~ 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.