for our Children
- Quick Reading Assessment for your children through sonlight curriculum. This test was designed to assess your student’s word recognition ability. It may also help you determine your student's approximate reading level.
- Some good advice on how not to be annoyed with your children.
- You never walk alone an encouraging post for the times in our life we feel the most desperate and alone.
- Priorities a nice reminder during the Christmas holidays - What is worth our time and energy?
- Showers of Stress an encouraging post on the daily "storms" of life and how to get through them
- Just Do It a motivating article on what it takes to get into a daily quiet time routine - it's hard core but I think it's exactly what some of us need to hear!
- Melissa's (Beth Moore's daughter) process and pointers on studying books of the Bible - using Leviticus as her example.... very good article!
- A list of companies that donates to planned parenthood, I was disappointed by some of the companies on the list, including sears (kmart), whole foods, ebay, time warner, johnson & johnson.
- Digital Camera Lag Time Comparisons A comparison chart on digital cameras and their shutter speed
- Speedtest, how many words per minute can you type? (My test showed 68 words per minute)
Centered on the Home
- Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce Recipe
- Sandwich Recipes: Alternatives to one of the more traditional lunch options.
- 34 Home-Made Christmas Gifts you can do yourself
- Jessica's Hot Chocolate Recipe
- Cute little snowmen craft/recipe
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Yesterday, we spent all morning baking cookies. This was a tradition that I remember and treasured as a child, and since I have moved out of my mom's house, I haven't really done it. That all changed this year and Treyton and I had a blast! We made chocolate covered pretzels, m&m oatmeal cookies, butterscothc haystacks, chocolate & coconut haystacks and peanut butter cookies. Treyton had quite the sugar high (and crash by the end of the night) but it was a good time nonetheless. I look forward to carrying this tradition on through the years as well.
This is a picture of Treyton in his snow tunnel that him and dad made last week. This was after it got a little bit warmer so the tunnel had shrunk a little bit, but Treyton still loved it!! From the first time it snowed Treyton started asking to build a snow tunnel, this is something that Treyton has done every year with Tim and has always loved it - it's definetly a wintertime favorite for him!
We hope that your family is enjoying the holiday season and making some family traditions of your own.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Written by John Ortberg it addresses the issues of, you guessed it, faith and doubt. On the back of the book it says:
"What if the most important word is the one in the middle" "We often think of doubt as the opposite of faith, but could it actually strengthen our relationship with God? In this refreshingly candid look at a life of faith, he traces the line between belief and unbelief: less a dividing lineI'm only a few chapters in and I have learned so much already, I would include this book (thus far) on my "must read" list.
between hostile camps than a razor’s edge that runs through every soul. His findings point us toward the relief of being totally honest. Questions can expand our understanding, uncertainty can lead to trust, and honest faith can produce outrageous hope. Written from Ortberg’s own struggle with faith and doubt, this book will challenge, comfort, and inspire you with the truth that God wants all of us—including our doubts."
One of the quotes that really stuck out to me in the first chapter was from Nicholas Wolterstorff it says "I cannot fit it all together by saying "He [God] did it," but neither can I do so by saying, "There was nothing He could do about it." I cannot fit it together at all... I have read the theodicies produced to justify the ways of God to man. I find them unconvincing. To the most agonized question I have ever asked I do not know the answer. I do not know why God would watch him fall. I do not know why God would watch me wounded. I cannot even guess. My wound is an unanswered question. The wounds of all humanity are an unanswered question."
I cling to my faith and the goodness of God in ways I never have before, I've never needed to to this extent but there remains a part of me that does not, and cannot understand the "why". I keep thinking, if only I could somehow "get it" if I could somehow make sense of it all.....
On one hand I am filled with a level of faith and confidence I have never known before, but on the other hand I am also filled with questions, and confusion, unanswered questions to deep wounds. Though I may not get the answers I am looking for, I will never let go of my faith. I know that my God is good and that He is faithful and that He loves us. I know that regardless of the situation, my God is by my side and He sees a picture I cannot - He is leading me home and while I do not understand and cannot see what is in front of me, I know the one who does, and I hold onto Him.
Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
1 Peter 1:6-9 "In this you rejoice, though right now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
Monday, December 1, 2008
Leaner is the neighbor's dog and is Treyton's best friend - he prays for him every day and anytime we leave Treyton waves at "Leaner's House" and says "Bye Leaner".... Anyhow, as you can imagine a three-year-old talking, when Treyton says "Leaner" the "L" isn't as clear as one would hope, and it typically comes out "Weaner"
So, Tim and I quickly realized what probably happened at Sunday school.... when the Sunday School teacher started asking for the things Treyton was thankful for, I'm certain that Treyton answered "Leaner" (or what they thought was "Weiner") and they must have told him "no" because he knew, without being able to read, that it wasn't on there. And he kept saying to us "leaner, no, no, leaner" when we asked him about it.
Tim got a real kick out of the fact that his sunday school teachers probably thought he was saying something else, and that knowing Treyton he repeated himself several times to make a point! Me? I was totally embarassed, especially considering they didn't say anything to us when we picked him up!!
~ The other day, we were eating twisty pretzels and Treyton had taken a bite of one and it looked like a letter "M". Treyton looked at the pretzel and then looked at me and said "McDonalds"
~ When dad got home frome work last week, Treyton was down stairs watching a movie, I called down to him and he yelled up "Is daddy home?" and I yelled back "yeah" and then he yelled back up and said "Daddy, I'm watching a movie" - it was so matter-of-fact I felt like he was a teenager.
~ Treyton always says to me and Tim how he wants hair, like dad when he gets big. He points to his lips, his cheeks, his arms, his legs.... it's cute - he says "when I am bigger and bigger, I want hair."
~ A few nights ago, Treyton was hot during the night and he called out, Tim fixed him up so that he had just the sheet instead of the comforter but Treyton said that his baby sam, who was sleeping next to him, was cold, so Tim had to swaddle up baby sam, and cover him up so that Sam and Treyton could both sleep comfortably.
These little stories bring such a smile to my heart, children have such an innocent and sweet outlook on the world, I hope that by being a mom, I can somehow take on part of Treyton's easy-going, simple mentality rather than the other way around. God Bless the hearts and minds of children.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I ask that you continue to be faithful in your prayers, escpecially Terry, Sandra, Emma and Ava - we have a long road ahead - but God is faithful and we know that He will continue to sanctify a wound that we cannot and may never fully understand.
It is easy in times like this to become discouraged. But I listened to an incredible sermon today that encouraged me (isn't God good) and I want to share with you all some things that I walked away with.
God works in two ways - through His visible hand (miracles and such) and His invisible hand. It's easy to thank God and recognize Him in the visible things, it's much harder when He works through the invisible things.
God works more often through His invisible hand of providence. Through the subtle details and everydayness of our lives. Things that we may not give Him credit for but that He controls and blesses us with. We see these things when we look with faith.
We know that God is both sovereign and good and we need to cling to BOTH of these characteristics.
Sovereign: God controls ALL things, there is NOTHING that God does not reign over and control, down to the smallest detail of our lives, it does not happen without God's permission.
Good: He is loving, kind, patient, merciful, forgiving, compassionate.... God is GOOD!
Just because our God is good and sovereign does not mean that all things that happen are His will - It was not His will for sin and evil to enter this world, He doesn't WANT bad things to happen. The Bible tells us that God weeps, He gets angry and sad; it also tells us that everything is not in obedience with God. We (people) sin, and Satan is a liar out to destroy the world and the people in the world (1 Peter 5:8).
So how does this work? How can there be bad in the world and in the lives of people who serve a sovereign and good God? The Bible tells us that God works all things together for good (Romans 8:28) for those who love Him. God will not waste one tear, one moment of brokeness or pain from his sons and daughters. He will bring good to our pain and suffering.
Mark Driscoll calls it "santified affliction". To paraphrase him "it doesn't mean that everything comes from the hand of God but everything goes through the hand of God. It means whatever the affliction is - it is serving a purpose. For a non-christian it may be a cause and effect consequence but for us who know God it is an affliction that is sanctified - it will bring us closer to God, good WILL come, God's will WILL be done through it. God will use it to santify us. There is no pain for a child of God that is pointless. "
We must bring our pain to God, because it is only there that our pain can and will be sanctified and made right.
So again, I just want to encourage you all to bring your pain, bring your questions to God because that it the ONLY place that it can be made right.
Friday, November 21, 2008
at CrossPoint Assembly of God located at 2727 Cnty Hwy CX Portage, WI 53901
Luncheon to follow service at the church
There will be information printed in the Daily Register
http://portagedailyregister.com/ tomorrow and the State Journal on Sunday
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I am writing now begging for prayer.
I don't know very much at this time but my little nephew Trent (who is 2 1/2) is in desperate need of our prayers! All I know is that he was sick last night, with a fever and throwing up and this morning they have called the ambulance to bring him to the hospital.
His mom, my sister-in-law, has a blog with updates for their family and while she obviously hasn't posted today if you would like to take a closer look at their journey you can.
I will update as soon as possible!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
It went really well, he talked to the therapists and was very cooperative. He repeated anything and everything we asked - Tim and I were very impressed.
I didn't really know what exactly to expect when we went in, and really it was basically and evaluation to decide if he needed a formal evaluation. The pathologists said that she did recommend a formal evaluation on both speech and language, so that is the next step. We still have some paperwork to receive, but once that is all done we will be scheduling a formal evaluation - from there they will decide one of three things (1) he needs formal speech therapy which would take place at the school once a week (2) he would need in-home speech therapy, which would obviously take place in our home (3) he doesn't need speech therapy.
At this point, I don't really have a preference to which method occurs, I just want him to be properly treated so my prayer is that the evaluation is an accurate reflection of his speech and language abilities.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Last Wednesday night at about 9:00 - Tim fell down our basement stairs while holding Alexa. We think that he was about 3 or 4 stairs down when he started to fall. He fell backwards as much as he could, but he also fell to his side. He had a hard time recalling which arm he was carrying her in, or how exactly they fell (who wouldn't?) but he knew he didn't land on her, and that he pulled her close to him when he fell.
Treyton needed to pee and I was in the bathroom doing my make up, I said "you need to put the seat up" and he promptly replied "Daddy Told me, put the seat up" like I didn't need to tell him daddy already had .... alrighty, then.
Treyton wanted to listen to one of his children's CDs, I asked him which one and he said "The one with the big teeth". I thought that was kind of strange description and didn't really know what he was talking about but sure enough as I was looking through his CDs there was one with cartoon kids on the front with really big teeth.
I was feeding the baby some rice cereal mixed with green beans. I had talked Treyton into trying a bite. He took a bite (like half a baby spoonful) made a funny face, bent his head down as he forced it down. Took a really deep breath and said "Me big boy, I eat noodles" (we were eating mac n cheese for lunch) -- It was hilarious... alot of it was his reaction which I can't properly portray in words --- just know it was hilarious.
The other day something fell in the bathtub and it made a loud noise, the baby was sleeping in her swing and Treyton was painting at the table. I was sitting next to him and he said "what was that?" I said "I don't know, I think something fell in the bathroom." and he looked at the baby looked back at me and said "I don't want it to wake the baby up!"
When we were visiting at Mommer's house, mommer had called Treyton to the kitchen, and he was standing in the rec room having me zip up his jammies after a little potty break. So when mommer called him he said "be there in a second" which is something I say alot, though I didn't really realize it.
Now if Treyton is in the other room and he needs to get your attention - he will "whistle" and by whistle I mean he make a noise that sounds like "Woooo Hooo"
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Angie has set up a prayer that she is calling the 7 * 7 and it is 7 prayers that you can pray for and over our children for 7 days. I am attaching the prayers and part of her post below that you can print out if you would like, but you should definetly make your way over to her site if you have the chance.
The other day I came across a verse that God used to prompt me to write this post. If you are a mom (or have someone else you want to pray for specifically), I hope you will join me as I do this for the next 7 days. It struck me that I need reminders during the day to be praying over my girls, and I decided to choose 7 events in a day that would remind me to do so. Then, I chose verses that had to do with that time of the day (for example: as my kids are getting dressed in the morning) and then I put them on notecards.
Here are the events and verses I chose:
1. When they wake up: "Let the morning bring (child's name) word of your unfailing love, for she has put her trust in You. Show (her/him) the way (she/he) should go, for to you (he/she) lifts up her soul." (Adapted from Psalm 143:8)
2. When they are getting dressed: "Therefore, as God's chosen child, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Lord, help (him/her) bear with others and forgive whatever grievances (he/she) has against others. Help (him/her) forgive as the Lord forgave (him/her). And over all these virtues, help (him/her) put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." (Adapted from Colossians 3:12-14)
3. While they are eating: "Teach (child's name) the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Teach (him/her) that (he/she) can do everything through him who gives (him/her) strength." (Adapted from Philippians 4:12-13)
4. When they go out of the house: "(Name of child), do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will." (Adapted from Romans 12:2)
5. While they are taking a bath: Lord, give (name of child) clean hands and a pure heart, and let (him/her) not lift (his/her) soul to an idol or swear by what is false. Let (him/her) receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God (his/her) Savior. Let (him/her) be part of the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. (Adapted from Psalm 24:4-6)
6. When they are going to bed: "The Lord Your God is with you; he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, be will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17)
7. While they are sleeping: "I pray that (name of child) will do everything without complaining or arguing, so that he/she may become blameless and pure, a child of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which he/she shines like a star in the universe as he/she holds out the word of life-in order that he/she may boast on the day of Christ that he/she did not run or labor for nothing." (Adapted from Philippians 2:14-16)
I feel like God has been reminding me more and more lately that I need to live my life in prayer. For my children, husband, family, friends, country, those in need, etc., etc. As a mother, it has been so pivotal for my children to hear me praying out loud over them, and I want to commit to do this every day (seven times a day!) for the next week. If you care to join me, just copy these verses onto index cards
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
This week we started going through a book that I just got for us - we have started doing this immediately following dinner and it has worked well for us - mostly because Treyton is a slow eater and Tim and I typically finish way before him and have a little time while he finishes his meal.
I had picked up two books for us to use:
The first one is called "Big Truths for Little Kids: Teaching your child to live for God" it has little catechism type questions that I also learned when I was a kid and then it has stories to read along with it - you don't try to have your kid memorize all the catechism questions the first time through you just pick a few some of them include:
~ Who Made Me? God made me
~ What else did God make? God made all things
~ Why did God make all things? For His own Glory
The other one I got is called "Training Hearts, Teaching Minds" and it is broken down into weeks, each week focusing on one catechism type question, and then has a short daily reading with verses covering the weekly topic.
The first question is "What is Man's Primary Purpose" and the answer "man's primary purpose is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever"
Other Questions include: How is Christ a prophet? What is Sanctification? What does the 4th Commandment forbid?
We started the other night with the "Training Hearts" book, because it was broken down into shorter sections - at this point we are not memorizing the catechism part, but we would like to eventually. I really enjoy both of them so far from just skimming through them and I think that as the kids get older they will spark some really awesome family discussions, and give Tim and I as parents a time to discuss what and why we believe the things we do.
If you don't mind, please share what you do for family devotion time - when do you do it? what do you do? How has this worked for you?
Monday, November 10, 2008
We call her our "pretty girl" or "pretty princess" and she LOVES it - if you call her pretty or beautiful she often smiles!
Friday, November 7, 2008
Anyhow, please just pray for Tim and I as parents to make the right decisions and to know which path to take (if there are paths to be taken)
And also for Treyton that he will cooperate during the evaluation, and that regardless of the outcome his speech will continue to improve.
Thanks for your support and prayers.