Monday, July 20, 2009

Emptied Of Self, to be filled with Christ

I am working on a post about the kids' first day of school today and the surprising POWER it had over my entire day (!!!), but I don't have the photos uploaded, so I wanted to share with you something that has been on my chest lately.

Nathan and I FINALLY watched a movie a few weeks ago that my Mom gave us for Christmas. It is the movie that Ruth Bell Graham's children made about her after she passed away. It is a moving tribute to a woman who was devoted to her God, her husband and her family, in that order.

It really got my mind going and I have been thinking about it, in any available quiet moment, ever since. All of her children, all of her friends had SUCH great things to say about her. She was noble, educated woman. She was a wonderful wife who, honestly, took care of her entire family as a (physically) single mom most of the time because her husband, Billy Graham, was evangelizing all over the world. She supported her husband and his calling 100% and without waivering. It was a great testimony to her life, this movie.

So, I started thinking about what my kids would say about me. How would my friends speak about me if I passed from this earth to my home?

Although I am sure that nice things would be said, if any one's first thought of my character is anything BUT "She lived her LIFE as a Christ follower that loved her Lord with all of her heart.", I will have failed. I want to be remembered as a good wife. I want my kids, my girls, to see that in me. I want to be remembered as a good Mother. More than ANY of these things though, I want people to know that I am a child of God and that my life, my heart, my every breath is devoted to Him. For it is in THAT kind of character that all the other traits are hidden.

I want my first and last thoughts to be of Jesus each day. I want my first and last words to my children to be about Jesus. I want people to see me driving down the road or walking through the grocery store and to KNOW that I love my Lord and am His faithful servant. I want to be FILLED with Christ.

I want to be emptied of me and completed in Him alone.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Turn your volume up Tuesday.

OK, so I just made that up, but turn your music up and listen to/watch this. I LOVE it! It gives me goosebumps everytime I watch it.

The time has come to stop evaluating why you sin. We sin because we are flesh.

Make WAR!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Learning to Minister God's Way

Some of you have read about April on Casey's blog. She has been in Casey's life for over a year as Casey has been ministering to her, first on the streets where she found her pregnant and surviving anyway she could, and then through her delivery and subsequent rehab treatment/recovery. For the past month, I have been blessed to get to know April. For a little while, she was living relatively close by in a half-way house and I could pick her up and help her run errands with her son several days a week. I was keeping Tash on days that she worked and LOVED that she trusted me with her son. I enjoyed talking with her. She is very open and honest about her past. She often asked me questions about the Bible and about my faith in general. I was happy that I could meet those needs for her and that she felt like she had a friend in me.

A week ago she decided to leave the half-way house. Whether I agree with why she left or whether I would have made the same choice is irrelevant. I haven't come from where she has come from. My reality is different than her's. She made the decision to leave and, to her, that was what she had to do. So now, I am unable to help her as much physically. She is too far away for me to run and get her and drive her around. It is strange, but when she called to tell me that she was headed to a shelter with her son that first night, I was tempted to grab my keys and bring her to our apartment. It was the night of Graycen's tonsillectomy, so there was no way that I could bring her into our home and she wouldn't have had it anyway. Her mind was made up.

Since then, I have only been able to talk with her on the phone every other day. She seems to be doing okay. She celebrated 6 months of sobriety at a meeting. She is eating and she has gotten a bed in a shelter each night. There is long-term housing on the horizon if she can stay with this situation for a few more days, but tonight she sounded very tired. Every time I talk to her lately, I have to fight the urge to go and get her. I have to remind myself that my job is to pray for her and support her anyway I can 100% within the limits God has given me. We don't have endless funds available for gas to run downtown and back each day. I don't have a home where she and her son could sleep and feel safe and comfortable. For now, I can pray. I can pray that she gets food and shelter, but the best thing I can do is to pray that the Lord will call her and that when he does, she will hear Him and she will run to Him. She talks about "having faith" and about "knowing that God has a plan for her", but I am not sure those aren't just familiar phrases she has picked up over time. I am praying that she will come to KNOW exactly what those phrases really mean and that she will be able to stake her life on them

Will you pray with me?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

School Starts in ONE WEEK!

I am making my school shopping list. Instead of carrying around three different lists, I decided to combine them into one. I am not sure that I should done that. It is intimidating. I might should have started gathering these a month ago. Wish me luck!

Combined School Supply List:

Wide-Ruled spiral notebook (times 3)
3 Pencil pouch (cloth, zippered, med sized)
24 pack crayons (times 2)
Pencils (no mechanical pencils) (times 3)
3 Box of any size Zip-loc bags
6 pencil sharpeners
3 Primary Composition book
2 Red, 2 Yellow and 2 Green folder (fro C& M)
3 folders-any color (for G)
60 Red pens
40 Blue pens
4 Scissors
Play Dough (1)
12 Glue sticks (plus some to share with class)
Eraser (hand held)
3 pack washable markers (for G & M)
Colored pencils
6 plastic pocket folders
One 12 in. ruler with cm on the other side
*6 quarters
*10 dimes
*8 nickels
*30 pennies-Send in zip lock bag with child’s name.( for C & M)
Erasers (pencil top and regular) (for G & M)
Raincoat or poncho (left in book bag) (times 3)
2 Spiral bound notebook (single subject) (for G & M)
$5.00 for pocket portfolio (
Tissues (1 box)
Box of baby wipes

(To share with M's class)
Wide ruled paper
1 box of crayons
1pack of pencil top erasers
1pack of #2 pencils
1 box of Clorox wipes
1 pair of child scissors
Extra pencils
Large erasers
Disinfectant wipes**
Plastic utensils

(Items to be shared with G's Class)
Extra #2 pencils
Box of plastic spoons, forks
Tissues (2 boxes)
2 packs wide-rule notebook paper
Optional Donations:
Paper towels, napkins, plates,
cups, paper plates and bowls
Dry erase markers
Fat Cash store rewards:
stickers, fancy pencils &
erasers, bracelets, party favors,
small candy treats
Ream of white copy paper
Disinfectant wipes**
Board games in good shape

This list, on top of filling in gaps in uniform stock, will have me busy for the rest of the week!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Check This Out.

We have had an exciting day. Graycen gt her tonsils and adenoids out today. Big fun. She did great and continues to do really well. I, on the other hand, am exhausted. Too exhausted to write a thang! Thank you to those of you that knew about Graycen's surgery and prayed for her. It really went FAB-U-LOUSLY. We're talkin' surgery starting 30 minutes ahead of schedule, Graycen up and able to eat dinner tonight kind-a fabulous. The Lord had His hand on o ur day today FO-REAL.

I found this over at Emily's place. It is inspiring. It is far greater than anything I could have written today.



Friday, July 3, 2009

Look what I grew!!!

Can you believe it?!?!?! I had one cucumber ripen up a couple of days ago also, but the girls and I washed it and gobbled it up immediately. This is my first harvest of a few different things.

I love, love, LOVE my little patio garden.

The back story:
I once had a very nice house with a nice-sized backyard. Nathan and I searched and searched for THAT house for THAT reason. We wanted a big back yard for kids to play in and for me to have a garden. I had always wanted a garden. Starting 20 days after we moved in, we brought a new baby home every year that we lived in that house. That left little to no time for a garden.

When we moved fro GA to NC for Nathan to fulfill God's calling on him, I mourned having to prolong that dream...AGAIN. I pushed it forward and began to think about it in the far-off future...again. It was added to a growing list of things we would do "one day" when there was more space, more time.

This year,we decided to just plant a few things and see what happened. I started reading about container gardening in January and we were ready to plant at the beginning of April. I was excited that Nathan wanted to go ahead and try it out this year. We decided to plant a few things, with little-to-know expense, and just see what happened. We planted basil, stevia (a natural sweetener), mint, jalapenos, zucchini, yellow squash, sweet 100 tomatoes,cucumbers (free from someone who left the 1 inch seedlings at the church!), and rosemary.

I cannot tell you the JOY that I have had with my little garden. I love walking out there and checking the soil. I love filling my pitchers and watering the plants. Our entire household was buzzing was when we started to see buds of veggies coming onto the stems. I have learned a lot about patience that I didn't expect to learn. So today, it was quite the thrill to be able to pick a few veggies and know that WE helped these things grow with our own hands.

In our life, where we have committed to answer God's call on us regardless of sacrifice, we have many things that get put into the "maybe one day" category. It isn't because God desires for us to not have our dreams fulfilled, but more because God is teaching us to want what HE wants and to desire what HE desires. I believe that often, He wants us to discover that our dreams are indeed fulfilled in exactly what He has already given and planned for us. Thats what has happened with my little garden. I have learned that sometimes you just have to adjust your way of thinking about your desires and stop waiting for some BIG delivery. What you may see as a compromise on your dream, is really just God preparing your heart for Him to deliver BIG joy in a smaller package.

These pretty flowers attract the bees that are my hardest workers in the garden.

This is what we had with our dinner tonight. It was delicious. I am blessed with big veggie eaters. We are going enjoy eating our harvest this summer!

Wise Words To Live By

I have heard it said that imitation is the best form of flattery. However, it can also be evidence of psychological damage. Learning to know the difference is key. ~The Busy Mama