Saturday, April 30, 2011

Blessings

I've been touched so much by the song Blessings by Lora Story, its been on the radio the last few weeks and it challenges my flesh in every way imaginable. This place in Texas is not my home, this is a mere blink of an eye compared to the amazing life that awaiting me in Heaven. I just finished the book Heaven Is For Real, which also spoke to me a lot about eternity and living with the end in mind. Both this song and the book changed my whole perspective on Heaven - the facts from the Bible are the same, but the book brought out the reality of what awaits believers - that Heaven is so real and so amazing and so worth every ounce of pain I've been through on this earth. The book challenged me to  be more purposeful in my prayer life, it developed more of a passion for others salvation and brought a deeper love for my family - my first mission field. Heaven is my eternal home, this place I'm in right now is a brief stop, which is necessary for my real life work - the work that last forever in heaven with my Papa. 

My most  treasured blessings have come through raindrops,
the trial of my life have shown me more about God's character & love for mankind, 
The pain remind me that this place is not my home, 
In fact, the more pain I am in, the more I long for heaven.


Heaven is my home and the home God created for all mankind,
God created a Hell for fallen angels, demons and satan,
God's mission isn't to make us happy, 
Its to reveal Himself to a lost and broken and perverse me - and you.

Gods desire is that none should perish.
but that choice had to be left to each individual.
We must have free will, otherwise we're just puppets acting out a pre-scripted play.
Salvation must be made by each person out of our own broken will.


Pain is God's way of drawing us to Himself, 
Life on earth sets the stage for the real life work of eternity.
Hell is real, it wasn't meant for us, but it is where those who die without Christ's blood live.
Hell is separation from all that is good, 
it is exponentially worse than the most horrific horror movie.
Hell too is for eternity, its permanent and no longer exchangable.
While we're alive we still have a choice to change eternity.


Heaven is available to all, but the way is narrow and the journey hard,
Few choose to truly sell out of Jesus and follow  the narrow path,
Few choose to think ahead to heaven,
Most get trapped by the world,
Live life for themselves and forget that this is not home. 

Salvation is a choice, 
in faith in the unseen God who designed our very being,
Faith filled living is hard and permanent,

On earth saving faith produces fruit that changes us from the inside out,
Most importantly, it changes the eternity of those on this earth.


In heaven our purpose will be revealed on into eternity,
In heaven I'll sit at my Papa's feet and he'll teach me all I need to know,
I'll be given a new body and wings to fly!


God's healing comes through tears,
My greatest disappointments and the aching of this life,
is the revealing of a greater thirst,
that this world can't satisfy
the rain.
the stars.
the hardest nights.
Are God's mercies in disguise.


The pain reminds us that this is not our home. God's unmerited favor towards us is revealed through pain, that pain draws us to God who is the keeper of our eternity.

 But God demonstrates his love for us 
by the fact that the Messiah died for us 
while we were still sinners.
Romans 5:8 

(Please pause  (II) music to right to listen uninterrupted)



Williams Family Book Favorites



Williams' Favorite Books:
Adult Books on Reading to Children
Mission To Motherhood By Sally Clarkson
The Read Aloud Handbook By Jim Trelease
Read For The Heart By Sarah Clarkson
Hey! Listen To This: Stories To Read Aloud By Jim Trelease
Honey For A Child’s Heart By Gladys Hunt
Children’s Bible Comprehension
Jesus Story Book Bible By Sally Lloyd Jones
Teach Them To Your Child By Sarah Wean
Big Truths For Little Kids By Susan Hunt
Hymns For A Child’s Heart By Bobbie Wolgomuth & Joni Eareckson Tada
My ABC Bible Verses By Susan Hunt
Dangerous Journey ~ The Story of Pilgrims Progress By Oliver Hunkin, John Bunyan and Alan Parry
The Children’s Book of Faith By William Bennett
Children’s Books on Character
The Squire & The Scroll By Jennie Bishop
The Princess & The Kiss By Jennie Bishop
Hedge of Thorns Rewritten by Mary Hamilton Lamplighter Publishing
The Princess & 3 Knights By Karen Kingsberry
Brave Young Knight By Karen Kingsberry
The Children’s Book of Virtues By William Bennett
The Children’s Book Of Hero’s By William Bennett
Top 10 Children’s Titles
Roxaboxen By Barbara Cooney
Miss Rumphius By Barbara Cooney
Over and Over By Charlotte Zoloto
My Mama Had A Dancing Heart By Libba Moore Gray
Ox Cart Man By Donald Hall
The Little Ships By Louise Borden
Bunny Bungalow By Cynthia Rylan
Frog and Toad Readers By Arnold Lobel
1 Is One By: Tasha Tudor
Favorite Children’s Authors
Barbara Cooney
Charlotte Zoloto
Sally Lloyd Jones
Beatrix Potter
Ruth Krauss
Arnold Lobel
Rober McCloskey
Tasha Tudor
James Herriot
Steven Kellogg
Margaret Wise Brown
=====================================================================
Links for Online Literature
For a more comprehensive list of living books to read aloud, for ages 3-5 go to: http://simplycharlottemason.com/planning/eyguide/eyreadalouds/
OR check out www.amblesideonline.org for list by author or topic for children ages 1-10
Check out Between The Lion on PBS to have famous authors read aloud to children: http://pbskids.org/lions/stories/ and www.storylineonlin.net.
For More on Classical Education visit the Arlington Book Fair May 6 & 7, 2011: SCM at Home School Book Fair in Arlington, Texas





Thursday, April 28, 2011


883. Gabers asking to listen to the food song. "The what song?" I ask. You know Momma, the song, "Whatever you eat, or drink, do it all for the Glory of God song?" I love it that my kids love singing and they love scripture. They haven't a clue that these words they hide in their hearts now, will remain with them their whole lives. The Word, precious words from their Father, are powerful words that can speak peace, breath fire, and convict souls.

884. A week of simple being home - nothing planned, no outings required, no commitments. A week long sabbatical to get  back to living out joy. Where are you joy? I'm finding you in the simple, the unhurried, in the messy long days, in the tortilla throwing contests in our backyard. 

885. My wise husband who offers sweet words of conviction, assurance of his love and help during times of struggle.

886. Easter celebrating with faith, family, and friends!

887. Empty tomb Easter morning - Advent - celebrating Christ's future return!

888. My new van! I  can't believe God worked it all out so perfectly!

889. Son who is "in love" with Math - his words not mine! Our 1st grade math arrived this week and I couldn't resist getting it out. Drew has already mastered the first week of 32 and is on to week 2. He loves math, like his daddy!

890. Great time ministering to mom's and encouraging them to read, read, read, to their children. The  talk went better than I dreamed, thanks to God's covering with the holy spirit and wise words that were spoken from my heart. I had so many women call or talk to me about this struggle, so blessed to have been able to serve these sweet hearted moms.

891. Time alone in the morning with my Bible - I  can't express how much I need that to start my day. Many years ago, I remember wondering how I could ever enjoy reading my Bible and struggling with the discipline of daily study. Back then I would go weeks without opening those pure words. I struggled for so long and God just kept telling me to "press on." Then one day I began praying, I prayed that I'd truly love God with my whole heart and committed to daily disciplined time - I started with 5 minutes. It was in this consistency and prayer that my time with the Lord began to change me.  I began to NEED God for my very existence. I needed all that He had to offer and now,  a few years later, I can't imaging how I'd get through a day without time alone with my Jesus. God gave me that gift of revealing himself! I am so blessed.

892. Little girl with her first set of piggy-tails!
893.  Cousins - my children's very first cousin!

894. Favorite flowers in bloom - Lilly's. My garden is littered with them - all in reds and yellows and pinks!

895. Girls in pink dresses with flowers and bare feet!


896. Reading time together with my boys - working our way through the Dangerous Journey - a children's version of Pilgrims Progress. What lessons and insight we are all learning as we tackle this journey together.

897. Sunday Sabbaths - our family day of rest! James Herriot has quickly become a Sunday favorite!

898. Easter Cross Scones with 5 types of preserves.


899. Driving to preschool in my new van - I'm just so thankful for the Lord's provision and the space we have for all our stuff!

900. Time spent encouraging a friend and receiving encouragement in return. I truly have the best friends in the whole world!

901. A box of shoes for my Cutie Petunia Abby - a gift from one of those best friends!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Long Enough

FOR......

PIG TAILS!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Life

My children exhaust me, sometimes they do the stupidest silliest things,  life is a constant balancing act with many unexpected happenings each day, just a few recaps from today of my children doing childlike things that tested my patience and resolve:
  • Drew went flying over the couch in a giant hurry, skidded onto one of our favorite books and ripped a page out. 
  • I walked into my office to find one of my children had opened a gift I had set aside  for a friends birthday - just because it looked interesting and momma wasn't around to say "no".
  • One child dumped a good % of mommy's favorite coffee creamer into said child's tea, leaving mommy little to nothing for her morning coffee.
  • Said child placed his shedding dog in my brand new mini van that was detailed moments earlier, getting children to pick up hundreds of blond dog hairs out of the car was next to impossible!
  • The boys were using the manipulatives from our math lesson as swords, they proceeded to poke each other in the eye, cry and whine because the other sibling hurt them.
  • Boys fought over the same two feet on the couch,  there is about 10 feet on either side available for sitting, why didn't one just move over?
  • The boys attacked the Fedex man with swords when he delivered a package today,  all in the name of "protecting" mommy from the bad guys. I guess the Fedex man is use to it by now, good thing we give him lots of Almond Roca at Christmas time each year.
  • One child let the dogs out of the pantry while we were eating lunch, before I noticed one of the dogs ate all of Abby's lunch off her tray.
I did catch myself chuckling this afternoon as, 
  • I was trying to work with the boys on our math lesson, the dogs bark, the phone rings twice in 5 minutes,  Abby won't stop whining and then finally pukes all over the manipulatives and ottoman. What could I do but laugh and postpone the rest of math for another day.
  • Listening to Drew sing "My BODY lies over the ocean... oh bring back my body to me!" 
Lord, You know getting back into a rhythm since Christmas has been a struggle for me. Please grant me joy and patience to be the light and testimony that I know is within, I desperately need your presence in my life, I need time with You each day, I need time alone to meditate, I need your strength. I have this beautiful picture of the day each morning, but somewhere between dirty diapers, arguing children, messes all over the house, phones ringing, and the door bell deliveries, that beauty is forgotten. Help me to cling to my first love each moment of every day. You are my rock, may I never stray from the protection of your wings. Lord help me to find Joy!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Slowing Down Time through Camping


"I want to live life as if it isn’t an emergency~
because it isn’t.

it is a gift...
in giving thanks, we get more time
... we see each moment as it is,
 seed:
and the attentiveness slows. time. down.
life is not an emergency ~
giving thanks,
gives us time...
 time to enjoy the gift!"

~A, Voskamp ~ 



868.  Bi-Annual camping trip with old and new friends.
869. Sweet new friends who brought a canoe and let us all indulge in the lake beauty!
870. Mud Flights in the lake between father and son.
871. Conversations around the fire about heaven and witnessing to unbelievers through the godly patterns in our lives.
872.  The laughter of my sweet friend Nicole, she is such a special friend to me, one who "gets" me and is always encouraging me when I'm down. I am so blessed that God gave her a servants heart, that delivered a meal and visited me in the hospital - who knew a deep friendship of like minded women would blossom.
873. The moon so bright that our tent was illuminated all night long.
874. The laughter of children chasing and running and riding and skipping and leaping and somersaulting up and down the sidewalk where we camped.
875. My little blue eyed blessing who loved to cuddle and sing with me around the campfire. Gabe is not as social as his older brother, he was quite content to sit on my lap and ask for stories and songs and munch on his lone marshmallow.
876. A camper with a bathroom for those emergency trips to the restrooms when little ones can't hold it.
877. My little girly who even though she wasn't feeling too well, still had a wonderful time and gave us lots of smiles and giggles.
878. The next generation of best friends - Lia and Abby sharing the fun bike together!

879.  Sweet aging dog who loves camping and seems to "smile" a lot and act like a puppy despite her weary hips.
880. Setting up tents in the 50 mph wind storm - made for a lot of laughs.
881. Relaxing on the lake with friends while watching Drew run back and forth in the water.
882.Joy watching children play and make new friends.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Release & Learn


Our study on butterflies has reached its finale.
We sang "Metamorphosis, meta meta morphosis.:

We learned about Migration!

We released our butterflies to our yard and wished them a happy 5 more days of life!
Now we're comparing as our Moths are still cocooning in a terrarium in our laundry room.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Abby @ 15 Months

Abby is 15 months old! I took her in for a well visit - her first actual well visit since she was 9 months old! We actually  were able to use the well child door! I'm so glad it is Spring and RSV and Pneumonia season are over! Here were Abby's stats:

Weight: 20 lbs, 15 oz
Height: 27 inches or 2 feet, 3.5 inches
Head: 17.5 Inches

In the last few months she has made great headway and is actually meeting  "age" appropriate developments. Just tonight I let her eat with a spoon and fork and a real plate - it was so messy but she was so proud of herself! She even managed a few bite-fulls of her own! Her latest development I'm not so found of - she is beginning that separation anxiety phase. Twice last week she was crying when I picked her up - normally she hasn't a clue I left and is excited when I return. She rarely cries for me  when I'm gone - hopefully she will outgrow this soon!

Abby is walking like a champ! She more waddles which makes it even more cuter! She just got 3 teeth last week - two upper front and the  incisor to the left of the  front left. Abby loves jabbering and getting into mischief! Her favorite past time is taking all the books off the shelf or out of the baskets, and throwing the Tupperware all over the kitchen floor! Abby loves her food and is finally able to eat solids! She had veggies for the first time without getting sick last week.

My baby is growing up!

Abby @ 1 month, just days off the ventilator, still weighing about 5 pounds.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Slowing Down Time

Giving thanks for one thousand things 
is ultimately an invitation to slow down time 
with the weight of full attention.
~ A. Voskamp ~

850. Studying life science through the lens of baby eaglets, what a wonderful time of technology we live in. I'd never dreamed that I could show my children God's creation through a live video feed. The boys and I have grown so fond of the three baby eaglets and their hard working Momma and Daddy! Our studies have brought about  great conversations and many observations.


851. Metamorphosis! Our green caterpillars have finally cocooned and will hopefully emerge in a few weeks as Hummingbird Hawk Moths. They too have been a fascinating study in life science.



852. A little boy who is suddenly fascinated with reading! I'm so excited that Drew is enjoying reading and loves to sit still for 20 minutes and read to me. I'm so proud of how far Drew has come and the hard work and perseverance he has shown!

853.  My sweet husband who scheduled a masseuse to come over and give me a massage on a  relaxing Saturday night. John  even put the kids to sleep and cleaned the house so when I was done I could just relax.

854. Sweet smiles from my cranky, teething little girl after a much needed icy for her gums!

855. The joy of finding our butterfly's had emerged from their crasylis while we were at church Sunday morning,

856. Deep conversations about God, sin, grace, & forgiveness.  Drew made a statement while we were talking that if you lied you would go to Hell. We had a  great conversation about the blood of Jesus and how his gift of salvation covers our sins. We also talked about true faith which doesn't use the freedom of Christ as a license to sin.

857.  Getting out our Easter tomb and preparing our hearts for this lent season.

858. Laughter at the diaper tree I made trying to let the sun bleach Abby's cloth diapers. They smell so much better now - thanks sis for the advice! John and I just laughed so hard when I looked out the window to see my tree covered in diapers, it didn't seem so funny when I was putting them up there!

859. Family time Sunday, together reading James Herriot - All Creatures Great &  Small. 
The  boys loved the stories of God's special creatures, they now want to move out to a farm!

860. Time to myself on a Saturday morning, enjoying my Bible, coffee, classical music and a  candle. There is something so peaceful and rejuvenating about getting up early - too bad getting out of bed is so blasted hard most mornings!

861. Handy husband who fixes my screen door!

862. Back pain that reminds me why I have to work out, otherwise I  can't move most of the day!

863. Sweet & sincere comment from a nursery worker that made my morning!

864. Walking little one who loves to be involved in all that we do!

865. Time at night talking to my husband and being encouraged to press on towards the prize!

866. Meditating this week on Isaiah 55:11

"""So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
         It will not return to Me empty,
         Without accomplishing what I desire,
         And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it." 

867. Finished Precept study on 1 Thessalonians - I'm so blessed to have made the time to put into the study of God's word. I've learned so much about context  and word studies and Greek and Hebrew, It is such a gift to  be able to study God's Word! 1 Thessalonians taught me so much about encouragement and the  building up of the body of Christ. I was challenged to rid my life of sin, pray fervently with anticipation, give thanks in all things with a joy filled spirit, and walk in a manner worthy of the calling of Christ.  I'm especially grateful for our teacher Sally who diligently articulates God's word to her small group of women who long to hear from God each week! I am so blessed to have found this Precept study that roots and grounds me in God's Word.

867. The anticipation of a Sunday Sabbath nap!



Thursday, April 7, 2011

Abby's New.....

TEETH! Sweet girly of mine has finally, at 15 months, earned some teeth! Abby was so crabby today, she cried during my mom's group and was inconsolable.  I thought she was sick because she is never that fussy - especially for others. Then, I looked in her mouth and she had three sparkly teeth protruding from her upper gums. No wonder! After 6 months of teething, she finally has some upper teeth! She is still fussy, but a cold Popsicle did wonders for the pain this afternoon.

BUMP = You can see in the picture that she fell and whacked her head on the brick flowerbed. I actually heard the thumb, but she was a trooper. After a few minutes she was off and running again. I can't believe she is walking!

My baby is growing up too fast!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cartoon


This is so me - I thought I was the only one who struggled with getting her daughter's diaper changed in a regular fashion, I never had this trouble with the boys! Poor Abby!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Brush Strokes of God's Language

This afternoon Drew and I were marveling at God's created beauty and I remarked, "Can't you just picture God painting the strokes on butterfly wings, what a creative and beautiful God we serve." I expected some nodding, or anything to show that Drew was in agreement, but instead he just looked at me,  perplexed,  and then remarked, " Mom, that isn't true! God didn't paint the butterflies, he spoke them into existence." I was quite impressed with his theology, so I played dumb and asked, "What do you mean by spoke?" Drew's response was so matter of fact, "Well, remember back in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth - he spoke them into existence. Just like my Bible says!" After  telling Drew he was very correct, I then asked, "So, when God spoke the butterfly into existence, don't you think he painted a picture in His mind of what that butterfly was to look like?" After a  few seconds Drew replied, "Well I guess so, but  I want to know, "How does God speak mommy? I mean, has God actually spoken to you? I've never heard him talk to me out-loud."

What sweet questions from an inquisitive and very thoughtful little boy. Drew's question to me  isn't too far off from what most people ask. Does God speak to people, if so, how does God speak?

For me personally, God speaks through repeated messages, I'll hear a sermon, then someone will normally speak words affirming that message, then if its a decision I need to make I'll get a sense of what I'm suppose to do. A few times the Lord has spoken to me in dreams, or through the medium of a close friend who has shared with me something the Lord had laid on their heart. Often times the Lord speaks to me through His creation  - I love beauty and capturing beauty almost always opens my eyes and ears to God's message.

Always, whatever the situation is,  it backed up by contextual scripture. Most of the time I get a feeling or stirring in my mind, an idea works itself out and then a sense of peace fills my mind. So for  example,  if I have a decision to make, I'll pray about it, get a word from God, then rest on it for a few days. If the sense of peace is still present I'll bring that up to my husband and we'll decide the best route together.  I love it that my husband respects and even asks for my insight, John feels very strongly that the Lord often speaks through me, his wife, and takes that into careful consideration.

I just love the unique and creative  ways the Lord speaks to me. Last night He spoke through the  affirming words of believers. Last night, the Lord had given me a verse " For my ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts, declares the Lord." That verse aligned with many other verses and thoughts that were shared in our cell group. Finally, near the end, that same verse the Lord had given me earlier, was shared aloud  to the entire group. I believe those messages were for all the believers present, pushing us into the ministry of serving unbelievers with a steadfast and immovable love. God's way look so strange to the world and even to believers  that sometimes we doubt that the vision or passion is from God.  Christian's are called to a radical and crazy love - that is what we were being challenged with last night. God spoke, believers were in agreement and that agreement was aligned with the Word of God - our plumb line. God's word was shared for our action and the building up of the body of Christ.

Recently I was  talking with an unbeliever and they asked the same question that Drew asked earlier today, "Does God really speak to you, is He really that personal?" I believe God is in the intimacy business and speaking to His children is very much part of an active and relational closeness with God. God still speaks - in fact one of the great joys of being in communion with  Jesus, is that He speaks directly to His children. We don't have to go through pastors or mediums or priests -  we can go straight to the throne of God and listen to Him speak into our lives. What a joy to be a believer in Jesus Christ - that same God who spoke with world into existence also speaks life and direction into believers lives!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sweet Sabbath

For this weeks Sabbath rest, I picked one of my favorite story tellers - James Herriot. My Aunt Beth sent me a book of James Harriot's favorite stories when I was very little. She knew I just loved animals and wanted to be a veterinarian when I got older. So for our Sabbath we read the first chapter from this book, which was the best stories from James Herriot. I loved looking at the Yorkshire countryside pictures when I was young and always dreamed of going to Derby and seeing the home of James Herriot.

Reading this book to my children brought back many memories of sitting in my little apartment room, where the window was eye level with the shrubs and bushes. I'd look out that beautiful Oregon window on the hill of Sexton Mountain while being engrossed with Harriot's many adventures. The book encouraged my love for all creatures great and small - hence Melissa's Multitudes was birthed and a few dozen animals were saved loved - birds, rabbits, cats, dogs, horses, mice, hamsters, gerbil. Seriously, our home,  even now,  looks like a small animal vet - we have 2 dogs, 1 cat, 1 frog, 3 caterpillars which will be butterfly's and 7 caterpillars which will turn into hummingbird hawk moths. I am just fascinated with living creatures and I think I may have accidentally passed that along to my children!


The boys didn't find the book as fascinating as I did - mainly because the language was a lot harder than they are use to and the pictures were not quite what the kids were use to. Harriot's writings are beautifully choreographed, written like a true story teller,  and his use of vocabulary quite advanced for a 3 and 6 year old's comprehension. Never the less, they enjoyed the descriptive language that brought images to their minds - especially the scene where 5 crazy dogs meet Herriot as he interviews for a vet position in derby. It was a sweet family time of scones, classical music, and the Best of James Herriot. Though - I did manage to forget to buy Raspberry preserves - mental note for next week!

I just ordered this children's book by James Herriot  for next week's Sabbath, we might need to start out with some easier vocab and work our way up to the real thing. Drew was in love with the idea of being a veterinarian, at one point he asked, "Mommy, is it ok to bring horses into the vet's office, even if they poop on the floor and can't fit through the door?" I explained that large animal vets actually go to the property and take care of the animals, only the really sick get transported to the Animal hospital. That conversation lasted about 10 minutes as we discussed horse trailers, animal hospitals, and such. I just love that boy!

After we had scones and books, John graciously cleaned up the kitchen and I spent some time out tending to the garden while the kids napped, then I snuck away for a nap of my own. It was delightful!

Finally we headed off to our church cell group and spent time listening to the Lord speak through believers, worshiping in community, and praying for one another. A couple in our team was so gracious to plan for Abby to be prayed over this evening - she has been sick for most of her life and it meant so much to us for our church body to lay hands on her and pray for healing. Today was certainly a Sweet Sabbath!
Abby looks so grown up in this picture!