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Showing posts from May, 2008

I Sing Because I'm Happy...

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At my writer's guild last month, a fellow writer shared a devotional based upon the great hymn, "His Eye Is On The Sparrow." I hummed along as she spoke and it occured to me that this song has deep meaning for me right now. Here are the lyrics:

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Refrain
I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.


“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Refrain

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing…

The Raging Battle

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I noticed that over the past couple of weeks, my posting has been sporadic. I try to be honest on this little blog of mine and share what's going on in my life and how God's speaking to me. But sometimes my little inner struggles seem so petty, I don't want to bore people with them.

I took on a new ministry position at church: Children's Ministry Director. I did purely out of obedience to God. I'm glad I've followed His leading and I'm excited to see what will follow, but it's required more time and planning and prayer than I had imagined. As I've stepped into the role, I've grown in my passion for the kids of our church and community.

So, I've been busy strategizing for Children's Ministry and planning Vacation Bible School.

In addition to that, I've been praying for a teaching job in the fall. Hiring for schools usually begins in the spring, so I've spent plenty of time getting my licensure all in order, creating a great resume…

Soaring

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The eagles that soar above me on my afternoon walks give me an example to follow. Read more of my devotion at Laced with Grace...




Thankful Thursday

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It seems like it was just Thursday yesterday...so how did it get here again so fast?

Some things I'm thankful for this week:

*Barbeques, potato salad, watermelon and jello cake

*Dinner out and a date night with my lifetime lover

*Turtles, minnows and worms...

*Bible Study - today was our last meeting for the year. Thanks ladies for a great study and for your sweet gifts of appreciation.

*A husband who is sold out for Jesus. He's going to be speaking this weekend to the men of our church (and community) about maintaining sexual purity in an immoral society.

*One first grade girl who braved the inside of a digestive system (a model at the children's museum)

*Another little girl singing about dinosaurs "We will, we will STOMP you! Woo!" and four in the bed (complete with a nightcap) at her end of the year program

*A God who never changes, who remains forever loving no matter what is going on



The Newest Addition to our Family

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On Saturday, my little guy was out digging through his daddy's minnow bucket, soaking himself through and killing the minnows by carrying them around in the palm of his hand. Fish are his pals. The bucket of sparkling water was muddy by day's end. The boy smelled like a fish fry and looked like, well...a boy. Peanut butter smeared on his face, mud under his fingernails and shirt wet through up to his elbows.

At the same time, his big sister was collecting bugs for her science project. A caterpillar sits in a big jar awaiting his moment of transformation and nearby lie water bugs, worms, and roly poly bugs.

So, when I went for my morning walk and saw a quarter-sized turtle, I knew I had made a great discovery. Timmy the turtle now makes his home in an old fish tank - at least some of the time. The rest of the time, he can be found in Tupperware containers, in the PlaySchool plastic barn, in the kiddie pool, or in a pudgy little hand.

Poor turtle. I thought I was rescuing him from …

Chronicles of Narnia - Prince Caspian - The Call

Last night, my husband and I enjoyed the new release in the Narnia series: "Prince Caspian." There were so many moments that caught my attention.

Is God still around when we can't see Him? When He doesn't swoop in and rescue us? Can we have faith like the child Lucy, trusting in God's power even when it is unseen?

What makes a good leader? Someone with experience or someone with a heart for the people? Or someone whose trust is completely in God and not in self?

My favorite moment was when Prince Caspian sees Aslan for the first time. He says he doesn't feel ready to be the king. Aslan responds, "That's how I KNOW you are ready."

The battles in this epic story are imaginary, but they represent the battles we face every day in this world. Battles for freedom and the hope of peace.

I dedicate this song to the men and women who have fought for our country bravely, trusting in something, SomeOne bigger than themselves.

Thankful for KIDS

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I was trying to have an adult conversation on the telephone and make some ministry plans. But, the kids kept interrupting my conversation with real and imagined needs.

"I need a drink."

"I need a snack."

"My fish is dead," (he waves it in front of my face, dripping slime all over the carpet), "and I want to bury him in the garden."

"I'm bleeding!!!"

"So-and-so is riding her bike down the hill, can I go with her?"

Is it urgent?

"Yes - she's riding down the hill RIGHT NOW and it can't wait."

Then, in walks Darth Vader in his snowmobiling helmet. I "hohhh" NEED "hohhh" YOU "hohhhh"

Time to get off the phone. Grown-up conversations may need to wait for a little while longer. Darth Vader and his big sister with the bleeding lip NEED me.

Sometimes I resent being needed so much, so often, so interminably. And right about then I hear a deep sign from the adult on the other end of the line who…

Live Dangerously

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When the missionary guest speaker at church on Sunday called us to be fully engaged and to live dangerously, I don't think THIS is what he had in mind...

I saw a little window pop up on my computer and instead of shooing it away like the nasty bug it was, I looked and listened and got caught in its trap. So, I spent the rest of the day yesterday, HOURS, saving data away from my infected computer, so I could clean it up. I think I fumigated the little bugger, but I'm still living in some fear around here. Did I catch EVERY one of its little files? (By the way, the little guy is called "XP Antivirus 2008")

Is someone peeking over my shoulder at every online transaction I make? ARG! Actually, instead of living more fully, I'm living more fearfully. And instead of living more dangerously, I'm living more cautiously.

Well, it's okay for me to be a little more cautious about what I'm doing on the computer, but I want to be fully engaged in real life. I want…

A Better Way to a Beautiful Home

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"The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it."
Ralph Waldo EmersonI always wished my home could be something in "Better Homes and Gardens." Haven't you? I look at the photographs and compare my own furnishings and decorating scheme to the beautiful color coordinated rooms in each picture. But when I really think about it, something important is missing from those picture perfect homes.People.It's the people in the home and the friends who frequent it that make it more than a building with four walls. It's the barbecues, the tea parties, the Bible studies and the baby showers that make a building a home. It's the birthday parties, the sleepovers, the water balloon fights and the game nights that make this place beautiful.People can also make my home dirty. Maybe that doesn't happen around your house...but it sure does around here. For a while, I fought the frustration of seeing the messes kids make. I was weary from the work of trying t…

Economics

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Gas costs $3.79 a gallon and since we live in the middle of nowhere, we drive everywhere. Grocery costs have gone up by 20-30% and everything else seems to be following suit. The media brodcasts our economic plight daily with a plummeting DOW, inflation and a host of other words like "recession." People's stomachs are tied in knots trying to figure out how to weather this economic storm.

And yet, here I sit in my well-insulated home, at my computer, with a full stomach. Here's a few sobering statistics that have kept things in perspective for me:

*At least 54% of the world's population lives on less than $3 a day

That's MORE THAN HALF THE WORLD!!!

*91% of the world lives on less than $10,000 a year.

Which means most of us are in the top 10% of the world when it comes to finances.

So, what was it we were grumbling about?

Grow in Grace

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Somehow, despite the odds, this plant is thriving. There's a story behind it...
Go read about it today in my devotional at Laced with Grace.

Count your blessings one by one...

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My daughter can count to one hundred and beyond. My son can count to twenty-thirty. Ann Voskamp has counted to One Thousand. I'm just happy to keep counting

My blessings, that is!

1. Library story hour for toddlers. It's so fun to see my son engaged in singing and listening to books.

2. Friends. When we get to the library, little man rushes in to see if his pals are already there.

3. Company. Dinner tastes better with extended family or church family gathering at the same table. The conversations, like iron on iron, spark enthusiasm for my walk of faith.

4. Time. Though time seems to be standing still for me right now, I'm so blessed to have these moments with my kids. Time to read to them and time to play Barbies. Time for hugs and snuggles on the couch. Time to watch them ride bikes down the street or play softball.

5. Fellowship. The encouragement I receive from my fellow writers at our guild meetings always makes me soar.

6. My husband. Though it someti…

A Whisper of Freedom MEME

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Tricia Goyer is at it again. She has kept us on the edge of our seats through two dynamic novels chronicling the American involvement in the Spanish Civil War (pre-World War II days). The third book in the Spanish war series, A Whisper of Freedom, is now available.

In this sequel, the main characters carry a truckload of gold artifacts and the dreams of an even greater treasure hunt. The pursuit of treasure leads them each down different paths, into caves, into France, or into South America. Could the gold save the Spanish people from the devastation of war?

The story is engaging and full of twists and unexpected turns. I hope you take the time to read it!

But, as I was reading about these characters and all that gold, I was wondering how a treasure so immense would affect me. Join me by participating in the following meme.


1. List three things you would do with a chest full of gold (assuming you got to keep it!)
I would nervous having so much gold. It would too easy for it to become an…

Mother's Day Blessings...

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Sheila, at Timothy Moms, has given me a sweet mother's day gift. She is honoring mothers who train their children up to follow Christ. Thank you Sheila! What an honor. Here is the description of this award:

A mom, who, like Eunice and Lois (see 2 Timothy 1:5,15), makes it her aim to teach her kids the scriptures and not only teach but live a life of genuine faith in Christ before her children, laboring in love to see Christ formed in them.

The Invisible Woman

You may have read this story before, but I wanted to link to the original presentation of "The Invisible Woman" as performed by Nicole Johnson.

The Mom Song Sung to William Tell Overture with Lyrics

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On a lighter note, enjoy the following "Mom Song."

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Mom

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I was thirteen years old, mature beyond my years, and wiser than most adults. Or so I thought. On Sunday mornings, I worked with the two and three year old Sunday School class as a teacher’s assistant. After church was over, I would walk into the sanctuary and try to find my parents amidst the mass of people. Well, let’s be honest. I WAS thirteen. I was hoping NOT to find my parents.

From far across the room, I heard a loud silly laugh. My mother’s calling card. Though I was shorter than everyone else in the room, I could find her by her laughter. At thirteen, I was embarrassed. Didn’t she see that everyone in the room could hear her laughing so loudly? And in church, for goodness sake!

There she was, over by the piano, yucking it up with her friends. I was mortified. She wore a bright colored flowery blouse, which only added to her colorful personality. Her joy spilled over onto the people gathered around her.

At thirteen, I didn’t really know much about my mother. I …

Thankful Thursday

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Lord, this week You've shown Yourself to me in so many places lately. Here are a few:

*The birds singing sweetly out my window

*A big girl riding a bike with TWO wheels and two wheels only (and no spills yet!)

*Gourmet Pork Chops, barbequed chicken, fried fish, grilled shrimp... (made by my lifetime lover)

*A loving family who blessed me this weekend with a great gift wrapped up in Christmas paper!

*Softball games in the mud and the rain.

*Kids covered with dirt from cheeks and noses to grimy little toes

*Hanging the laundry out on the line to dry

*Power walks with a friend

*Dirt under my fingernails

*A new bike (with training wheels) for Missy, our second daughter (I'm grateful that broken bikes can be exchanged for working ones)

*A freezer quickly filling up with fish

*Creativity and beauty (I'm enjoying scrapbooking)

*Those Aha! moments when reading Scripture (Read some of Tuesday's In Other Words this week - amazing)


Thanks Iris, for hosting Thankful Thursdays!

WordFilled Wednesday

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Fish courtesy of Daddy and his girl.

The Most Glorious Romance

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Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her.
Hosea 2:14

He loves her; she loves him not. He loves her; she loves him not. She loves him, he loves her; she loves him not. It's an unending cycle of unfaithfulness, plaintive pleas for forgiveness, proclaimed love, and then unfaithfulness again.




In our day and age, we would tell the guy to give up on this kind of adulteress. She causes him pain with her every move. She disrespects his undying love for her and belittles his patience and adoration.


Unrequited love. It makes for a tragic love story, powerfully moving, but painfully disappointing. You know what it was like in High school when you had a crush on a guy and he didn't even know you existed? That pales in comparison.

I'm thankful I can say that I've never felt the sting of adultery. But, I know quite a few who have. It's ugly. The agony of being cast aside for a newer model is excruciating.


That's how God feels.


Thirty-eight?

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I remember my sixteenth birthday party. A bunch of Christian girls came over to eat cake and watch "Sixteen Candles" with Molly Ringwold. My dad sat in the living room with us girls for a few minutes...until the movie got a little dicey for him. Poor Molly - remember her grandma feeling her up? All of my sweet and innocent girlfriends were pretty embarrassed too. We were still so pure and naive at sixteen.

I remember the pink roses my mom got me with sugar cubes interlaced throughout. It was indeed a sweet birthday. I looked forward to my birthdays back then - a day for Mom and Dad to pamper me with my favorite meals and gifts.

These days, I'm inching closer to the big 4-0. Don't tell my mom that though. She's still pretending to be 40 herself! And in my mind she is. Eternally 40. That's about how old she and Dad were when I graduated High school so they've maintained that age in my mind.

And I guess that means I still think I'm eighteen! Except that my …

Laced with Grace - No Fear!

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I'm over at Laced with Grace today talking about FEAR. The kind that keeps you up at night and immobilizes you. Click on the butterfly to meet me over there!



Introducing...

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The NEW Internet Cafe...




The cafe is a place to kick back, grab a virtual chair at our table, and allow God to fill your cup to running over. It's addictive, but only He can satisfy the craving of your soul. Join us for your daily dose of inspiration.

You'll find both new and seasoned devotional writers over there every day. So, grab a mug of non-fat, sugar-free mocha and join me for a morning meditation.

If you ever wondered why I call myself a "Mommy Monk," head on over to read my devotional for today.

*Just click on the coffee cup to get in the door.