Friday, October 31, 2008

Fun idea- do it.

My friend, Kerry, had this on her blog... See if you can answer these "6" questions!

6 TV shows I like to watch: 1) Down Under Horsemanship 2) Hannity and Colmes 3) I don't watch t.v. very much 4) Sitcoms suck out your brains 5)Read a book 6) Find a hobby central (Hehehe- no offense to those t.v. watchers- Maybe it is the other way around and I am missing out on great shows.

6 Restaurants I like to eat at: 1) Red Robin 2) Cheese Cake Factory- oh, how I miss that 3)Sonic 4)Pho Green Papaya 5)In and Out- yet another to miss 6)Si Senor

6 Things that Happened today: 1) I finally got to wake up and not have boxes to unpack (shhh- don't mention the pictures to be hung!) 2)Studied the Living Word of God to feed my soul and renew my spirit (hehehe) 3)Brushed my hair and made a bunch of static electricity 4)Caught up on my facebook comments and emails 5)Read my buddies blogs, very fun 6) Did my banking and wanted to cry that money disappears so quickly, but takes forever to make.

6 Things I am looking forward to: 1)Dinner at the Roberson's 2) Telling my kids they need to keep their Halloween candy in the kitchen and not their rooms to keep bugs away (when in reality, I just need easier access to their stash!) 3) Working at the pregnancy clinic and getting to ultrasound little bitty babies all afternoon 4)Riding my stinky little mare someday 5)Meeting Jesus face to face and getting a hug 6)Everyone to wake up!

6 Things on my wish list:1) A leaf blower 2)Wisdom beyond King Solomon's 3)Safety for my kids tonight as they do their own thing on Halloween for the first time 4) To have more hours in a 24 hour period 5)That I would get a filter for my mouth 6)That I would win the lottery- and someone would give me a lottery ticket so I COULD win the lottery.

6 People to tag:1)Stef 2) Nicole 3)Steve 4)Nick 5)Jordan 6)Jasmine

Happy Halloween!

This holiday gets me pondering every year, and every year I still can't decide what I think about it. There are great arguments on both sides of the Christian discussion- that all things evil should not be part of our celebrations, or this is just an opportunity to have some fun and witness to others. I don't ever feel that the way our family celebrates Halloween is at all evil, but is it appropriate to participate in a holiday that Satan worshippers very clearly revel in? And truly, are Satan worshippers any more dangerous to us than pew-sitters who say all the right things, but their hearts are far from Jesus?
I guess this might be a question God won't answer for me until I get to heaven, and for now, I am going to go with His exhortation- "Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters...Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand...He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone.If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. " Romans 14:1-8 (edited for length)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

We are to be pitied...

Crazy week. Good in lots of ways, busy in a hundred ways. Lots of decisions to make, plans to be discussed, feelings to be considered. Working full time hours for a week makes me realize how grateful I am to only work part time most weeks. Sometimes I think that if I could just make a pause button for life- that everyone else could continue about their business, but I could pause my day- it would be so wonderful. I could hold back the things that had to get done, and then just jump back in once all the events are over, with no consequences. Heehee, wouldn't that be lovely. Never a reality, but a nice dream all the same. We are trying to decide what to do for Jordan next year, school-wise. He will be a freshman, and it seems like a good time to transition him back to traditional school, but the costs and worries I have are making it hard to see the "forest through the trees" so to speak. Pray with me if you think of it, the decision is so important, and how we raise our children is one thing we never want to look back on and regret. To feel that we have missed out on the next 4 years of his life would be devastating, but to not give him a needed opportunity would be just as bad. What to do?
The only thing I can think of to share tonight was something I heard from a pastor on KPDQ this week. I am so tired it is amazing I can think at all, so hopefully this makes as much sense now as it did on Thursday. He was going through one of my favorite books currently, Philippians- and he made the point that if all we are hoping for is our Christianity to help us through this life, to make the living of day to day better- than we are to be "pitied above all others". He continued to state this idea, that if we only hope for comfort, we are to be pitied, for love and acceptance, we are to be pitied, safety and shelter, we are to be pitied. He went on for quite awhile, and I wasn't sure what exactly he was getting at. But as he continued to expand the idea, and share God's Word, it really struck me that that is often how I pray. That God would help me to make things better here, that he would heal broken relationships, grow my children towards Him, bless my marriage, fix my finances, but ultimately- none of that should be of first and foremost importance to me, that my eyes should be set on heaven- that heaven is where I belong and this other stuff is just baggage. It was very cool, and as he described how false this idea of "being a Christian equals better times" was, and how many forms of depression and anxiety would be better treated with love for our true home, heaven-it just pointed a finger in my face. I might not realize it because I always THINK I am getting ready for the "big trip", but am I really? Do I REALLY want heaven and my Father more than ANYTHING here? Not to imply that clinical depression shouldn't be treated medically, but how often have I, myself, been depressed for a time over something so ridiculous, I can't even remember the cause now? And it always comes back to where my focus lies. "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory..." Philippians 3:20 Finally, it won't be HARD to do the right thing there. Hurray!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I had a great day...

It's so funny. I love that song at the beginning of Alvin and the Chipmunks- "I had a bad day..." but I always want to change the words to "had a good day" because the only time that song comes into my head is when I am feeling happy. It has such a neat rhythm.
Today was kind of like that, the day had such a good rhythm, and it made for such a special time. Nothing was different, all the sad stuff and concerns are still there, but because my focus and intention was right- to worship God and honor Him in all I did, it made everything so EASY. Steve had the day off, and we had a great time, my kiddos were a pleasure, and the weather was perfect. I can think of a million things that happened- little things that would have normally thrown me off my game- but God was so kind and didn't let them phase us.
Watching Jasmine in particular was such a blessing. I worry about her all the time, and am constantly trying to teach her how to behave, what to do, how to become a critical thinker and planner- and spending today with her reminded me that all the things that really matter, she already has down pat. Actually, she does it better than I do. Jazz always is so quick to love, to forgive, to give of herself and all that she has, it just comes naturally to her. Seeing her playing with her cousins, her brother and her dad, working her horse, and helping me with chores- I couldn't stop praising God for my girl, and asking for His forgiveness because I take her for granted. I am determined to stop analyzing her and start praising her. My only chance is that someday I will grow up to be as cool as Jazz!
"And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3

Monday, October 20, 2008

Treasures in unusual places.

I have been reading a very cool book, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment by Tim Challies, and I can't remember if I have mentioned it. Here's my little ad- go to and buy it! It rocks, and is a quick read. The Bible is the best, and this is one of those books that makes you want to read more and more of the Word.
Anyways, it has the best story in it- about a little man from AZ that took an old blanket he had inherited to the "Antique Roadshow". He knew the blanket was old, and had thrown it over the back of a rocking chair the last few years, and thought he would take the opportunity the show provided to get it appraised. Well, the expert is so excited at finding this blanket, and after much ranting and raving, states that the blanket was from the 1840's and had been worn by a Navajo Chief in a photo. The expert proceeds to tell the older man that when he saw this blanket his heart stopped, and that the gentleman had in his hands a "rare national treasure of incredible value and historical significance." Then he states that the value of the blanket was somewhere between 350,000 to 500,000 DOLLARS. Wow- old man cries, looks like he might pass out, and asks to hear the figure again.
It goes on to tell how the old man walks out cradling his "treasure" with security guards and takes it to a safety deposit box. The same blanket he had throw over his chair, and drug into the show as a curiosity, now was a precious treasure. The author goes on to talk about how this is such an example of what the gospel can do- "When God saves His people, bringing us from death to life, He opens our eyes to love and appreciate the supreme treasure that is Jesus Christ. What had once been of little interest or significance is suddenly transformed into something of inestimable value and worth." The Gospel is the one thing that completely and totally transforms us, and deserves protection, study, and to BE treasured.
A pastor, J.C. Ryle, wrote that we can "spoil the Gospel by substitution, by addition, by interposition, by disproportion and by confused and contradictory directions." He said it way cooler than I can, but the gist was we SUBSTITUTE so many things for JESUS and distract our eyes, and thus lose the true focus of the Gospel, we ADD our own prestige and ideas about Jesus, and lose the purity of the Gospel. We INTERPOSE religious habits for true heart repentance and spoil the Gospel, we give secondary beliefs in Christianity a DISPROPORTIONATE amount of importance and lose truth. And we can completely spoil the gospel by CONFUSING and CONTRADICTING the basic directions of scripture with our rules about faith, baptism, Church, Communion-whatever.
This was so eye-opening to me, because everyone knows I am all about the gold stars. Tell me what I need to do to get an A, and yeah, man, get out of my way. I tend to focus so hard on doing it RIGHT, or doing it better, so I can PLEASE God and in all honesty, feel better about myself, I forget that without the basic Gospel of Jesus Christ, every good deed I do is worthless in the Father's standard. Jesus IS my only need, and the only thing of value in this whole universe. Nothing I have, do, or think is as important as that simple fact. The relationship I have with God is my one true treasure, and there is no price that can be placed on it. Oh, what a wonderful nugget- I am the richest girl in the world. :)

"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." Acts 20:24

Friday, October 17, 2008

Autumn leaves...

I have decided that I hate laptops. I usually use a desktop computer to set up the class lessons for Jordan and Jazz, and do all my "surfing", but as of yet, Steve has not found a way to connect my desktop to our satellite Internet. Or rather, he doesn't have a few parts he needs to get the job done. So- instead of being able to upload and post the beautiful photos of our place as the leaves change, I simply have to tell you how much I am loving this fall season- and not be able to show you how glorious God's world looks up here right now. Things are still mostly green, but you can see hints everywhere of the new season. Yes, I know, I could upload the software for my camera to the laptop, change a few settings, and put them on this computer instead, but it still would be a laptop, with midget keyboard, poor ergonomics, and tiny screen. So instead, I wanted to whine and hope that my husband sees it and comes home with the wireless card we need desperately...(hint hint)I am shameless, I know. But I think this way is much less annoying than calling him every hour to remind him of things, as I have unfortunately done in the past. :)And if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen and I will survive.
I didn't realize how much I liked fall while we were in Arizona, because I liked the heat and blue skies so much. But every morning as I head to the barn, I can't help but breathe deep and smile at all the little changes, the fresh, crisp air, and the yellows and oranges all around. It is really a beautiful time, almost as though an introduction to something- I don't know what. It doesn't strike me as the end of summer at all, which is how I always use to think of autumn, with disgust I might add. I saw the end of picnics and barbeques, water play and swim suits, of sunshine and brown skin. Now I feel anticipation- for pumpkins and scarecrows, hot chocolate and cozy fires, Thanksgiving and Christmas, Black Friday, and a whole new year. I wonder what God will bring?
"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails."
Proverbs 19:21

(The photo was of last November in Payson, Arizona. We had to drive about three hours to find fall leaves to crunch, but it was still beautiful, and about 70 degrees all day. Pretty nice.This photo was already saved to the laptop- hehehe)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Give a kid a hug today...

Wow- yesterday was a good reminder to never take my kiddos, or any kiddos for that matter, for granted. Carson decided to crush his finger, and to see my sweet little nephew covered in blood and guts (no, not really, but to mom and auntie it looked like a massacre)was truly terrifying. Give me a good motor vehicle accident or suicide attempt in the ER any day- just no 2 year olds with tears in their eyes. What a wimp I am, I know.
It is such a blessing to be a mom, and have children in my life, and I too often get so busy with the "stuff" of life, I forget to appreciate the moments. Steve and I were talking the other day, and it is so obvious that no matter what the news wants to say, life in America is pretty good and we are all so incredibly spoiled. If things were really bad for any of us, the nit picky things we get up-tight about wouldn't matter anymore, and we would all love each other better, and fight a lot less.
I have been thinking about how badly I want wisdom, or even more to the point- discernment, and how if only God would give me what he gave Solomon- "understanding"- I would quit messing things up and be so effective for him. It is such a struggle to be "wise", and short of hanging out on this planet for the next 30 years and gaining it from experience, how do we "get" wisdom? I don't want to be like the idiots Hebrews 5 talks about who stay on milk forever, even though they should have graduated to solid food, but most days I feel like he was talking right to me- always wasting time being a goober, rather than trusting God with a childlike faith- not childish- but childlike. There is wisdom in trusting the Creator of the Universe, the One Who truly can direct the future, and the One True God.
"Give your servant therefore an understanding mind...that I may discern between good and evil..." 1 King 3:8-9 (parts of)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mondays really are "Mondays"...

Remember all those old sayings like "Thank God it's Friday" or "Just another manic Monday"? (oooh, oooh, ooo...hear the music? "Wish it were a Sunday, that's my fun day..." hehehe)I have determined that they were all true. In the history of my
life, short as it may be, terrible things tend to happen on Mondays. And not only terrible things, but also just plain stupid things. So I am trying to figure out that if I stop "remembering" Mondays, and maybe call Mondays "Tuesdays" instead- do you think the annoying things, troublesome problems, and bleary Monday blues would go away? I wonder. All I can say is that I am really glad I am thirty minutes to Tuesday!
This last weekend was such a blast, I can't help but admit that it probably would make any day after seem like a "hang over" day. Jazz had a wonderful party on Friday and as much as I was exhausted because they don't know what SLEEP is, it was so cool to see her having fun, and hanging with girls she has know since she was in diapers. We laughed, and joked, they rode horses and jumped on the trampoline, scared themselves silly in the dark and tried to sleep in the breezeway until they realized they are warm- blooded creatures who can't tolerate freezing temperatures comfortably. Good times.
Saturday brought a treat just for me- a wonderful luncheon with ladies who knew me the moment I walked into my Christian life, with beautiful fall decorations and sweet fellowship. My dear friend, Donna, made it so elaborate, and so special for all of us, I will remember it forever. There is nothing like a cold, crisp fall day spent with women you admire and love. The best part was the countless ways Donna could make a dish with Jell-o. (Stef- stop laughing! hehehe) I will never eat jell-o again without thanking God for my delightful Miss Donna- who I have lovingly called "Bubbles" for the last decade.
Oh, to be able to look back on this life and feel full- that is a blessing only loving Jesus can provide. We had a birthday party for Steve's dad, and when he jokingly said he wished he was still 36, Grannie Anne said something that hit my heart. Her teeny 4 foot frame paused for a moment, and in her best "granny" voice she said, "Oh, I don't know...I don't think I would want to do all those years again". Wise woman, I say. On the other side of 80, she remembers that being in your thirties was no picnic. I wish I had her wisdom all the time...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Valley...

This last week I have had a hard time blogging due to some mean comments and my letting myself get in to a pity party, so I am sorry and thanks for all the nice comments and notes. I missed you too and am glad you can laugh at me and my silly thoughts.
The Valley- I wasn't thinking of areas of California, but rather the "mountain high, valley low" kind of experiences that we all go through. Our leader at The Truth Project study we were doing mentioned tonight that no matter how much we hate it, true growth and understanding only comes through struggles and trials. Yeah, I know, pretty much stinks. We are after all human, and sin is our nature as much as holiness is a part of our nature once Jesus "redeems" us.
In the last decade, I have agreed with that idea in my head but never truly experienced it for myself, at least not for more than a few days, a few weeks. My life has been easy in comparison to so many, I don't think I really knew what real struggles were. Loving God and trusting Him for everything was so easy because I was in that new Christian "high" (too bad I couldn't stay there for the rest of my life!) And truly, my life is still better than I admit because most of the time I am just a little whiner. But I would definitely say the last year has not only brought questions to my mind I hadn't considered before about why I am on the planet, but rocked my faith in God and in His love for us. Now on the other side, I know and can see that the God of the Bible is the only Truth, the only Light, and the only Hope we have in ever experiencing joy and peace without the baggage that comes from sin, and it is such a comfort to feel SURE, to have asked tough questions and had God answer.
But the funny thing is that the adventure is still not over, and that's what I was pondering tonight- every time a tough thing comes along, I get all out of sorts, and pray for it to be over. I forget that the very struggle I am wanting to shorten is the very thing that might be my "best medicine". I don't want to be a complacent, grumpy, spoiled old lady someday, and to keep my heart fresh, my discernment sharp, and my sense of humor young, I have to learn empathy, compassion, forgiveness and godly love. And if that comes through hard stuff, than I hope someday I will be wise enough to say, "Thank you, Lord, bring it on!"
Please don't remind me of this next week...when I am whining about struggles
again. ;)
"For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want...(yet) therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus...For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. " Romans chapters 7 and 8 (Hang out in that book this week with me, and let me know what you find.)

BTW: This photo is from almost two years ago in Vietnam, but I was wondering how come no one ever told me I smile like a right sided stroke victim? hehehe

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cardboard boxes smell bad...

I am so tired of looking at cardboard boxes. It seems like this move is never going to be done. Usually we end up with one or two boxes of random things that never get unpacked because I lose steam, and I am determined not to let that happen. But where is the end? hehehe Yesterday was so great outside, I couldn't bring myself to stay in and unpack. Without the rain, the kids got to ride horse, jump on trampolines, and Jordan was having way too much fun terrorizing all of us with the riding lawn mower. That kid needs a dirt bike or something. Stef helped a lot by burning the weed pile, and then she mowed the lawn. I couldn't help laughing watching her figure out the mower, she is this tiny little thing, just burning rubber up and down the hill. It was awesome!
All in all, things are moving a long and going well. If only we didn't have this ridiculously slow connection, I would be more motivated to post some pictures, but maybe tonight. Have a great Tuesday!
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love..." Romans 12:9-10

Sunday, October 5, 2008

When you get lemons, make lemonade...

I always thought that was a cheesy saying- but I have to say there is so much truth to it. In the New Testament there are many passages that tell us to rejoice in trials, be thankful for persecution, etc. which is really the same idea. The difference is that with the "lemon" saying, it never really tells you HOW to do it, where as the Bible is very clear. Because of the hope and promise we have in Jesus, we can truly be happy, even when the circumstances look grungy.

This last week was so busy for us, but I really felt that I had it together and things were going well. I headed to work yesterday in high spirits, having enjoyed a wonderful morning working on the barn with my husband, and laughing and goofing around. Then I got hit with a curve ball that tried to break my spirit and shake my focus. I admit I hung out there for the rest of the day, just feeling sad and frustrated- not sure what God would have me do. But last night, God was so good to me and reminded me that he never said things would be roses and daisies all the time, and that it didn't matter. He wants me to be joyful in good times and bad- to trust him and want him more than anything in this world. That's how I could "make lemonade". Again, what an awesome experience to realize that no matter what junky stuff comes into my life, nothing touches me that has not first been sifted through the Father's hands.

Another week is starting, full of the bumps and turns in my road, but I feel more prepared and ready which is a wonderful way to start the week. Now we will just see how long I can stay there...:)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

We've moved!

Wow! What a week! We are finally settled in (somewhat) at our new house, and I can't believe it is Saturday. I feel like there should be at least two more days in this week. Funny how time flies when you are NOT having fun too. I guess it wasn't all work this week. I loved seeing my kids jumping on the trampoline, and laughing with their cousins. That was fun. But the first few days we had no fun, then we had no Internet (still working on that, but my genius husband has found a way to get me logged in- just moving at the speed of DIAL UP- gasp, sputter, choke! Dark ages here I come!) and I felt like a man in a boat without a paddle. I couldn't even call some of the utility companies because I always look up phone numbers online and don't even have a traditional phone book. Learned something new, I guess, don't think Internet will always be there. hehehe Ah, how we love our computers.
Between working and unpacking, I haven't had much time to reflect, and for that I am sorry, God. But today was a new day, and oh, how I loved spending the morning with Jesus. I needed it more than I realized. I read something today that talked about how important it is to use our imaginations with God (ask me later if you are curious) and it was so cool- I don't want to be a dried up old lady who has these lengthy, BORING prayers that I have been reciting for the last 50 years, and to keep from that trap- I must use my imagination. God tells us to "look to the heavens" in Isaiah and TALK to Him- and I loved that! No wonder I miss the Arizona sky so much- the "heavens declare the glory of God, and the skies proclaim the works of His hands"! Good reminder for me, and hopefully for you too.
All in all, God has been so good this week, we made it through, we love the new house and my horses will be arriving if I could just find the time to get the barn ready! God be with you, my friends. I will post some pics of the new place once I get Internet that doesn't take 2 years to upload one file. hehehehe