Friday, October 29, 2010

He Knows!

The softness of his hair as he lays next to me brushes against my cheek.

Morning.

He is ready to start the day.

The pitter patter of little feet follow me down the stairs and into the kitchen.

Breakfast is served.

Laughter and toothy grins fill the air as eggs and milk fill his tummy.

A sparkling kitchen means it's now time to play, but wait, not today.

We get dressed in a rush.

Pants, shirt, socks, shoes, coat are all thrown on him with lightning speed.

He starts to wimper. He knows.

With binky in place and an arm wrapped ever so tightly around the softness of his blue blanket, he watches me. Worried.

We pile into the car and the look on his face remains. Worry.

Silence fills the car as we drive. No babbling or giggling like regular. Today is different. He knows.

We arrive and find a spot up front. I unbuckle and pick him up and his head darts all around. The expression staying the same; worried.

He knows.

We walk across the street and enter the elevator. It dings: Floor 3.

Walking ever so briskly down the hall, fear has finally set in.

His hand grabs the neckline of my shirt with the intention of never letting go.

We wave bye to his sister and continue our walk down the hall.

His eyes settle on the door.

He knows.

And it starts.

The gates have opened with a crash and tears of shear fear come streaming down his face.

With forceful arms I pull his little hands from me and hand him over to the arms of another.

It is only for a short time, but his heart is breaking.

I dart from his sight and pull the door shut.

Standing there, it finally all settles in.

Outside I am all smiles. Inside my heart is breaking. He loves me that much!

Two hours pass and I return to see his tear streaked face.

His grasp around me is so tight; tighter than when I left.

He has found his comfort again. His safe place. 

I have returned.

All is right in his little world.

With arms wrapped ever so tightly around my neck, we enter the elevator and descend to Floor 1.

Worry has left and a smile has returned to his reddened face.

The car ride is once again filled with giggles and blabber.

We are headed home. He feels safe. He knows!


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{the scene described above is what we used to go through on a weekly basis when I drop mjy son off for my woman's Bible study meeting or my MOPS meeting}

My son suffers from seperation anxiety. And it is bad. Both for myself and him. He hates to leave me. I hate to see him cry when I leave. But, I know that it is good, for the both of us.

But, when I return, wow! What a reunion. To feel love in such a way! I cannot express it and don't think anyone truly understands this type of love unless they are a mother!

Isn't that the type of love, though, that our Heavenly Father has for us? He hates to see us leave Him, or not spend enough time with Him in His presence. Our Pastor just touched on this in church today. He stated that the perfect will of God is that He longs to fellowship with His creation! {Genesis Chp. 1-4} That's us! He wants our attention all day; everyday! Not just on Sundays or Wednesday nights at church, but every morning, noon, and night! He loves us! And He wants us to get to know Him better. He already knows everything about us, but He wants us to know everything we can about Him! What an embrace He has for us. A hold; a grasp ever so tight. He never wants to let go!

Come to the Heavenly Father! Seek His warm embrace! Come with your tears, your fears, your joy! He knows!

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O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. ~ Psalm 139:1

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Year I Gave My Heart to Jesus! {2nd Grade}

Do remember the date/time/place when you gave your whole heart  over to Jesus Christ, the lover of our soul?

I remember in full detail the day I gave my heart Him...

I was in second grade.  This was the year I struggled in math and continued to struggle with it every year after. I hated math tests, questions, games, etc. because I always failed no matter how hard I tried. Math was just not my strong subject.

Our class had just finished a game of math relay and I was down in the dumps, to say the least, of not winning. In fact, I hadn't even scored a point.

Bible class always followed Math {and boy did I ever need it!} and this day in particular became far more important than I ever dreamed or imagined.

Our teacher asked us to be seated in the back of the classroom in a circle for our lesson today. She sat down with us and began talking about John 3:16 and how truly important that verse really is to us!

She then explained to us, in only the way a second grade teacher can, what being "born-again" means and why it is so important to ask Jesus to live in our hearts. I remember being a little confused on the fact that Jesus would "live in my heart", but I also felt this desire to want to do it. To have Jesus come and live in me!

She then asked those of us who wanted to ask Jesus into our hearts to simply raise our hands. Surprisingly, not every hand shot up. I can't remember how many did, exactly, but I do remember there being a few who didn't.

She then procceded to have us recite the sinners prayer after her.


"Dear Lord Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner and I am in need of You and Your forgiveness. I want to turn from my sins and follow You completely. I believe that You are the Son of God who died on the cross for me and all my sins; You were buried, rose to life again and You are coming back. I accept the Father's gift of eternal life through faith and belief in You alone. I receive You as Lord and Savior of every part and area of my life forever and ever. Now Lord, fill me with Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus' Name. Amen "


I can honestly say I prayed that prayer that day and meant every word! I was saved and Jesus Christ had already begun to "do a good work in me"! {Philippians 1:6}

I love and appreciate my teacher for taking the time to explain the gift of salvation to us and praying for/with us. She truly helped to change my life at an early age.

As I got older and entered into my teenage years, I unfortunately slipped away from God's path. But, He loves me so much that He was never too far away!!

I later, in 2007, re-dedicated my life to Jesus Christ when my husband and I were water baptized. I have been trying earnestly each and every day since then to live my life for Him, the "One who came so that I may have life and life more abundantly"! {John 10:10}

I hope you enjoy coming here and reading about my youth! Come back next week when I share more about my friendship with Susie and our adventures in the third grade! 


"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." ~ John 3:16

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What's On Your Nightstand {1st link-up!}

Since I have been getting a little more time to read lately {fall does that for me...allows me to slow down a bit} I have decided to take part in more book memes and share with all of you what I have been reading and what I hope to read soon!

What's On Your Nightstand is a book carnival hosted by 5 Minutes for Books. Once a month {the last tuesday of every month actually} you link-up stating what you would like to have read in the next month.

I am actually pretty impressed with myself. I finished three books in the month of October. I can't tell you the last time I finished one book in a month, let alone three! This is a big accomplishment for me and I am excited! :)

In October, I read, Betsy-Tacy and Tib by Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill by Maud Hart Lovelace and my ARC copy of Amy Inspired by Bethany Pierce. I enjoyed all three of these titles and recommend them to all of you!

Here is my list for the month of November. {It is also part of my Fall Into Reading Challenge!}

The HelpI just started reading The Help by Kathrynn Stockett last night. It is so very good right from the start. I am definately hooked! It is 451 pages long, and not something that you can just breeze right through. {I am already noticing this!} I am hoping to find the time to sit and devour it so I can fit a few more books in this month!







Snow Flower and the Secret FanI am also hoping to be able to read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for months and I have been wanting to get to it ever since! I have readsuch rave reviews for it and I can't wait to read it and see for myself what it is all about!








Catching MoondropsAnd lastly, I am hoping to start and finish another ARC I received for review, Catching Moondrops by Jennifer Erin Valent. I just received this copy about a month ago and I am trying to stay on top of my ARC's that I receive for review. This book sounds very good and I am hoping it is an enjoyable read! It has gotten some high reviews so far, so we shall see!







So, that's it folks. My first What's On Your Nightstand Post. Hoping I have good things to report when I check in next month!

What are you currently reading? Leave me a comment letting me know!

Are you a Goodreads Member? If you are, I would love to be friends! Click Here to add me as your friend!

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands." ~ Isaiah 55:12

Maud Hart Lovelace Challenge {wrap-up}

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At the beginning of this month, I signed up for the Maud Hart Lovelace Reading Challenge over at Library Hospital. When I read about this challenge, I had no idea who Maud Hart Lovelace was, but her books sounded like something I would enjoy, and, you all know me, I love a good challenge!

I had the pleasure of reading two of her books. {and am looking forward to reading more once the library notifies me that the ones I requested are in!} The books I read are Betsy-Tacy and Tib and Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill.  Out of the two, Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill was more of an enjoyable read and my favorite.

Betsy-Tacy and Tib (Betsy-Tacy, #2){my review} I have to say, I was a little skeptical at first when I started to read this book, but I am so glad that I kept with it. What a cute story. Betsy-Tacy and Tib are three adorable little girls who have an eye for adventure and being mischevious. No matter how hard they try NOT to get into trouble, it seems to always find them. I would love it if we still lived in a time when our children could run and play freely in the streets and not have to be too worried about there safety. This was a great read. A feel-good book. I am looking forward to the time when my daughter and I can read it together!
 
 
 
Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill (Betsy-Tacy, #3){my review} I highly recommend this book for the young and old alike! It was a quick and light read that left you feeling good inside once you finished reading it! It allowed for me settle in and relax and reminisce of sweet childhood memories gone by! Maud Hart Lovelace is a very talented writer. This is the second book written by her that I have read and am anticipating reading more!
 
 
 
 
 
 
I am so glad that I came across this challenge and discovered this very talented author. I may not have ever read about Betsy, Tacy, and Tib and all their wonderous adventures otherwise. {I even won a copy of one of Maud Hart Lovelace's book, Emily of Deep Valley!}
 
I am hoping to swing by the library this week in hopes of fitting in one more book before the challenge ends this weekend. I am hoping to one day be able to own all of Maud Hart Lovelace's titles so my daughter and I can read them together.
 
If you haven't checked out any of her books, I encourage you to do so. They take you back to a more pleasant time. I got to relive my childhood, in a sense, through reading about Betsy, Tacy, and Tib.
 
Thank you, Library Hospital, for hosting this challenge and introducing me to the wonderful world of Maud Hart Lovelace.
 
Linked up at:
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O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens! ~ Psalm 8:1

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall {Gifts}

Fall! What a glorious, beautiful, time of year! I truly enjoy the cooler temperatures, the cozy comfort of my little home, and the beauty of God's paintbrush on all the trees. Some of my families favorite activities take place in the fall. Going to the pumpkin patch and playing in the hay. Picking apples and baking apple pie and apple crisp. Hay rides and getting lost in corn field mazes. So many memories made! So much laughter, joy, and love.

Fall is the intermission between summer and winter. A time to slow down a little before things get hectic again with the holidays fastly approaching. {although, Thanksgiving and Christmas are another of my favorite times of year!}

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This time of year, it is especially easy to reflect and be thankful for all the amazing gifts our Heavenly Father gave to us!

#11. Fall
#12. Colors of fall
#13. My children's laughter
#14. The comforts of home
#15. Good friends




holy experience



"Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing." ~ John 15:5

Saturday, October 23, 2010

On My Wishlist {a bookish meme!}

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I know I usually don't post on Saturday's, but I came across this meme from a blog that I follow and I had to join in.

On My Wishlist is a bookish meme hosted by Book Chick City every Saturday. It is where I get to list all the books I want to read/own, but haven't bought yet.

Here are some of the books that I just added to my wishlist this week. {and that I will be adding to my Christmas list as well!}

While We're Far Apart by Lynn Austin  

While We're Far Apart{synopsis from Goodreads} In an unassuming apartment building in Brooklyn, New York, three lives intersect as the reality of war invades each aspect of their lives. Young Esther is heartbroken when her father decides to enlist in the army shortly after the death of her mother. Penny Goodrich has been in love with Eddie Shaffer for as long as she can remember; now that Eddie's wife is dead, Penny feels she has been given a second chance and offers to care for his children in the hope that he will finally notice her and marry her after the war. And elderly Mr. Mendel, the landlord, waits for the war to end to hear what has happened to his son trapped in war-torn Hungary. But during the long, endless wait for victory overseas, life on the home front will go from bad to worse. Yet these characters will find themselves growing and changing in ways they never expected--and ultimately discovering truths about God's love... even when He is silent.

I have read several of Lynn Austin's books including A Woman's Place, All She Ever Wanted, and Though Waters Roar and have enjoyed each one immensly. When I heard she came out with a new book, I quickly added it to my TBR pile as well as my Goodreads Wishlist. This is one book I want added to my bookshelf!

A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin

A Distant Melody  (Wings of Glory, #1){synopsis from Goodreads} Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval--even marry a man she doesn't love. Lt. Walter Novak--fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women--takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas. Walt and Allie meet at a wedding and their love of music draws them together, prompting them to begin a correspondence that will change their lives. As letters fly between Walt's muddy bomber base in England and Allie's mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart? A Distant Melody is the first book in the Wings of Glory series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II.


A Memory Between Us (Wings of Glory, #2)A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin

{synopsis from Goodreads} Major Jack Novak has never failed to meet a challenge--until he meets army nurse Lieutenant Ruth Doherty. When Jack lands in the army hospital after a plane crash, he makes winning Ruth's heart a top priority mission. But he has his work cut out for him. Not only is Ruth focused on her work in order to support her orphaned siblings back home, she carries a shameful secret that keeps her from giving her heart to any man. Can Jack break down her defenses? Or are they destined to go their separate ways?


These two books are part of a series. I have never read anything by this author, but these sound like a good place to start. I love Historical Fiction, so I am sure these are two books that, if I ever receive them, will be ones that I will have a hard time putting down.

What books are on your wishlist this week? Please share by leaving me a comment. :)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. – Ephesians 1:3










 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday's Fave Five

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This week hasn't been as busy as the past few have been, so I have had the chance to just sit at home and relax with my kids! Here are five of my most favorite things that I discovered or enjoyed this week!

Photobucket#1. How To Train Your Dragon. This was such a cute movie that my husband and I both enjoyed watching with my kids. My husband had the privilage of being invited to the preview of this movie a few months back, before it was released to the theatres, and he and my daughter went together. {it was a daddy-daughter date night!! Love those!} My husband loved it and...honestly...has not stopped talking about it since! So, when I saw that it had arrived at our nearest Redbox, I had to go and rent it! I was not disappointed! My daughter, who is 3 1/2, enjoyed this movie. There were a few parts where I thought she would have gotten scared, but she didn't! I truly appreciate good, family, movies that can be watched with our kids! If you haven't seen this yet, go rent it this weekend! You won't be disappointed!

#2. My MOPS Group. This is my second year attending MOPS and I have to say, I don't know what I would do without it! I love getting together, twice a month, with other moms who have children around the same age as mine and realizing that I am not alone! There are other moms going through the exact same trials and tribulations with their kids that I am experiencing with mine!  It has helped me to keep my sanity! I always look forward to MOPS tuesdays!!

#3.Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Vanilla Tea. I am a coffee drinker...hands down! But, come fall, when the weather gets a little cooler, I really enjoy a nice cup of hot tea in the evenings! It is my comfort. My relaxation in a cup! My hubby enjoys a cup with me as well! I clipped a $1.00 off coupon out of my Sunday paper a few weeks back for Celestial Seasonings. I have had it in the past and have enjoyed their Green Tea so I knew this was a coupon I would use. Well, when I went to the grocery store and saw that they had a new flavor, Sleepytime Vanilla, and that it was on sale for $2.99, I threw it into my cart lightning fast! I have enjoyed this box of $1.99 tea more than any of the more expensive teas I have tried! Seriously, if you are a tea drinker...go get this tea!!

#4. Agave Nectar. Some of you may be thinking, "what's Agave Nectar?". Trust me, I had no idea what it was either until about a month ago when I was watching Giada at Home {love her} and she was cooking Salmon using Agave Nectar as a glaze! {mmm, mmm!} Anyways...she got me curious about it, so I looked it up and found that it is a healthier substitue for sugar. So, I bought some and have been using it to sweeten my tea as well as a marinade for my chicken and as a base for salad dressing! It is so very yummy!!

#5. Goodreads Book Swap. I had been using Swap.com and Book Mooch to swap books back and forth, but swap.com now charges a $5.00/month fee that I don't necessarily agree with and Book mooch just never had any of the books I wanted available. So, I did some searching and found that Goodreads, a site I have been using for a few years has a bookswap feature! I just signed up for it on Monday and have already swapped 2 books and should be receiving 2 books in the mail as well. But, my favorite thing about this particular swap is that you, the receiver of the book, pay for it to be shipped to you! Cool huh?! That way, the shipper isn't out a whole ton of money on shipping costs with nothing to show for it. Love it!

So, those are my Fave Fives for the week! Did you do or discover anything this week that you just love and it is now your favorite? Leave a comment telling me what it is/was!



I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:3-6

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Story Continues...1st Grade!

To be completely honest, nothing overly exciting happened in first grade. {at least not in comparison to Kindergarten!}

I remember really liking my teacher. She was soft spoken and really kind to us kids.

I remember loving learning how to read and write.

First Grade is also where my friendships really started to develop and some of my bestest friends were made.

I remember two girls in particular, Sally* and Susie*.

The three of us became inseperable. We constantly wanted to play with each other and go to each others houses after school and on the weekends.

Throuout the year, our bond grew tighter and stronger. But, a sad thing happened.

Sally's* dad's job transferred him to another city 4 hours away! {to a six year old that is as far away as the moon!!}

I was devastated! She was one of my bestest friends! Susie* and I cried our little eyes out that last day of 1st grade!

At such a young age, we still knew and understood that we most likely would never see Sally* again! {and I haven't}

To hear what happens to Susie* and mine friendship and how we survived the second grade without Sally* tune in next week...!

*the names used here are not their real-life names. I am protecting their privacy!


I am participating in Mommy's Piggy Tales Record Your Youth Challenge!
Past Posts:




Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! ~ Philippians 4:4

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Growing More and More Like Christ

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Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.  ~ Ephesians 4:15

When I read this verse, I can't help but think of the song If We Are the Body by Casting Crowns. The chorus is what stands out most to me:
But if we are the Body

Why aren't His arms reaching
Why aren't His hands healing
Why aren't His words teaching
And if we are the Body
Why aren't His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way
How are the unsaved supposed to see and hear about Christ if we as Christians are not doing our job?

How are they supposed to feel His love if we don't show love?

If we want people to know Him and feel His love and know about his healing powers and grace, we need to talk to them and show them His love. We need to invite them or bring them into church.

Yes, He is all powerful and all knowing and could do all this Himself, but we are called by faith to be witnesses of His love, power, and grace!

Thank you Jesus that you told us to love because you first loved us! Thank you for loving me despite all my faults and wrongdoings! Thank you for giving your life, for me! I love you Papa! In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen!

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iFellowship



We love because he first loved us. ~ 1 John 4:19





Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gratituesday: Following God's Voice

If you have been reading and following my blog for some time now, then you will have read my many posts about my Bible in 90 Days journey.

Through my journey, my husband was a wonderful support system. He helped me in the evenings with the kids so I could have a few minutes to read. He would talk me into reading when I was doing everything in my power not to read and trying instead to do something else. {how awful to admit, but it is saddenly true!}

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He stated how much he admired me for doing this challenge and sticking with it, even when I was 18 days behind!!

He prayed for me and with me.

And now, he has decided to take on the challenge himself!

On Monday night, my husband crawled into bed beside me, Bible in his hands, and opened it to Genesis 1:1.

This is an answer to my prayers as I have been asking God to put the desire into my husbands heart to get more into the Word.

We both struggle with our daily quiet time which was my main reason for taking the challenge on.

And now, since Monday night, we are both reading in the Word!

My husband basically said that his reasoning for taking on this challenge himself was because,
"I heard God telling me to!"
God is so good! I cannot say that enough!

Today, I am Grateful for Jesus Christ, His answer to prayers, My Husband and his love for Jesus, and God's Word!

Will you join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers?


And all things, whatever you make request for in prayer, having faith, you will get. ~ Matthew 21:22

Monday, October 18, 2010

One Thousand Gifts...

I have a lot to be thankful for! And I feel that I cannot express my thanks and gratitude enough to The One who gave me all that I have.

So, today I am going to join Ann Voskamp's Gratitude Community and count down all the gifts that have been given so graciously to me!

{by the way, if you have never read Ann Voskamp's blog, Holy Experience, you MUST go do that now!}

1. My gracious, heavenly, Father who always supplies my needs!
2. A husband who will do just about anything to provide for his family and show his love to us.
3. Two healthy, beautiful, kids who make my life better and better each and everyday.
4. Two puppies who provide me so much love and affection.
5. Living in a free country.
6. The gift of God's amazing Word!
7. A cozy, little, house that keeps me warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
8. A reliable car to get me to where I need to get going.
9. A good cup of coffee
10. A good book!
Will you consider joining me each Monday as I count down my 1000 gifts with the rest of the Gratitude Community?


holy experience
 


Shout to the LORD, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy! ~ Psalm 98:4

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kindergarten {where I experienced my first kiss}

Yes, you read that right. I received my fist kiss from a boy in Kindergarten. Did I want to be kissed? No way! But, he was a persistent little bugger. Here's the story...

I loved Kindergarten. I loved my teacher. I loved playing with my friends. I just loved the feeling of being "grown-up". What I didn't love was a little boy named Gary.

You see, Gary, at the young age of 5, was a romancer. He loved playing with us girls and did not for one second think we had cooties!

I remember him being shorter than most of us girls, but that did not stop Gary. He was our own "rico suave", to say the least.

One particular day, I remember it so clearly, we were having our play time in the back of the room. The boys were on one side playing with whatever boys play with, and us girls were on the other side by the bookshelves looking at the books and playing with our dolls and what not. And, you will never guess where Gary was? With us girls. Wanting to play with us and trying to...*gasps*... kiss us!

Of course, being little girls and thinking all little boys had cooties...we would scream and yell for him to get away. The teacher, of course, always reprimanded Gary and gave him plenty of warnings to stop. But, Gary was persistent.

It wasn't before long that Gary won. He kissed a very unsuspecting, very oblivious to what was going on around her, little girl, right on her cheek. {that little girl was me!} And on that day, he must have known he was going to win, because I remember him being in a little suit with a brown tie. {maybe it was picture day. I honestly do not know why he was so dressed up! :) }

How did I react? I cried! I was so embarrassed and so upset.

Gary of course got into trouble. {I am not sure how much trouble. I was too upset to care!} And that was the last day he ever kissed any girl in our class!

When I share this story, as a joke now, of course, I laugh and often wonder where Gary is now. He didn't attend any other grade with me after Kindergarten, since his family moved, so I have no other memories of Gary.

But, the one I do have will always stay fresh in my mind.

{I am participating, over the next 12 weeks, in Mommy's Piggytales Record Your Youth Challenge. This is week two's post. To read week one, click here.}



“Be careful. Continue strong in the faith. Have courage and be strong. Do everything in love.” ~ 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Word Filled Wednesday {born of God}

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Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed His name, He gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. ~ John 1:12-13

We must be born again! We must proclaim that we are God's children and walk in His paths! He chose us to be His...and He loves us so much!

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iFellowship

You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' ~ John 3:7

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gratituesday: Good Music

Christian music is mainly all I listen to anymore. To much negativity and not enough encouragement in today's secular music, so I choose not to bother with it. K-LOVE is constantly on in my car and I love it!

One Christian artist that I cannot talk highly enough about is Natalie Grant. I have been a fan of hers for years, but her recent CD, Love Revolution, has made me love listening to her music even more.

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{I am in no way being endorsed by this post. I just really enjoy her music and feel the need to talk about it! :) }

One particular song that I cannot get enough of and seem to be listening to over and over again is Beauty Mark.

Beauty Mark
by Natalie Grant

What do You see when You look at me
Ten dollar words and philosophies
How would You choose to define me
Cares for others
Or just cares what others think

But there is more to me than just what meets the eye
It's time to be the change inside

I wanna look like love
I wanna look like, live like faith
I wanna let this life in me show on my face
I wanna look like hope
I wanna look like, live like grace
And I know just where to start
I'll let You be my beauty mark

Lookin' the part just to play the game
Cookie cutter faith that looks the same
Religiouos rock stars making a name
So churchified it is a crying shame

But I'll point the finger at noody else but me
It's time to be the change we need

I wanna look like love
I wanna look like, live like faith
I wanna let this life in me show on my face
I wanna look like hope
I wanna look like, live like grace
And I know just where to start
I'll let You be my beauty mark

Dressed up in love
Love and joy, peace and kindness
Gentleness and self control
Nothing, nothing is more beautiful

I wanna look like love
I wanna look like, live like faith
I wanna let this life in me show on my face
I wanna look like hope
I wanna look like, live like grace
And I know just where to start
I'll let You be my beauty mark

Isn't it true? Are we not, as Christians, supposed to live a life of Christ and be an image of Him?
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. ~ Genesis 1:27
I want my life to reflect Him. When people see me, I want them to see Him. 

I heard this saying once {and forgive me because I do not know who the author is} "You may be the only Bible some people read". That is powerful! I don't want to push a religion on an unbeliever. I want to show them a relationship with Jesus Christ. I don't want to preach. I want to live the example.

We need to start walking and talking and looking more like Him and less like this world and what this world wants us all to be. He paid the ultimate price for us. Why wouldn't we want to mimic the life of someone so amazing?

So, in conclusion, I am thankful for good music that gets me thinking about my walk with Jesus Christ. The lover of my soul! My papa!

What are you thankful for on this Gratituesday?

{I am linked up at Heavenly Homemakers for Gratituesday!}

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. ~ Matthew 5:16





Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm at it again! {taking on new challenges, that is!}

If you have been a reader of my blog for awhile, you will have come to realize that I love a good challenge. One that is going to hold me accountable to get something done that I have been meaning to do.

At the beginning of this summer, I participated in the Women Living Well Marriage Challenge. A week ago, I finished reading through the Bible in 90 Days.

I have decided, once again, to take on a few more, "not so deep" challenges.

I am participating in Cadapillar Days Fall Into Reading 2010 Challenge. {to see my list of books, click here!} This will give me a reason to get some books that I have been meaning to read {or finish reading} done!

PhotobucketAlso, through my blogging journey, I have been hearing the name, Maud Hart Lovelace, a lot. Up until a few days ago, I had never heard of her before. So, being the curious person that I am, I had to look her up and find out what she is all about. It just so happens {for those of you who were like me and had no idea who she is} she was an amazing author. Her books have engaged readers young and old for years. When I read a little about her from the web, I knew I had to request some of her books from the library and get to reading. Well, it just so happens that one of the amazing book blogs that I follow, A Library is a Hospital for the Mind, is hosting a Maud Hart Lovelace Challenge! {sweet!} Of course I signed up the moment I read about it!


One of the fun parts of this challenge is all the cool prizes that I am able to enter to win along the way. The Giveaway that I am able to enter in today is the chance to win a copy of one of Maud Hart Lovelace's Books! {how cool is that?} The choices are Emily of Deep Valley and Winona's Pony Cart/Carney's House Party 

To be able to enter for my chance to win, I need to enter a few questions and post those answers on my blog. So, I am going to take a few moments to do that here, now! :)

The questions are:

a. Why you joined the MHLRC. I joined because I have been hearing a lot about Maud Hart Lovelace over the past few weeks on a couple different book blogs I follow. Her writing has sparked my interest, so I thought what better way to read through some of her books than by participating in a reading challenge about her!


b. Which book you are currently reading for the challenge. I actually signed up a little late in the challenge and am going to pick up two of her books from the library today; Betsy-Tacy and Betsy-Tacy and Tib.

c. Something new you have learned either from participating in this challenge or from a MHL book you have read. Unfortunately, I can't answer this question yet, since I am just going to be starting my book this afternoon. But, I hope to learn more about this authors style of writing and really come to enjoy it!

d. Which book in the Deep Valley series you hope to win and why. Emily of Deep Valley. I mainly chose this book because of the title. It reminded me of Emily of New Moon by Lucy Maud Montgomery and I just love her books.

So, there you have it. A few of the challenges you will see me writing about over the next few months. Who knows what else I may come along and decide to "sign-up" for in the meantime!

Just a heads up; some of the challenges I am already looking forward to in the new year are The Bible in 90 Days Challenge once again with Amy at Mom's Toolbox set to take off again in January! Also, Carrie, at Reading to Know {love her blog}, will be hosting her Lucy Maud Montgomery Challenge in January! I hope some of you decide to join me in one or both of them come the new year. I will add to this list if I come across any other challenges that I will be participating in.


We love Him because He first loved us. ~ 1 John 4:9-10







Friday, October 29, 2010

He Knows!

The softness of his hair as he lays next to me brushes against my cheek.

Morning.

He is ready to start the day.

The pitter patter of little feet follow me down the stairs and into the kitchen.

Breakfast is served.

Laughter and toothy grins fill the air as eggs and milk fill his tummy.

A sparkling kitchen means it's now time to play, but wait, not today.

We get dressed in a rush.

Pants, shirt, socks, shoes, coat are all thrown on him with lightning speed.

He starts to wimper. He knows.

With binky in place and an arm wrapped ever so tightly around the softness of his blue blanket, he watches me. Worried.

We pile into the car and the look on his face remains. Worry.

Silence fills the car as we drive. No babbling or giggling like regular. Today is different. He knows.

We arrive and find a spot up front. I unbuckle and pick him up and his head darts all around. The expression staying the same; worried.

He knows.

We walk across the street and enter the elevator. It dings: Floor 3.

Walking ever so briskly down the hall, fear has finally set in.

His hand grabs the neckline of my shirt with the intention of never letting go.

We wave bye to his sister and continue our walk down the hall.

His eyes settle on the door.

He knows.

And it starts.

The gates have opened with a crash and tears of shear fear come streaming down his face.

With forceful arms I pull his little hands from me and hand him over to the arms of another.

It is only for a short time, but his heart is breaking.

I dart from his sight and pull the door shut.

Standing there, it finally all settles in.

Outside I am all smiles. Inside my heart is breaking. He loves me that much!

Two hours pass and I return to see his tear streaked face.

His grasp around me is so tight; tighter than when I left.

He has found his comfort again. His safe place. 

I have returned.

All is right in his little world.

With arms wrapped ever so tightly around my neck, we enter the elevator and descend to Floor 1.

Worry has left and a smile has returned to his reddened face.

The car ride is once again filled with giggles and blabber.

We are headed home. He feels safe. He knows!


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{the scene described above is what we used to go through on a weekly basis when I drop mjy son off for my woman's Bible study meeting or my MOPS meeting}

My son suffers from seperation anxiety. And it is bad. Both for myself and him. He hates to leave me. I hate to see him cry when I leave. But, I know that it is good, for the both of us.

But, when I return, wow! What a reunion. To feel love in such a way! I cannot express it and don't think anyone truly understands this type of love unless they are a mother!

Isn't that the type of love, though, that our Heavenly Father has for us? He hates to see us leave Him, or not spend enough time with Him in His presence. Our Pastor just touched on this in church today. He stated that the perfect will of God is that He longs to fellowship with His creation! {Genesis Chp. 1-4} That's us! He wants our attention all day; everyday! Not just on Sundays or Wednesday nights at church, but every morning, noon, and night! He loves us! And He wants us to get to know Him better. He already knows everything about us, but He wants us to know everything we can about Him! What an embrace He has for us. A hold; a grasp ever so tight. He never wants to let go!

Come to the Heavenly Father! Seek His warm embrace! Come with your tears, your fears, your joy! He knows!

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O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. ~ Psalm 139:1

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Year I Gave My Heart to Jesus! {2nd Grade}

Do remember the date/time/place when you gave your whole heart  over to Jesus Christ, the lover of our soul?

I remember in full detail the day I gave my heart Him...

I was in second grade.  This was the year I struggled in math and continued to struggle with it every year after. I hated math tests, questions, games, etc. because I always failed no matter how hard I tried. Math was just not my strong subject.

Our class had just finished a game of math relay and I was down in the dumps, to say the least, of not winning. In fact, I hadn't even scored a point.

Bible class always followed Math {and boy did I ever need it!} and this day in particular became far more important than I ever dreamed or imagined.

Our teacher asked us to be seated in the back of the classroom in a circle for our lesson today. She sat down with us and began talking about John 3:16 and how truly important that verse really is to us!

She then explained to us, in only the way a second grade teacher can, what being "born-again" means and why it is so important to ask Jesus to live in our hearts. I remember being a little confused on the fact that Jesus would "live in my heart", but I also felt this desire to want to do it. To have Jesus come and live in me!

She then asked those of us who wanted to ask Jesus into our hearts to simply raise our hands. Surprisingly, not every hand shot up. I can't remember how many did, exactly, but I do remember there being a few who didn't.

She then procceded to have us recite the sinners prayer after her.


"Dear Lord Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner and I am in need of You and Your forgiveness. I want to turn from my sins and follow You completely. I believe that You are the Son of God who died on the cross for me and all my sins; You were buried, rose to life again and You are coming back. I accept the Father's gift of eternal life through faith and belief in You alone. I receive You as Lord and Savior of every part and area of my life forever and ever. Now Lord, fill me with Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus' Name. Amen "


I can honestly say I prayed that prayer that day and meant every word! I was saved and Jesus Christ had already begun to "do a good work in me"! {Philippians 1:6}

I love and appreciate my teacher for taking the time to explain the gift of salvation to us and praying for/with us. She truly helped to change my life at an early age.

As I got older and entered into my teenage years, I unfortunately slipped away from God's path. But, He loves me so much that He was never too far away!!

I later, in 2007, re-dedicated my life to Jesus Christ when my husband and I were water baptized. I have been trying earnestly each and every day since then to live my life for Him, the "One who came so that I may have life and life more abundantly"! {John 10:10}

I hope you enjoy coming here and reading about my youth! Come back next week when I share more about my friendship with Susie and our adventures in the third grade! 


"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." ~ John 3:16

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What's On Your Nightstand {1st link-up!}

Since I have been getting a little more time to read lately {fall does that for me...allows me to slow down a bit} I have decided to take part in more book memes and share with all of you what I have been reading and what I hope to read soon!

What's On Your Nightstand is a book carnival hosted by 5 Minutes for Books. Once a month {the last tuesday of every month actually} you link-up stating what you would like to have read in the next month.

I am actually pretty impressed with myself. I finished three books in the month of October. I can't tell you the last time I finished one book in a month, let alone three! This is a big accomplishment for me and I am excited! :)

In October, I read, Betsy-Tacy and Tib by Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill by Maud Hart Lovelace and my ARC copy of Amy Inspired by Bethany Pierce. I enjoyed all three of these titles and recommend them to all of you!

Here is my list for the month of November. {It is also part of my Fall Into Reading Challenge!}

The HelpI just started reading The Help by Kathrynn Stockett last night. It is so very good right from the start. I am definately hooked! It is 451 pages long, and not something that you can just breeze right through. {I am already noticing this!} I am hoping to find the time to sit and devour it so I can fit a few more books in this month!







Snow Flower and the Secret FanI am also hoping to be able to read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for months and I have been wanting to get to it ever since! I have readsuch rave reviews for it and I can't wait to read it and see for myself what it is all about!








Catching MoondropsAnd lastly, I am hoping to start and finish another ARC I received for review, Catching Moondrops by Jennifer Erin Valent. I just received this copy about a month ago and I am trying to stay on top of my ARC's that I receive for review. This book sounds very good and I am hoping it is an enjoyable read! It has gotten some high reviews so far, so we shall see!







So, that's it folks. My first What's On Your Nightstand Post. Hoping I have good things to report when I check in next month!

What are you currently reading? Leave me a comment letting me know!

Are you a Goodreads Member? If you are, I would love to be friends! Click Here to add me as your friend!

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands." ~ Isaiah 55:12

Maud Hart Lovelace Challenge {wrap-up}

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At the beginning of this month, I signed up for the Maud Hart Lovelace Reading Challenge over at Library Hospital. When I read about this challenge, I had no idea who Maud Hart Lovelace was, but her books sounded like something I would enjoy, and, you all know me, I love a good challenge!

I had the pleasure of reading two of her books. {and am looking forward to reading more once the library notifies me that the ones I requested are in!} The books I read are Betsy-Tacy and Tib and Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill.  Out of the two, Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill was more of an enjoyable read and my favorite.

Betsy-Tacy and Tib (Betsy-Tacy, #2){my review} I have to say, I was a little skeptical at first when I started to read this book, but I am so glad that I kept with it. What a cute story. Betsy-Tacy and Tib are three adorable little girls who have an eye for adventure and being mischevious. No matter how hard they try NOT to get into trouble, it seems to always find them. I would love it if we still lived in a time when our children could run and play freely in the streets and not have to be too worried about there safety. This was a great read. A feel-good book. I am looking forward to the time when my daughter and I can read it together!
 
 
 
Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill (Betsy-Tacy, #3){my review} I highly recommend this book for the young and old alike! It was a quick and light read that left you feeling good inside once you finished reading it! It allowed for me settle in and relax and reminisce of sweet childhood memories gone by! Maud Hart Lovelace is a very talented writer. This is the second book written by her that I have read and am anticipating reading more!
 
 
 
 
 
 
I am so glad that I came across this challenge and discovered this very talented author. I may not have ever read about Betsy, Tacy, and Tib and all their wonderous adventures otherwise. {I even won a copy of one of Maud Hart Lovelace's book, Emily of Deep Valley!}
 
I am hoping to swing by the library this week in hopes of fitting in one more book before the challenge ends this weekend. I am hoping to one day be able to own all of Maud Hart Lovelace's titles so my daughter and I can read them together.
 
If you haven't checked out any of her books, I encourage you to do so. They take you back to a more pleasant time. I got to relive my childhood, in a sense, through reading about Betsy, Tacy, and Tib.
 
Thank you, Library Hospital, for hosting this challenge and introducing me to the wonderful world of Maud Hart Lovelace.
 
Linked up at:
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O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens! ~ Psalm 8:1

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall {Gifts}

Fall! What a glorious, beautiful, time of year! I truly enjoy the cooler temperatures, the cozy comfort of my little home, and the beauty of God's paintbrush on all the trees. Some of my families favorite activities take place in the fall. Going to the pumpkin patch and playing in the hay. Picking apples and baking apple pie and apple crisp. Hay rides and getting lost in corn field mazes. So many memories made! So much laughter, joy, and love.

Fall is the intermission between summer and winter. A time to slow down a little before things get hectic again with the holidays fastly approaching. {although, Thanksgiving and Christmas are another of my favorite times of year!}

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This time of year, it is especially easy to reflect and be thankful for all the amazing gifts our Heavenly Father gave to us!

#11. Fall
#12. Colors of fall
#13. My children's laughter
#14. The comforts of home
#15. Good friends




holy experience



"Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing." ~ John 15:5

Saturday, October 23, 2010

On My Wishlist {a bookish meme!}

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I know I usually don't post on Saturday's, but I came across this meme from a blog that I follow and I had to join in.

On My Wishlist is a bookish meme hosted by Book Chick City every Saturday. It is where I get to list all the books I want to read/own, but haven't bought yet.

Here are some of the books that I just added to my wishlist this week. {and that I will be adding to my Christmas list as well!}

While We're Far Apart by Lynn Austin  

While We're Far Apart{synopsis from Goodreads} In an unassuming apartment building in Brooklyn, New York, three lives intersect as the reality of war invades each aspect of their lives. Young Esther is heartbroken when her father decides to enlist in the army shortly after the death of her mother. Penny Goodrich has been in love with Eddie Shaffer for as long as she can remember; now that Eddie's wife is dead, Penny feels she has been given a second chance and offers to care for his children in the hope that he will finally notice her and marry her after the war. And elderly Mr. Mendel, the landlord, waits for the war to end to hear what has happened to his son trapped in war-torn Hungary. But during the long, endless wait for victory overseas, life on the home front will go from bad to worse. Yet these characters will find themselves growing and changing in ways they never expected--and ultimately discovering truths about God's love... even when He is silent.

I have read several of Lynn Austin's books including A Woman's Place, All She Ever Wanted, and Though Waters Roar and have enjoyed each one immensly. When I heard she came out with a new book, I quickly added it to my TBR pile as well as my Goodreads Wishlist. This is one book I want added to my bookshelf!

A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin

A Distant Melody  (Wings of Glory, #1){synopsis from Goodreads} Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval--even marry a man she doesn't love. Lt. Walter Novak--fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women--takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas. Walt and Allie meet at a wedding and their love of music draws them together, prompting them to begin a correspondence that will change their lives. As letters fly between Walt's muddy bomber base in England and Allie's mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart? A Distant Melody is the first book in the Wings of Glory series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II.


A Memory Between Us (Wings of Glory, #2)A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin

{synopsis from Goodreads} Major Jack Novak has never failed to meet a challenge--until he meets army nurse Lieutenant Ruth Doherty. When Jack lands in the army hospital after a plane crash, he makes winning Ruth's heart a top priority mission. But he has his work cut out for him. Not only is Ruth focused on her work in order to support her orphaned siblings back home, she carries a shameful secret that keeps her from giving her heart to any man. Can Jack break down her defenses? Or are they destined to go their separate ways?


These two books are part of a series. I have never read anything by this author, but these sound like a good place to start. I love Historical Fiction, so I am sure these are two books that, if I ever receive them, will be ones that I will have a hard time putting down.

What books are on your wishlist this week? Please share by leaving me a comment. :)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. – Ephesians 1:3










 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday's Fave Five

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This week hasn't been as busy as the past few have been, so I have had the chance to just sit at home and relax with my kids! Here are five of my most favorite things that I discovered or enjoyed this week!

Photobucket#1. How To Train Your Dragon. This was such a cute movie that my husband and I both enjoyed watching with my kids. My husband had the privilage of being invited to the preview of this movie a few months back, before it was released to the theatres, and he and my daughter went together. {it was a daddy-daughter date night!! Love those!} My husband loved it and...honestly...has not stopped talking about it since! So, when I saw that it had arrived at our nearest Redbox, I had to go and rent it! I was not disappointed! My daughter, who is 3 1/2, enjoyed this movie. There were a few parts where I thought she would have gotten scared, but she didn't! I truly appreciate good, family, movies that can be watched with our kids! If you haven't seen this yet, go rent it this weekend! You won't be disappointed!

#2. My MOPS Group. This is my second year attending MOPS and I have to say, I don't know what I would do without it! I love getting together, twice a month, with other moms who have children around the same age as mine and realizing that I am not alone! There are other moms going through the exact same trials and tribulations with their kids that I am experiencing with mine!  It has helped me to keep my sanity! I always look forward to MOPS tuesdays!!

#3.Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Vanilla Tea. I am a coffee drinker...hands down! But, come fall, when the weather gets a little cooler, I really enjoy a nice cup of hot tea in the evenings! It is my comfort. My relaxation in a cup! My hubby enjoys a cup with me as well! I clipped a $1.00 off coupon out of my Sunday paper a few weeks back for Celestial Seasonings. I have had it in the past and have enjoyed their Green Tea so I knew this was a coupon I would use. Well, when I went to the grocery store and saw that they had a new flavor, Sleepytime Vanilla, and that it was on sale for $2.99, I threw it into my cart lightning fast! I have enjoyed this box of $1.99 tea more than any of the more expensive teas I have tried! Seriously, if you are a tea drinker...go get this tea!!

#4. Agave Nectar. Some of you may be thinking, "what's Agave Nectar?". Trust me, I had no idea what it was either until about a month ago when I was watching Giada at Home {love her} and she was cooking Salmon using Agave Nectar as a glaze! {mmm, mmm!} Anyways...she got me curious about it, so I looked it up and found that it is a healthier substitue for sugar. So, I bought some and have been using it to sweeten my tea as well as a marinade for my chicken and as a base for salad dressing! It is so very yummy!!

#5. Goodreads Book Swap. I had been using Swap.com and Book Mooch to swap books back and forth, but swap.com now charges a $5.00/month fee that I don't necessarily agree with and Book mooch just never had any of the books I wanted available. So, I did some searching and found that Goodreads, a site I have been using for a few years has a bookswap feature! I just signed up for it on Monday and have already swapped 2 books and should be receiving 2 books in the mail as well. But, my favorite thing about this particular swap is that you, the receiver of the book, pay for it to be shipped to you! Cool huh?! That way, the shipper isn't out a whole ton of money on shipping costs with nothing to show for it. Love it!

So, those are my Fave Fives for the week! Did you do or discover anything this week that you just love and it is now your favorite? Leave a comment telling me what it is/was!



I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:3-6

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Story Continues...1st Grade!

To be completely honest, nothing overly exciting happened in first grade. {at least not in comparison to Kindergarten!}

I remember really liking my teacher. She was soft spoken and really kind to us kids.

I remember loving learning how to read and write.

First Grade is also where my friendships really started to develop and some of my bestest friends were made.

I remember two girls in particular, Sally* and Susie*.

The three of us became inseperable. We constantly wanted to play with each other and go to each others houses after school and on the weekends.

Throuout the year, our bond grew tighter and stronger. But, a sad thing happened.

Sally's* dad's job transferred him to another city 4 hours away! {to a six year old that is as far away as the moon!!}

I was devastated! She was one of my bestest friends! Susie* and I cried our little eyes out that last day of 1st grade!

At such a young age, we still knew and understood that we most likely would never see Sally* again! {and I haven't}

To hear what happens to Susie* and mine friendship and how we survived the second grade without Sally* tune in next week...!

*the names used here are not their real-life names. I am protecting their privacy!


I am participating in Mommy's Piggy Tales Record Your Youth Challenge!
Past Posts:




Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! ~ Philippians 4:4

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Growing More and More Like Christ

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Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.  ~ Ephesians 4:15

When I read this verse, I can't help but think of the song If We Are the Body by Casting Crowns. The chorus is what stands out most to me:
But if we are the Body

Why aren't His arms reaching
Why aren't His hands healing
Why aren't His words teaching
And if we are the Body
Why aren't His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way
How are the unsaved supposed to see and hear about Christ if we as Christians are not doing our job?

How are they supposed to feel His love if we don't show love?

If we want people to know Him and feel His love and know about his healing powers and grace, we need to talk to them and show them His love. We need to invite them or bring them into church.

Yes, He is all powerful and all knowing and could do all this Himself, but we are called by faith to be witnesses of His love, power, and grace!

Thank you Jesus that you told us to love because you first loved us! Thank you for loving me despite all my faults and wrongdoings! Thank you for giving your life, for me! I love you Papa! In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen!

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iFellowship



We love because he first loved us. ~ 1 John 4:19





Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gratituesday: Following God's Voice

If you have been reading and following my blog for some time now, then you will have read my many posts about my Bible in 90 Days journey.

Through my journey, my husband was a wonderful support system. He helped me in the evenings with the kids so I could have a few minutes to read. He would talk me into reading when I was doing everything in my power not to read and trying instead to do something else. {how awful to admit, but it is saddenly true!}

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He stated how much he admired me for doing this challenge and sticking with it, even when I was 18 days behind!!

He prayed for me and with me.

And now, he has decided to take on the challenge himself!

On Monday night, my husband crawled into bed beside me, Bible in his hands, and opened it to Genesis 1:1.

This is an answer to my prayers as I have been asking God to put the desire into my husbands heart to get more into the Word.

We both struggle with our daily quiet time which was my main reason for taking the challenge on.

And now, since Monday night, we are both reading in the Word!

My husband basically said that his reasoning for taking on this challenge himself was because,
"I heard God telling me to!"
God is so good! I cannot say that enough!

Today, I am Grateful for Jesus Christ, His answer to prayers, My Husband and his love for Jesus, and God's Word!

Will you join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers?


And all things, whatever you make request for in prayer, having faith, you will get. ~ Matthew 21:22

Monday, October 18, 2010

One Thousand Gifts...

I have a lot to be thankful for! And I feel that I cannot express my thanks and gratitude enough to The One who gave me all that I have.

So, today I am going to join Ann Voskamp's Gratitude Community and count down all the gifts that have been given so graciously to me!

{by the way, if you have never read Ann Voskamp's blog, Holy Experience, you MUST go do that now!}

1. My gracious, heavenly, Father who always supplies my needs!
2. A husband who will do just about anything to provide for his family and show his love to us.
3. Two healthy, beautiful, kids who make my life better and better each and everyday.
4. Two puppies who provide me so much love and affection.
5. Living in a free country.
6. The gift of God's amazing Word!
7. A cozy, little, house that keeps me warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
8. A reliable car to get me to where I need to get going.
9. A good cup of coffee
10. A good book!
Will you consider joining me each Monday as I count down my 1000 gifts with the rest of the Gratitude Community?


holy experience
 


Shout to the LORD, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy! ~ Psalm 98:4

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kindergarten {where I experienced my first kiss}

Yes, you read that right. I received my fist kiss from a boy in Kindergarten. Did I want to be kissed? No way! But, he was a persistent little bugger. Here's the story...

I loved Kindergarten. I loved my teacher. I loved playing with my friends. I just loved the feeling of being "grown-up". What I didn't love was a little boy named Gary.

You see, Gary, at the young age of 5, was a romancer. He loved playing with us girls and did not for one second think we had cooties!

I remember him being shorter than most of us girls, but that did not stop Gary. He was our own "rico suave", to say the least.

One particular day, I remember it so clearly, we were having our play time in the back of the room. The boys were on one side playing with whatever boys play with, and us girls were on the other side by the bookshelves looking at the books and playing with our dolls and what not. And, you will never guess where Gary was? With us girls. Wanting to play with us and trying to...*gasps*... kiss us!

Of course, being little girls and thinking all little boys had cooties...we would scream and yell for him to get away. The teacher, of course, always reprimanded Gary and gave him plenty of warnings to stop. But, Gary was persistent.

It wasn't before long that Gary won. He kissed a very unsuspecting, very oblivious to what was going on around her, little girl, right on her cheek. {that little girl was me!} And on that day, he must have known he was going to win, because I remember him being in a little suit with a brown tie. {maybe it was picture day. I honestly do not know why he was so dressed up! :) }

How did I react? I cried! I was so embarrassed and so upset.

Gary of course got into trouble. {I am not sure how much trouble. I was too upset to care!} And that was the last day he ever kissed any girl in our class!

When I share this story, as a joke now, of course, I laugh and often wonder where Gary is now. He didn't attend any other grade with me after Kindergarten, since his family moved, so I have no other memories of Gary.

But, the one I do have will always stay fresh in my mind.

{I am participating, over the next 12 weeks, in Mommy's Piggytales Record Your Youth Challenge. This is week two's post. To read week one, click here.}



“Be careful. Continue strong in the faith. Have courage and be strong. Do everything in love.” ~ 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Word Filled Wednesday {born of God}

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Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed His name, He gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. ~ John 1:12-13

We must be born again! We must proclaim that we are God's children and walk in His paths! He chose us to be His...and He loves us so much!

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iFellowship

You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' ~ John 3:7

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gratituesday: Good Music

Christian music is mainly all I listen to anymore. To much negativity and not enough encouragement in today's secular music, so I choose not to bother with it. K-LOVE is constantly on in my car and I love it!

One Christian artist that I cannot talk highly enough about is Natalie Grant. I have been a fan of hers for years, but her recent CD, Love Revolution, has made me love listening to her music even more.

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{I am in no way being endorsed by this post. I just really enjoy her music and feel the need to talk about it! :) }

One particular song that I cannot get enough of and seem to be listening to over and over again is Beauty Mark.

Beauty Mark
by Natalie Grant

What do You see when You look at me
Ten dollar words and philosophies
How would You choose to define me
Cares for others
Or just cares what others think

But there is more to me than just what meets the eye
It's time to be the change inside

I wanna look like love
I wanna look like, live like faith
I wanna let this life in me show on my face
I wanna look like hope
I wanna look like, live like grace
And I know just where to start
I'll let You be my beauty mark

Lookin' the part just to play the game
Cookie cutter faith that looks the same
Religiouos rock stars making a name
So churchified it is a crying shame

But I'll point the finger at noody else but me
It's time to be the change we need

I wanna look like love
I wanna look like, live like faith
I wanna let this life in me show on my face
I wanna look like hope
I wanna look like, live like grace
And I know just where to start
I'll let You be my beauty mark

Dressed up in love
Love and joy, peace and kindness
Gentleness and self control
Nothing, nothing is more beautiful

I wanna look like love
I wanna look like, live like faith
I wanna let this life in me show on my face
I wanna look like hope
I wanna look like, live like grace
And I know just where to start
I'll let You be my beauty mark

Isn't it true? Are we not, as Christians, supposed to live a life of Christ and be an image of Him?
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. ~ Genesis 1:27
I want my life to reflect Him. When people see me, I want them to see Him. 

I heard this saying once {and forgive me because I do not know who the author is} "You may be the only Bible some people read". That is powerful! I don't want to push a religion on an unbeliever. I want to show them a relationship with Jesus Christ. I don't want to preach. I want to live the example.

We need to start walking and talking and looking more like Him and less like this world and what this world wants us all to be. He paid the ultimate price for us. Why wouldn't we want to mimic the life of someone so amazing?

So, in conclusion, I am thankful for good music that gets me thinking about my walk with Jesus Christ. The lover of my soul! My papa!

What are you thankful for on this Gratituesday?

{I am linked up at Heavenly Homemakers for Gratituesday!}

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. ~ Matthew 5:16





Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm at it again! {taking on new challenges, that is!}

If you have been a reader of my blog for awhile, you will have come to realize that I love a good challenge. One that is going to hold me accountable to get something done that I have been meaning to do.

At the beginning of this summer, I participated in the Women Living Well Marriage Challenge. A week ago, I finished reading through the Bible in 90 Days.

I have decided, once again, to take on a few more, "not so deep" challenges.

I am participating in Cadapillar Days Fall Into Reading 2010 Challenge. {to see my list of books, click here!} This will give me a reason to get some books that I have been meaning to read {or finish reading} done!

PhotobucketAlso, through my blogging journey, I have been hearing the name, Maud Hart Lovelace, a lot. Up until a few days ago, I had never heard of her before. So, being the curious person that I am, I had to look her up and find out what she is all about. It just so happens {for those of you who were like me and had no idea who she is} she was an amazing author. Her books have engaged readers young and old for years. When I read a little about her from the web, I knew I had to request some of her books from the library and get to reading. Well, it just so happens that one of the amazing book blogs that I follow, A Library is a Hospital for the Mind, is hosting a Maud Hart Lovelace Challenge! {sweet!} Of course I signed up the moment I read about it!


One of the fun parts of this challenge is all the cool prizes that I am able to enter to win along the way. The Giveaway that I am able to enter in today is the chance to win a copy of one of Maud Hart Lovelace's Books! {how cool is that?} The choices are Emily of Deep Valley and Winona's Pony Cart/Carney's House Party 

To be able to enter for my chance to win, I need to enter a few questions and post those answers on my blog. So, I am going to take a few moments to do that here, now! :)

The questions are:

a. Why you joined the MHLRC. I joined because I have been hearing a lot about Maud Hart Lovelace over the past few weeks on a couple different book blogs I follow. Her writing has sparked my interest, so I thought what better way to read through some of her books than by participating in a reading challenge about her!


b. Which book you are currently reading for the challenge. I actually signed up a little late in the challenge and am going to pick up two of her books from the library today; Betsy-Tacy and Betsy-Tacy and Tib.

c. Something new you have learned either from participating in this challenge or from a MHL book you have read. Unfortunately, I can't answer this question yet, since I am just going to be starting my book this afternoon. But, I hope to learn more about this authors style of writing and really come to enjoy it!

d. Which book in the Deep Valley series you hope to win and why. Emily of Deep Valley. I mainly chose this book because of the title. It reminded me of Emily of New Moon by Lucy Maud Montgomery and I just love her books.

So, there you have it. A few of the challenges you will see me writing about over the next few months. Who knows what else I may come along and decide to "sign-up" for in the meantime!

Just a heads up; some of the challenges I am already looking forward to in the new year are The Bible in 90 Days Challenge once again with Amy at Mom's Toolbox set to take off again in January! Also, Carrie, at Reading to Know {love her blog}, will be hosting her Lucy Maud Montgomery Challenge in January! I hope some of you decide to join me in one or both of them come the new year. I will add to this list if I come across any other challenges that I will be participating in.


We love Him because He first loved us. ~ 1 John 4:9-10







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