Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thanks Be To Holiness

I have it stuck in my head - repeating over and over again. Reminding me of what I want, what I have already obtained, what a treasure I have been entrusted with.

"Holiness, its what I long for,
Holiness, its w
hat I need,
Holiness its what you want from me.

So, take my heart and form it,
Take my mind and transform it,
Take my will and conform it,
To Yours, To Yours Oh Lord...."

I've been humming it and thinking about it since the Bible Study on Covenant last night. I've been a Christian for a long time, yet so in awe today as the God of this Universe, my Covenant Keeping God, rolls back another layer of Himself and reveals Himself to me. "If only others knew, if only others were sitting here learning and studying here tonight...", their relationship with God could be so deep and spirit filled - not lifeless, powerless, and sick from imitating the world instead of our Covenant Keeping God.

I've always been taught that I need to be changed, I need to look like Christ, I need to be made holy. Yet, as I'm learning about my Covenant God my heart makes a shift from "I need" to " I want!" I want to be changed, I want to be made holy because the God of this Universe chose to make a covenant with me - never broken, always true, always protected, always delivered in such a way that brings glory unto Himself. I stand amazed at the sheer perfection of God's unchanging Words - so perfect that only God himself could write such a love letter. I sit here tonight in thanks, grateful that my God supplies all my needs, gives me His Word, and is revealing Himself to me daily - I just have to be available to listen.

“Everything God does, is based on His covenant.” And when you understand how thoroughly the dynamic concept of covenant permeates everything God says in His Word, and everything He does in our lives, you’ll come to experience one of the most stabilizing, most freeing truths you’ll ever know."
~ Kay Arthur

567. Drew's words tonight before bed, "Mommy I need to pray tonight" Drew then prays the sweetest prayer of repentance, " God, help me to obey my mommy and daddy, I will obey so I won't get a spanking and I'll obey my teacher when she says not to shoot others in the classroom (pretend). I'm sorry I disobeyed my parents and my teacher, forgive me today? Amen."

568. Fall has finally arrived, my most favorite season - a time for intimate family time and dark quiet nights to spend together breathing in the crisp smells and warm cozy foods. The books are out, the Mayflower ship has landed in the playroom with all the little pilgrims, the stories are being shared and the windows are all open revealing God's Autumn breeze.

569. Planting the first Chrysanthemum's of the season - the soil is prepared and anxious for a new season of harvest.


570. Smiling little boy's face to greet me in the mornings, his love for books and lap time is such a reprieve from laundry and wiping and dishes. Lord, may I make more time to sit and enjoy the blessings of being a mommy.

571. A call from God's word to be of the world and not in the world. 1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. The Lord never breaks his covenant with me, but by having one foot in the world I'm breaking my covenant with God and He is not able to protect me from my enemies or deliver me from temptations. Lord, show me the areas in my heart and home that are imitating the world system instead of imitating You. Thank you for your kind discipline as you brought things to my mind last night that I had never thought of before as sin. Amen.

572. I am hidden: in Christ, in God. What an amazing and faithful truth.

573. Recognizing that I don't have to be the on to "win" in my marriage - freedom to surrender to anther's opinion and be happy about not being right. Lord may I catch myself more and respect my husband's leadership.

574. Welcoming friends over to play on a quiet Friday. Lighthearted chatting and warm smiles.

575. Making art with my boys, messy flour all over the floor, mounds of dough used for race tracks and bike jumps - the imagination of boys is like nothing I've ever experienced in my own mind. So different, yet such a great way to encourage learning about God and His prodigious world.

576. My covenant marriage - how I wish I'd know what a commitment I was making on that January day. I knew God hated divorce, always said it wasn't an option, yet never understood the ramification of breaking such a sacred covenant. I never realized how covenant was to be sought after daily, not just a one day event. A reminder to me to keep my marriage sacred and holy - we've cut covenant and its never to be defiled. Covenant is a "community of life ... a oneness..." broken only through death.


577. Take up my cross? Lose my life? To what is Jesus calling me today, this very second?

578. A schedule of sorts, that would be our first real weekly schedule (that doesn't change much) since being married 7 years ago - I love it!

579. The sweet joy of getting long permeating stains out of white baby onesies - thanks to Oxi-clean!

580. Settling on a name for our little peanut - Abigail Mae Williams which means "A Father's Joy" named after her late great grandmother (Bernice Mae).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Not So Wonderful Wednesday


The day has begun,
  • I woke up late (but the kids slept in too!)
  • I actually made my bed (which is rare) only to discover that the boys had taken the bed sheets apart and were enjoying using the bedding as a trampoline and the comforter as a landing pad.
  • I've had a lingering headache for 16 weeks, mornings and evenings are the worst. Today I can tell will be a pounding headache day.
  • We're out of Q Tips and my ears itch really bad.
  • I made the boys yummy oatmeal and blueberries for breakfast... only they decided they weren't hungry and I'll probably get to hear "I'm hungry" 100 times before lunch.
  • I'm still in sweats and I'm not planning on changing until this afternoon when I actually have to leave my house.
  • I e-mailed some things out for work, only to discover a few hours later the VPN wasn't on so all the mail sat in my Outbox.
  • My marriage isn't perfect (funny how some days I really believe it is perfect), in fact we went to bed angry last night because we couldn't reach a resolution- yet I'm blessed to know it will be resolved today and put to rest because that is the type of man I married, he always makes sure, with time, that issues are worked on and dealt with.
  • I dressed Gabe in these cute baby legs that we purchased for Abby so I wouldn't have to mess with pants today, I think they look cute, John will hate them!
  • Played tag with the boys this morning only to have some unwelcome contractions, the boys were sad when we had to stop.
  • Drew spent all last week working on his memory verse, only to not remember when it was time to recite. Now we're working on two verses this week - John seems to have much better luck teaching him memory type learning than I.
It is still going to be a great day - its 64 outside and the windows are all open airing out the house. We're working on Drew's memory verse and writing phonics letter. Drew can't wait to paint his Fall ornaments and Gabe is quite involved in the train set that Drew made in his bedroom.

I'm so glad that on days like today, when I just want to focus on the not-right, I'm compelled to regroup and focus on all the blessings that are present in my life. I am sipping tea this morning, listing to the boys play trains, praying and meditating on the reality of my life - a great reality that life isn't perfect and that is just fine with me! If perfection were my goal then I'd be one unhappy person and if perfection were my reality then I'd have no need for my loving Savior.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First Day of Fall 2009



It was a perfect Fall day! It was in the 60's and windy for most of the day, I left my windows open in the house and it cooled to 68 degrees. We've spent the week thus far working on Fall projects. First John and Drew spent time together in the garage making a paddle boat, then the boys and I made all natural clay and finally we made dough ornaments out of Fall cookie cutters. All we have left is some painting. I just love Fall, its an end to the hot muggy weather and a beginning of the harvest season - a time for long, dark evenings at home sipping cocoa and reading books together. I love sitting in the yard with a blanket watching my breath or preparing the garden and flowerbeds for winter. So much fun things are in store! It also means the Home Makeover at church is about to begin and then our Fall camping trip to Dinosaur Valley.

Gabe is enjoying the Fall weather too, he is painting with us, playing with brown clay and enjoying all the new Fall books I just brought out.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happenings

We've had a week to adjust to the wonderful idea of having a little girl joint our family! She is very active these days, enjoying kicking and flipping around. I weighed myself yesterday and almost fell off the scale - at 19 weeks I have only gained 10 pounds! With the boys I'd gained 20+ by this point. I guess my metabolism likes the petite little girl inside, being sick for 16 weeks probably is the culprit, so now that I'm feeling better I'd better watch out!

Our week was spent nursing our sick cat Winston, he has kidney stones in his bladder and they blocked him from going to the bathroom. Three days at the vet and a catheter has allows him home on a special, low stress diet. Goodness! He is still not in full control of his bladder so we've confined him to the laundry room! I'm so tired of doing laundry, between the cat, two kids and a husband I'm working on 10 loads a week these days! We'd been saving for front end loaders, but the lovely vet bill took those funds away. Oh well, I'm still very grateful for my washer and dryer, when we were first married we didn't have money to buy any so for 6 months I had to visit the laundry mat every week. That was tough! It did make me appreciate my machines though!

The boys are doing well - its been raining so we're all a bit stir crazy. Their pre-school is going well and we're doing a little homeschooling in addition to school. Drew also started a Wednesday night bible time at our church - he loves it and I get to spend an hour and a half grocery shopping in peace. Its a win for everyone! I have been participating in a Precepts Bible study on Monday nights which is a wonderful blessing. The work is really tough but I'm learning a lot and get to trade the mommy role away for one night a week and exchange it for the student. Its a nice treat to start out my week. The mentoring program started at FBC Keller today, I was so excited to see I was able to keep the same mentors as last year. What a blessing! I just love this program and the encouragement and accountability it provides. Next week I get to briefly teach all the ladies how to make laundry soap!

Our house is decorated for Fall already (as you can tell by the pictures!), the weather noticed me putting everything up and decided to send down the rain. It has been overcast and in the 70's for a week, I just love it! I baked a yummy pear cake a few days back from a gardening magazine I received (wonderful recipe!)and Beer Cheese Soup tonight for dinner. I'm going to make one last batch of Pesto from the basil outside, but I don't think the basil will last too much longer. Its already starting to yellow on some of the ends. I just love Fall! Only 4 more days until its official!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Our Little Peanut is a......


We're so excited to welcome a little girl into our clan of boys! We went in today for our gender test and came out glowing with excitement. My placenta previa is no longer! The uterus has moved and the placenta is now 180 degree's from where it was two weeks ago... weird I know. I swear that two nights ago when I got up from bed, after some serious cramping, I looked bigger. My thought was, maybe I had a tipped uterus which is why I haven't really shown much? I wondered what today would show, I'm so excited that I don't have to worry about a previa!
The placenta is now perfectly where we want it! The lady also noticed some hair growing on our little girl's head, she asked if our other children had lots of hair because she typically doesn't see hair at 18 weeks. John and I both laughed since both boys have had tons of hair and I had a ton of indigestion!

I also received my first progesterone injection on Friday ... thanks to my wonderful husband who volunteered for the job. All seems well and right for the moment, I'm trying enjoy the moment of bliss and not think too much about the unknowns of possible pregnancy complications. So far everything looks just wonderful and I'm focusing on that!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Question

Drew asked me while driving to Preschool this morning, "Mommy, does God have a remote control that tells our car where to go?"

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Parenting Lessons - From Our Father Through The Vessel of Our Children


My lesson for this warm Thursday was, "Say "yes" as often as possible - God uses all opportunities to reveal himself through life's daily circumstances.

The day began as any other, I awakened my sleepy eyes too early for my liking, calls of "Mama" from the other room drew me to reality, and Drew's excited voice jumped to the euphony of classical music -- my day had begun.

We hurried through breakfast, packed lunches, and I sent oldest child ahead to dress and brush his teeth before school. When I arrived upstairs, I sighed and persuaded, "Drew. why are you wearing jeans to school? It is going to be hot and sweaty today, your not going to enjoy wearing pants." Believing I had won my argument I went into his drawer to find a pair of shorts to match his already worn shirt.

"But Mommy I want to wear jeans, their comfortable and I like them!"

I glanced at the clock, almost time to go, no time for Drew to argue with me. Then I heard a still small voice instantly whisper in my ear, "Why is it really that you don't want him to wear jeans to school?"

Since it was in the silence, I confessed to, No One in-particular, that "it was only the second day of school, little girls show up in cute little white dresses and boys in their new matching Gymboree outfits. I didn't want anyone to think I wasn't a good mother, or didn't have funds to buy my child nice clothes too." Then the Lord quietly reminds me that, "Preschool is for glue and scissors and dirt and sand and paint - there is no requirement for name brand clothing. Sigh, He is right. Why do I care what others think anyway, the way a 4 year old dresses shouldn't have any merit on what people think of him or me, its my child's character that I want people to notice - not name brand unstained clothes."

"I've got bigger issues like cultivating a heart of joy and obedience to work on, not what he wears to school" I quietly scold myself. "What better way to model love and joy than to let Drew pick out his own clothes and be excited for him that he can make independent decisions apart from me? Small Issue --No Big Deal."

I then think to myself, "I really need to relax and say "yes" more often - most issues are so small, why do I try and make them so big?" Alas, that 2 second conversation changed my heart and we were off to school -- in pants!

Fast forward to the afternoon pick up, I show up to the school and thought, "Way too many cars and people..." So I park in the newer section of the parking lot - far away from the endless rows of mini vans picking up their kids from their first week of school.

"The walk is long but the traffic is scarce!" I look over at the closer entrance, then I notice the Hearse in front. "So sad" I think to myself. "That is the third funeral this church has experienced just in the past month - at least that I know of, there were probably more."

I then remember Sally and her son who died mid July, then my mentor Johnnie and her blessed husband who died suddenly one August evening before bed. I take a minute to pray for them - "... how does one deal with that type of loss Lord, please comfort them and give them the stamina to make it through today..."

I confess aloud to my littlest one who is waiting patiently in his stroller, "We better get going." I glance at my watch, "I have time, I think I'll take the long way and avoid the sanctuary. I would hate to disturb the mourners with a loud stroller and a toddler babbling rhythms resembling The Entsy Weensy Spider."

I soon show my drivers license, pick up my energetic son, review all his talented art work pieces and fancy hand crafted hat. We then leave by way of the sanctuary, I say a prayer for the family, then explain to Drew that he needs to be quiet because there are people worshiping. He manages well until we get outside and he spies the Hearse.

"What is that giant black car mommy" Drew explodes in excitement.
"That is a very sad car, it carries the coffins and bodies of people who have died." I manage to get out before the endless questions insist.
"Is that how Grandpa Owl was taken to heaven." Drew questions matter of factually.

"Oh my, I really don't want to get into the whole conversation of cremation vs burial and our spirits being taken to heaven with my 4 year old, how do I get myself out of this one?" I think silently.

"No Drew, Grandpa Al didn't go away in a Hearse, remember we went to his funeral and he was placed in a little box, we have pictures I can show you when we get home?" Drew appeared to be satisfied with that statement because he was now on the hunt for where I had parked the car. He spied the car and informed me that he would wait in the grass while I put Baby Gabe into the car seat - a normal routine for our many pickups from preschool!

As I'm placing Gabe in the car seat I spy my child screaming and running across the sidewalk, he is intermittently and audible yelling, "ANTS....Mommy..... Help!" The cry gets my attention, it wasn't one of those "you'll be OK cries" it was a deep - petrified -helpless- cry of sheer fear.

Now being from Texas, all children, at least mine, freak out upon seeing one ant, but this cry, it didn't quite match the situation. So, I threw Gabe into the car, shut it, so he wouldn't escape and ran to find out what was so terrifying. It was then that I saw it - Drew's entire lower body covered in a sea of fire ants. I'd never seen so many on one person before -there were thousands! I did what any mother would do - react! The Lord must have given me direction because looking back on my response it was perfect for the situation. I unbuttoned Drew's jeans, pulled them straight down to his shoes inside out, then threw off his new Car tennis shoes which light up when you walk and ripped off the jeans with the ants nicely folded inside! The shirt I ripped over his head and he was bare clothed down to his underwear in the preschool parking lot for every mother and child to see. I think other parents though I had overreacted to an accidental clothe wetting or something because they all kept their horrified distance. I then proceeded to flick the last persisting ants off Drew's red scared body.

Drew then looks over at me and said with a smile, " Mommy, that was so fast, I'm so glad you saved me!" with all the fear gone from his voice. He then gave me a huge hug -- a stray ant biting my toe ruined the peaceful moment!

It was then that some parents realized the situation, offered towels and plastic bags for the clothes -- which reminds me, the ant stained clothes are still in my trunk, at last glance (about 5 hours ago) there were still hundreds of crawling devils dieing of heat stroke in my trunk. I need to go microwave then - at least that is what my husband said I needed to do -- microwave Drew's clothes in the bag. Gross, maybe he will do it when he gets home tonight!

As we were driving home and the adrenaline began to wear off, Drew quietly says, "Mommy, I'm so glad I wore pants today, otherwise those ants would have eaten my legs off!"

"Yes Drew, God loves you so much, He protected you from those nasty ants by making sure you wore pants today! I'm so grateful that God loves you even more than I do and that he knows just what we need when we need it."

We finished our drive home in thanksgiving to God for our safety and protection; in all Drew only had 12 ant bits over his body - but we both learned a priceless lesson about living for today, accepting God's plan, saying Yes more often, and enjoying all that God sends our way - good and bad.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Week 4: No Spending Month


Well, we're done. I think this was the hardest fasting month we've ever experienced. We've decided to move the fast next year to September when hopefully less is going on! This week we spent 89.50 on groceries due to the fact that we were adding extra food and such for our company and the bill posted a few days into the next week! . Other than that we enjoyed our media fast and time reading books. Drew loved Little House in the Big Woods - as did mommy! I did buy John some new clothes for work and the boys had to have new shoes for school, so that set me back about 75.00 but I used a lot of coupons and saved around 75% on everything I purchased. We also needed a new mattress (John's back has been giving him some issues and the mattress had to go) so the time we spent not buying things was spent researching a new mattress. We'll see if john ends up liking the one I picked out it arrived today!

I didn't get as much growth and contentment as I expected this fasting month. Spending a lot of time being sick, tired and unambitious are my excuses. We'll see how the next one goes in March when I'm not pregnant!

John did learn some interesting news today. Due to his Aid status he isn't allowed to coach, which was new to everyone including the principal who spent a lot of time arguing with upper management. Evidently the school needs 5 coaches and they only have 3 now that John is not able to participate. The good news is the principal offered him a job tutoring before school which pays better. Plus when John said that the principal could just hire him as a teacher, the principal replied, " you'll have the first shot at the next opening!" That is very exciting! We're praying that an opening comes up fast! Everyone at the school loves John and it seems to be a great fit! As an added bonus I don't have to attend football games!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First Day of Preschool 2009


The boys were so anxious this morning to get to school! Drew insisted on wearing his new "Cars" shoes which light up when you walk. Gabe insisted on taking his nighttime bear and blanket with him. Drew refused to eat breakfast this morning because he said, "I'm so excited I can't even eat! I'll have patience mommy and wait to eat my lunch with the Tinkerbell fruit snacks that you let me pick out."


Drew's new 4's class is a step up from last year, instead of Drew being an older student we chose to go with a class around the same age as him. So far it appears to be a great fit. He has some very organized and structured teachers who love to play and teach the children using lots of hands on materials. Both his teachers are wonderful, though he still says that "teacher Andrea is his favorite." Drew ran right into his class this morning and wasn't shy, he even made a friend named Abby!



Gabe wasn't so eager to go into his class. The teachers made a huge mistake and let a few parents into the classroom (which isn't suppose to happen based on church policy) and the whole class was in tears when I arrived. Gabe, my happy go lucky child who loves to be in new situations totally freaked out and was screaming when I left him. I waited behind the door for over a minute and he still was screaming. I then left knowing they would call if there was a problem. Gabe's teachers said he had a great day, despite the tearful start, and he made me a picture! Gabe loved playing on the playground but wasn't fond of the nap. He laid down for the whole time but never fell asleep (no surprise here!).

What a fun day the boys had learning and making new friends. I'm so excited for them!

Compare - Father & Son