Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Believing God's Love

"What heartbreak we must bring to God when we continue to disbelieve His love. What more could He have said? What more could He have done? Believe even when you do not feel. Know even when you do not see. He gave the life of His Son to demonstrate His love. The time has come to believe."
~Beth Moore Praying God's Word

I have recently been using Beth Moore's Praying God's Word every morning during my quiet time to battle some issues that I have been dealing with for a while. It has been refreshing (to say the least) to allow God's own personal Word to minister to my heart, and the prayers have been quite effective. This quote is one of Beth's own, but also powerful.

I have never really looked at my failure to believe God's love for me to be an insult to Him but it must be, how can it not? He sacrificed His own Son for me.... and do I not see that as enough? Though I don't always feel it, I choose to believe and live in His love for me... "the time has come"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Get Ready

Daughter,
You hold a special place in my heart. You are mine. I love you with a never-ending love. I am pouring into your life. I am doing things that you can not see, but that will change your life and your perspective. I have mighty plans for you, but I want for your foundation and focus to be on Me alone. I am your source of identity, strength and satisfaction, without Me you will not be able to fulfill the calling I have placed on your life.
Life is hard, but I am good, depend on Me.
Watch eagerly as I am changing the desires of your heart. I am giving you a hunger and thirst for Me that will guide the rest of your days.
Get ready, for I am moving in your life and it is beyond anything you can dream! My ways are far beyond your imagination. My plans are for certain and I want for you to be a part of them.
Resist the doubt and lies the enemies continue to throw your way. He is aware of your potential and it scares him greatly. Resist him and he will flee, draw near to Me and I will draw near to you.
Your Father

Scripture: James 4:7, Psalm 37:4-5, Isaiah 14:24

Even More Treytonisms

After Lexie touched something, Tim told her "that was yucky". Treyton stepped in to explain to the youngest member of the family and said "Yucky means that you have to wash your hands."

~~~~~~
When riding in the car one afternoon, Treyton and Alexa were watching a Veggie Tales movie, at one point a song came on about God's love (or something similar) and Treyton asked a question. Putting on my best religious mommy voice I went on to explain to him theologically what the song was trying to say, and how, yes, it was in fact true.
After about 2 minutes Treyton piped in and said
"I hear you, mom, but you can stop now, I can't hear the movie."
****
Since that time, there have been a few other instances where I may have gotten a little wordy and each time he starts with "I hear you mom..... BUT....." I think it's so cute because the poor guys certainly needs a respectful way to tell this big mama... "listen woman - you've said too much!!"

~~~~~~
Sitting on the couch cuddling one day (something Treyton asks to do at LEAST once a day) he said out of the silence "You are so special."
I almost started crying... I cannot tell you the number of times a day that God uses this little man to speak into my life!

~~~~~~
The other night we were getting ready to go somewhere and Tim asked Treyton "Will you do me a favor and grab my shoes?" (they were in the living room)
to which Treyton replied
"Yeah" and he went to get the shoes, at which point he added "Will you do me a favor for me? Will you clean up those toys?"
There were a few toys in the middle of the living room that Treyton would have certainly been asked (probably next) to clean up before we left, his wisdom clearly won out this time though because Tim was so impressed, he did pick up the toys!!

~~~~~~~
One day Lexie was crying and Treyton was doing his best to comfort her, brought her some toys, her lamby and even a blanket, after nothing worked he looked at her and said "I'm not like Jesus, baby, I can't do everything."

~~~~~~
Lately Treyton has been very interested in miracles. We've been reading several Bible stories about Jesus doing miracles and talking about it. Treyton asks how miracles to happen, and why (HARD questions I might add). He also asks alot about magic tricks, so at the same time he's learning the difference between magic and miracles as well as fake things on TV and miracles. This last Sunday in children's church he learned about Peter and John and how they healed the lame man at the temple. We talked to Treyton about how neat it was that Jesus does use people to do miracles through, that it wasn't Peter and John who healed the man but Jesus inside of them. He didn't say much at the time but that night for prayers Tim said that he asked Jesus to help him do miracles.
I love the heart of this little boy!!
I can't wait to see what miracles God has in store for his life.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Treytonisms

In the car, on the way home from the chiropractor today:
Treyton: "Mom, I have some to tell you that you might not understand, because it's like big people talk."
Me: "Okay"
Treyton: "Sometimes you need to not worry about some stuff because it's for big people, and God is the big people."
Me: "You're right Treyton, that is something that's hard for me to understand, but you're right, I don't need to worry, because God is bigger."
Treyton: "It's hard for me to understand too, mom"
~~~~~~

Today Treyton and Lexie were outside playing, Lexie loves to get into her little flinstone car (I don't know what they're really called, but that's what I call it), anywho, as she was getting in Treyton saw what she was doing and said:
"Alright sister, I think that's wet, wait a minute!"
He ran over and checked it out and after declaring it "okay" allowed her to proceed to get into her car.
~~~~~~

My sister called the other day, and like normal Treyton answered the phone. I was in the bathroom getting ready for church so I didn't even hear the phone ring, Treyton came in and told me "Auntie Skye called" and I said "Oh, okay, I'll talk to her." To which he replied "I talked to her mom, maybe next time, maybe next time you can talk."
Come to find out Skye called, talked to Treyton and hung up and I didn't even know they talked.
~~~~~~

The other day Treyton got hurt (somehow) I had picked him up and rocked him in my chair for a little bit while he cried, but before he calmed down all the way he said "Tell me some stories about when daddy got hurt as a little kid" --- it's a favorite past time for our family to tell stories about mom and dad (and even some of Treyton) as a little kid. He really enjoys all of dad's "hurt stories", surprisingly, it made Treyton feel better about his owies.
~~~~~~

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall Into Reading


Over at Callapidder Days there is a blog carnival that was so right up my alley I couldn't resist getting involved! It's the Fall Reading Challenge 2009. It's an awesome way to share what I'm reading as well as looking around to get some inspiration of what to read next!

My list of books for Sept 22nd - Dec 21st is a little long, and I know that I probably won't end up reading them all but I'm going to shoot high!
To be honest I will probably add some others in there as I start looking around at some of the other blogs involved in the challenge.

NON-FICTION:



The Sacred Romance this one has actually been on my shelf to read for a while, but I haven't quite gotten to it (actually instead of reading it I went back and read Eldredge's Waking the Dead) but I plan on starting this one soon.









The Pursuit of God. This book isn't long so I'm hoping that I'll be able to finish this one relatively quick, but who knows with Tozer's deep writing :~) I absolutely loved God's Pursuit of Man.

*** UPDATE: I have finished this book and posted on it here





Following Jesus, I'm actually half-way through this book already. I'm liking it so far, but sometimes I have to read the chapters slowly and some parts more than once (yeah, it's one of those books :~))

*** UPDATE: I have finished this book and posted on it here







What Jesus Demands from the World
, John Piper. This is probably the book I'm most looking forward to. I absolutely LOVE John Piper, I've read two other of his books and I LOVED them.



*** Update: I have finished this book and posted on it here








Traveling Light, Max Lucado. I've had this book forever, and somehow it's just gotten pushed further and further down the pile, but I'm really planning on reading it this time!!





A Dad Shaped Hole in my Heart, H Norman Wright. My friend, Marsha, literally just handed me this book today to borrow nad I'm really looking forward to reading it. ***UPDATE: I have finished this book and posted on it here





I'm not Wonder Woman but God Made Me Wonderful, Sheila Walshe. I've gone to Women of Faith several times and love Sheila, she has an incredible gift I look forward to reading a book of hers.

** UPDATE: I have finished this book and posted on it here.








A Woman's High Calling, Elizabeth George. I've never read Elizabeth George before. Don't know much about her except how much she's recommended.





Minnesota Trip

This last weekend we headed up to Minnesota for a mini-vacation.

Our first stop was the Mall of America - the Underwater Aquarium

Our Little Treasure

The Nickelodeon Universal Studios was definitely a highlight for Treyton. This was one of his favorite rides: Swiper's Sweeper. It looks like it goes slow, but around the corners it really swoops you around - it was a shock for Treyton the first time, and it looked so fun Tim had to try it!

Mommer & Lexie at the aquarium

Our family at Nickelodeon studios

My favorite ride was the log ride... though it was extremely scary. There were no seat belts or any type of protective thing to hold you into the ride... thrilling to say the least.

This is Treyton trying on some cute hats... and don't ask me why but that's Tim's shoe :)

Treyton and I on the carousel

On Friday we headed to the Minnesota Zoo.

Watching the prairie dogs with dad

Lots of walking, luckily dad came to the rescue.

Modeling on the bench... too cute.

The coolest part of our visit was that the bears were VERY active there were actually two bears wrestling in the water right in front of the glass - way cool!! I could have stayed there all day and watched them.

Our friends that so graciously allowed us to stay with them for four nights, also invited us out to their family cabin on a lake. We had such a fun time!!

Lexie doesn't always love the water, but this particular day she did great!

Treyton went tubing for the first time ever with dad. As you can see in the picture he loved it (giving me a thumbs up). Tim later tried to water ski to no avail, but 4 days later is still suffering from the soreness.... he says that's the last time he does that :~)

Splashing in the water, trying to get Nate!

Pretty Girl Lexie smiling for the camera.

Funny Hats

My accessorizing daughter.

Lexie got some new clothes (and hats) from the Mall, I just LOVE 'em!

Big Smiles from the big sister!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Baby Appointment 9.21.09

I just got back from our baby appointment - not much to update on except I put on one pound and baby's heart rate was 157 beats.

I'm feeling pretty well. No more nausea and my energy is SLOWLY creeping back to normal. I'm hoping within the next couple of weeks my energy will be back to normal. I am feeling the baby kick every now and then, but not very regularly yet.

In other news, I am currently in the process of uploading all of the pictures from our trip so I'm hoping there will be a post on the trip up by tonight.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Two Priceless Videos... Man, I love my kids!

video

This is my kids at lunch today... there must be something in the air because they hardly finished their lunch before they started singing and dancing for church (as Treyton calls it).... It reminds me once again how much I love our church, Treyton has learned that he is free to express himself in anyway he wants and it can bring glory to God!!

video

You have to excuse the mess, we're packing... and we literally just ate lunch. And as far as how the kids are dressed... um yeah... priorities, I don't plan on giving them baths until the last minute :) You never know what they're going to get into (can you see Lexie's face in the video... it's covered in tomato sauce... it's a beautiful thing... FREEDOM!)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

And The Winner Is:

Jenna!!

Jenna, if you will e-mail me your address and which choice you would like - Captivating or the Fireproof DVD, I'll get it in the mail for you on Monday!

Congratulations, and thank you everyone for participating in the contest!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Clothed in Righteousness

[The Spirit of the Lord is upon Him (Jesus) anointing Him]
"to grant (console) those who mourn Zion -
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified."
Isaiah 61:3

"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,"
Isaiah 61:10

These verses were a part of my devotional today and they have stuck with me throughout today. Verse 10 has actually been a verse the Lord has been repeatedly bringing to my attention the last couple of months. The fact is, this chapter of scripture is so full of gold nuggets of truth I don't think we could ever read it without finding something new and fresh from the Lord. Sadly, I think the entire chapter (but certainly specific parts of the chapter) have become habit to some of us (okay, me). We read it (or sing it) with an old familiar taste in our mouths, lets be honest, it can be borderline boring. But the truth is, it's anything but "old and boring"!! These verses posses some of the most powerful, freedom filled, life giving truths in Christianity. Now trust me when I say, I'm not "preaching to anyone today" this post is for me, and for me alone. I have been missing and passing by these truths and promises the last few months with a bad attitude and wounded soul. These truths that I once clung to, became all too "familiar", so familiar in fact that they lost all their power.

This past Sunday at church we had a guest speaker, Thor Ramsey (the comedian from Thou Shalt Laugh DVDs), and his sermon, while not presented in the most fascinating way, held an AWESOME message. His sermon was on the American Perception of Christianity, and how we have lost site of some vital truths and perceptions of the gospel and of Jesus. One statement he mentioned over and over was that: we as the church often start with the gospel and then step on/out to more "practical" things; like fixing this character flaw, or our marriage, finances, etc. The problem is that it doesn't take very long at all for us to begin to feel burnt out and guilty.... feelings of "never being good enough" or of being a failure cloud our hearts and minds and here we are, steps away from where we are meant to be with only a hazy memory of the truths that once pounded through our veins bringing us much needed life.

So what is this truth? What is it that brings so many to Christ, with a level of enthusiasm, excitement and newness that can only be explained as Holy Spirit induced? And why is that we so quickly end up on the cycle of exhaustion and shame?

The priceless Truth is: GRACE and CHRIST and what He accomplished on the cross, the fact that we are completely and 100% FORGIVEN for all we have done and will do. There is NOTHING that we need to do to be better before God - we're already there!!
Hear how Isaiah says it "to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit." Take a look at where/what we start with: ashes, mourning and faint spirit. These people are not people who are figuring life out on their own... these people are not the ones who have it all together! These are the ones who are mourning, weeping and faint of spirit! These are the ones who have nothing left to give. These are the ones who have tried it their way and have failed! This promise is just as much for the lifetime (saved before you can remember saying the prayer) Christian and the person who accepted Christ 5 minutes ago.

Honestly, I've heard this all before and while it sounds so great, I can honestly say something has always prevented me from allowing this truth to totally sink in, mostly because, it sounds too good to be true. I mean seriously... I don't have to do ANYTHING?!?! So I can do whatever I want and it's okay?
The honest answer is yes, the even more honest answer is, you won't want to! When you realize what Christ as done and the freedom that you really have because of it, the last thing you are thinking is... "hmm, what can I get away with?" What's first on your mind is a humility and overwhelming sense of gratitude, a love for Christ that you never felt before.

In John 14:15 Jesus tells us "If you love Me, you will keep my commandments." I know to some of us, this sounds like some sort of manipulation tactic, or reasoning to obey, I know that's what I read the first times I read this verse. But I don't think that's what this verse is saying. I think what this verse is saying is that "true love manifests itself in willing obedience" (ESV Study Bible) Obedience is a side effect to our love for Christ. Love for Christ comes first, obedience comes second.

I loved the way Beth Moore said it in her book Get out of that Pit, "The religious police warn us away from adopting that marrow-deep belief that we are forgiven. They're afraid God's complete removal of our debilitating load of guilt will make us feel so free that we'll throw caution to the winds and wander right back into that pit. Not so! In fact, the opposite is true. Our tendency to return over and over to the pit is driven by our deep conviction that we'll never be anything but trash. Never be anything but defeated. Not feeling forgiven is a far more powerful motivator to re-enter a pit than feeling forgiven will ever be."

Father, I pray that you let this truth sink in and that I never become "used" to Isaiah's words again. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for your, Son Jesus and what he accomplished at the cross, thank you for the complete forgiveness of sins, that I am not capable of completing any part of my righteousness. You are so good. I love You.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Soaking in God's Love

Lately God has been showing me (again) how much he loves me.

His love is such an unbelievably amazing thing. I pray that I begin to comprehend it more and more on a daily basis, because it is often that the Lord has to take my face gently in his hands, draw me close to His face and say "Amber, I've never stopped loving you, now believe it and act like it!" That's what He did for me today.

This morning when Treyton came into my room to wake me up, he crawled in under the covers and cuddled close. When I was finally ready to get up, I squeezed him and said "Who loves you?" and he said "You do" I said "That's right, I love you all the time, and don't you forget it."

Then Treyton asked a priceless question "Why, why don't you want me to forget it?"
I looked at him and said "I don't want you to forget it because it's very important. I love you all the time, no matter where you are and what you're doing."

In that moment, God pulled my close and said "That's exactly how I feel, Amber. When you realize how much I love you and how unconditional My love is, it will change you, it will change how you feel, how you act and why you act.... soak it in, in every moment you have, soak in my love and what you mean to me. I love you more than you love Treyton, more than you can ever imagine."

It feels good, I pray I never forget to live in His love for me, there's nothing like it.

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Contest

Okay, I said that I would have the details tonight, 10:00pm is still tonight... right? :)

If you add my button, subscribe to my e-mail updates, add the blog to your reader, or begin following me you become eligible to win. Because I am unable to track whether or not you add my button to your blog or add my blog to your reader you will need to add a comment letting me know that you did it.

Now, for the prize.

If you are selected, you will win either a copy of the book "Captivating" by John & Stasi Eldredge or a DVD of the movie "Fireproof" (your choice).

The contest will run until Friday, September 11th. I will announce the winner (hopefully) on Saturday the 12th, but at the latest, it will be the following Monday.

***UPDATE: Q & A
There have been a few questions about the contest, so I will be updating with some answers in the post as well as in the comments to make sure you all see them

1. Do we leave a comment on this post or the button post? And do we get more than one entry if we do more than one thing?
Either place is fine, you only need to do it on one post or the other, no need for both.
Also, you can receive an entry for each thing that you do, you only need to leave one comment letting me know which things you have done and I will be assigning each entry a number and then using random.org to select a "number"

2. The button is so cool...but I don't understand it. A button is a picture (as you can see) that is placed on someone else's blog, when a reader of that blog clicks on the button they will be directed to the blog on the button. It's kind of like an ad for your blog. It helps to let people know about your blog and it also increases traffic on your blog by "linking" from someone else's blog.
I'm not sure if you understand the instructions for adding the button or not, if you don't let me know and I will try to give you more clear instructions for adding it to your blog.

I Got A Button!!

Oh my word!! I am super excited. I finally got a button, thanks to template mama!!
Her site has a tutorial on how to create the actual button once you have a picture made... which was a great help, but she helped me much more than that!! Thank you template mama, you're the best! I also will be setting up one for Refined Metals today as well so be sure to head over there and check it out as well. (I actually got both of my new backgrounds from template mama!! I couldn't resist this one... if all these cute birds don't make you smile, I don't know what will!)

So for those of you that are interested, please add my button to your blog! If you're not sure how, I'll add some simple instructions below.

Copy the code directly below my button, go to your blog and click on "customize", then click on "layout" select to "add a gadget"
once the pop up box comes up, select "html/java script" copy the code in there, save and your done!!

I have decided to put a little contest together for anyone who either adds my button, becomes a follower, subscribes to e-mail updates or adds me in a google reader. I will post later on the details, but the contest starts now, so if you add my button or add me to your reader, be sure to leave a comment! I can tell you that I have two options for a prize (winner will get to choose), either a copy of the book "Captivating" or a DVD of the movie "Fireproof"
Good Luck!!