Saturday, February 24, 2007

February 24, 2007
Drew and I had a very fun week! We went to the park and played with some friends from our old church in Euless --Charles and Mark. We also took Kitty on a walk to the pond many times this week, the weather warmed up in to the 70's, so Kitty was hot enough to chase her ball in the pond. Now every time we drive by she gets excited thinking we are going swimming!

This week was Spring Cleaning! I opened all the windows and let all the dust out of the house. My allergies have been going crazy, but I think the house is as dust free as it will get! The house was given a window washing, dust treatment, three vacuum treatments, and the fans were dusted (they were gross!), the drapes were washed and all the rooms have been dusted. The place was a horrible mess, closets have been cleaned, boxes were taken to the attic & goodwill, and John even caught the Spring Cleaning bug and cleaned the entire garage. Our rental car will even fit! I am exhausted. Every evening this week was taken with dusting and laundry and cleaning. Now, comes all the fun! I can prepare for Spring planting - my onions and strawberry's went out this week, the lawn is being aerated and then I will be fertilizing. All the flower beds were weeded and a fresh layer of soil conditioner has been layed. John even managed to change out the sprinkler system in two of my three front beds. I now have an underground drip watering system! The third bed will be completed once Home Depot gets in more tubing.

We bought Kitty some special shampoo this week, John said and I quote "I think our house in starting to smell like we have a dog" --- that was it. The house was fabreezed, Kitty's dog bed washed, and a good bathing took place. The whole house smells much better and Kitty isn't itching herself so much. The vet said labs are known for having dry smelly skin, so she gave us some oatmeal shampoo which seems to have worked well. We will see how smelly she is after going in the pond tomorrow!

Drew just had another tooth come through, it is one of his 2 year old molars. He was crabby the first part of the week, but once the tooth came through he was back to his normal happy self. Drew has a doctors appointment this Tuesday for a checkup and shots! Drew graduated from his highchair to a booster seat this week. He really likes sitting at the table with the adults. Kitty likes it too because she can sneak under the table and beg food off Drew.

John had a great week cleaning his garage, working on projects around the house, and working at Home Depot! He is also officially graduating March 30, 2007 ! He was done in December, but the next graduation wasn't until March. I wanted to go to Arizona for the occasion, but John is quite certain he doesn't need to walk down an isle to fulfill his college ambitions. He promised me a graduation when he completes his Masters someday.

John and I just started a Crown Financial Bible Study at our church. We are very familiar with the principals from the radio broadcast we listen to each evening, and an engagement class we took before marriage, but thought it was time to take the full blown Financial Freedom study . ( www.crown.org) We had our first meeting last Wednesday and really enjoyed ourselves. John is, surprisingly, diving into the world of our finances and learning financial software and paying our bills online! He has also been having a lot of fun finding ways to pay off the new car he just bought me. He has already paid for 1,000 off the car in the last 5 weeks by doing handy man jobs for a few clients in Southlake. We are very excited to have all credit card paid off (finally, it only took 4 years!), our savings is working its way up to 3 months living expenses, and our retirement is slowly being funded -- Roth IRA's are the best! Our biggest challenge is tacking those student loans! Wow they sure add up over the course of 2 years! Oh well, with a better job looming in John's future it shouldn't take us too long to get them paid off.

Our car is still in the shop, but our prayers were answered this week when we received a letter stating that the fault was solely the driver of the truck that hit John. We are free and clear of all responsibility, even to the car the John was pushed into. Our car should get out of the shop next week, hopefully back to new again!
I will write more next week!

Melissa

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Finally I think we are all well! It has been a wild 10 days. Drew was sick but we didn't take him to the doctor because the flue is going around and the doctor's office was contaminated. Our doctor said if it wasn't an emergency, not to bring him in. Then, I was sick with a cold, which turned into a sinus infection. Drew and I had to go into the doctor Friday for that, we washed our hands a lot while there! There were atleast 4 people in the waiting room with the flue. Drew was a trooper, he played with his trains and cried when we went into the examining room because he thought he was getting shots. Then, on Monday John was driving home from getting our bikes fixed and was in a car accident. A truck slammed into him and sandwiched him into a Blazer. John had to take Monday and Tuesday off work because his back and neck were hurting and he had to go to the back surgeon to have everything looked at. Our car is salvageable, but just barely. It looks like about 8,000 worth of damages to our brand new car. Oh well! John felt horrible about the new car getting crunched, but is was not his fault in any way. The person who hit John had insurance and the car is being taken to the body shop for repairs tomorrow. We were very lucky, no one was seriously hurt and the car is repairable. We are so blessed that Drew was not in the car and that John was not seriously injured.
Drew and I went to visit "Titi" and "Tio" in Oklahoma on Saturday, we enjoyed playing in their apartment and seeing their new house being built. We also played at the playground near Julie's new house. It was very fun! Drew's favorite part was watching his DVD player in the car. He doesn't watch much TV at home so this was a treat! Of course, I get to hear I want to watch "choo, choo," or "Boz Boz," each morning which normally sets Drew into a tantrum because I said "no". He is learning though, yesterday he only had one tantrum and whined a lot less!
Drew has turned into a two year old, he is whining more and is getting into things when Mommy or Daddy aren't watching. John has really stepped in and is disciplining Drew more because I am very tired by the end of the day! Currently, we are working on not whining and following basic commands without throwing a tantrum. His most common phrase this week is "no whining" which he repeats after mommy when whiney. We are also working on sitting at the dinner table quietly while others finish their dinner. Drew is getting very good at following instructions, he has mastered throwing things in the trash for mommy and throwing clean socks into the laundry basket. Drew has been spending more time lately in the corner, pantry, or in his room. The other day was a " classic" - Drew whined much of the morning so I sent him to his room. When I went in to check on him he had taken the shade off the lamp and was teaching himself how to unscrew the light bulb. Then that afternoon, I was on the phone and hadn't seen Drew in about 2 minutes, when I turned to go find him he was toddling over to me holding one of the dining room, glass candlesticks. I found out later that to reach the candlestick, he had pushed the stroller over to the dining room ledge, climb up on the stroller, and then climb down holding the candlestick. I tried not to freak out but as Drew came closer, with a grin on his face, saying "here mommy" he dropped the candlestick and it shattered all over the floor. I reminded myself about it only being a material possession, then put him in the laundry room so he wouldn't step on any glass. As I was vacuuming the glass up, one glance into the pantry revealed Drew playing with Kitty's vitamins that were on the shelf. At a closer glance, I saw that he had already opened the lid, poured the contents into Kitty's bowl, and Kitty was eating them all! I snapped and sent Drew to read books on his mat until John came home 45 minutes later. Oh, did I mention that I preheated the oven just prior to Drew breaking the candlestick and then opened the oven 1 hours later to discover that the Lasagna hadn't made it from the freezer to the oven. In the chaos of the hour, I forgot to put the lasagna into the oven. Poor John came home from work to find no dinner, a cranky 2 year old, and a very angry wife! So, we ordered pizza and went to bed early! Just another day at the Williams!
Our Valentines Day was wonderful! Drew enjoyed playing with Daddy all day and then my mom came over for a Valentines Day dinner that I prepared. John was given a wood working magazine and some Bailey's ice cream, I received some Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce syrup! Patti sent John all his old school work and report cards, they arrived on Valentines day, so we spent some time looking through everything. It was so much fun listening to John share stories about growing up!
Love,
Melissa

Surefooted Confidence in God's Power and Goodness

I was emotionally consumed this week with the depravity of the world and the lost hearts of people; saddened by the stories of lives overtaken by sin and wickedness. My heart is heavy, people everywhere are struggling and hurting deeply - - an old friend of our family who has been disowned by her children and husband, people with unwanted pregnancy's, a Christian couple still battling infertility, the horrific method of partial birth abortion being performed every day in our country on innocent living children, disabled and dieing children with no one to love them, death, cancer, war. This week it has seemed like the precious gift of life somewhere along the way has been taken over by sin and suffering. People are hurting, marriages are falling apart, suicide is rampant, illness and suffering surround me and I ask God "Why"?.
Then, in the middle of my musings with God, He softly reminded me about the prophet Habakkuk who penned a short book in the Old Testament just before King Nebuchanezzar invaded Judah in 605 B.C. The prophet Habakkuk lived in a society much worse than what we live in today. I encourage you to read the little book; it is only 3 short chapters that answer the question "Why does God allow wickedness and evil to temp. reign."
In reading verses 1:2-4, Habakkuk describes the times in which he lives, do you see any similarities? God's response to the prophet, and to us, begins in chapter 2:4, the Lord explains that "the righteous man shall live by faith" because the Lord in on His thrown and is awaiting the exact moment that He can assert his power and bring evil into the light, exposing, judging, and punishing wickedness. The power in which Habakkuk speaks is both referencing the crucifixion of Christ and the final judgment yet to come. The Lord's authority is illustrated in chapter 3:4 "His radiance is like the sunlight, He has rays flashing from His hand, and there is the hiding of His power" as he sends forth pestilence, plagues, and earthquakes to destroy much of the earth. God is mighty, has absolute authority, yet chooses out of his mercy and love to allow evil to happen so all humanity will have an opportunity to truly know the Lord Jesus Christ - - Yahweh (Our Creator). As a Christian I sit in wonder over the life I have lived, if my life before Christ had been perfect, without pain, I would never have seen my need for a Savior. I would have been content to live for myself, my plans, my flesh driven desires. It was out of God's love that he allowed free will and suffering so that all mankind would have a need for God. Thank you Jesus for sending me a Savior and helping me see that You are all I need.
God's might and justice will be revealed in His timing, as Christian's our job is not to sit around and wait for God's wrath to come upon those we see doing evil. Our job is to point everyone, including ourselves, to the cross of Christ. The cross brings comfort, convicts, sheds tears, and eternally saves! The cross which saved a sinner like myself, the cross that bridged that gap between God and man, the cross that revealed our personal sinful stated, the cross where we witnessed Agape (Self Sacrificing) love displayed, the cross which promises that "one day every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus is Lord." The cross, my cross - - where blood was shed, life was saved, and sin was conquered so that those who believe in the Lord Jesus would be saved. Do you know the cross, have you thought about what the cross means in your life, today, at this very moment?
Below are a few points that I mulled over this week, some brought comfort and others brought conviction:
Have I been praying blessings and repentance upon those I see doing evil? Have I been praying for their salvation? What have I been physically doing to help them see their need for a savior?
Have I been resting in the Lord's promises, resting in the "knowledge of the glory of the Lord and in my Fathers mighty strength"? Am I living with surefooted confidence that everything in my life has been filtered by the Lord and is used for refinement, answered prayers, or preparation for useful service? Hab 2:14 & 3:19
Have I been keeping my eyes pure (Hab 1:13 ) so that I do not approve of evil - watching inappropriate movies or TV shows, reading magazines that are not holy, etc?
Is my financial house in order, am I paying off debts and becoming financially free so that I am not a servant another? (Hab 2:6)
Do I have any idols in my life such as self, money, self driven plans, etc? (Hab 2:18)

Love,
Melissa