Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Man I love

Today marks the 9th anniversary of the day Justin and I got married. I am so blessed to be married to the man I love and so privileged to be his wife. There are so many reasons I love him and I would like to share just a few.

1. He loves God - There really is no better thing than sharing a common goal, purpose and passion with your life mate. His love for God grows stronger all the time which encourages me to get to know God more.

2. He makes me laugh - I am uptight and way too serious so God knew I needed someone who knows how to have fun. He makes me laugh when I don't really want to and after 9 years I get a little less upset by his silliness and antics.

3. He is gracious and understanding - To put up with me he has to be!

4. He teaches me how to be the best me - I wish I knew how to write it better but that will have to do. Justin is so wonderful because he always encourages me to be the person God wants me to be but loves me in the process. He doesn't want to change me but encourages me to be who God made me to be. He values that God is working on me and in us. I love that.

I could keep writing more but as these are the top of my list for today and nap time is almost over I will leave it at that. I have a wonderful husband, lover and friend and am blessed by the union we share.

Friday, May 22, 2009

outside

Well, I finally did something that I never really thought I would do, I planted a garden. I do not have a green thumb but since we all love fresh produce around here I decided to convert a few flower beds into vegetable gardens. I planted green beans, zucchini, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes and a few pumpkin seeds Lydia got when we visited the WVU farms a couple weeks ago. So far the sprouts look pretty good and the girls like to check on the progress each day. I am also motivated to do some landscaping work on our front yard. We don't have the best curb appeal and I want to change that. The only problem is doing it for next to nothing. If anyone knows anything about landscaping for cheap let me know because it is not my thing and really can't seem to come up with many ideas about what to do with a hill and cliff. Well, this is meant to be a short post so I will leave it at that.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Memories, loss and comfort

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." (Romans 8:28)

There are so many verses and passages in the Bible that I can only wish to understand with my mind and my heart. The present reality we live in this broken world seem to contradict the words men wrote by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Life does not always seems good, obviously not all situations are good nor can we always see the good that comes from them. This weekend was a reflective one for me as it marked the anniversary of the loss of my grandpa and my friends Bob and Tanna Slatt. All of these people shared common ground in their love for God and their faith in the person of Jesus Christ. They knew that God was good even when life didn't seem good. They shared a faith that God would provide for all their needs and they passed on the love of Christ to others they came in contact with. I have wonderful memories of all of them and know that they are at peace right now.

Whenever I hear about tragedy and my human mind cannot comprehend why God allowed it to happen I must turn to faith God has given me and pray that He would increase my faith. God is good even when life doesn't seem good.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Quick update

I told you I would update when I finished the one hundred push up challenge and well I did it. This morning I took advantage of Lydia sleeping in and decided to do it just to see if I could. I knew that I had not worked up enough strength to do 100 real push ups but thought I would try for 100 girlie (on knees) push ups. I took a 10 sec break after the first 20 then again after the second 20. After 50 I was pretty tired and it didn't help that Emma was wanting me to read a book to her. I thought I would call it quits but after reading her a book (2-3 minutes) I felt much better and gave it another try. @0 break 20 break then the last ten. Emma kept crawling on my back but I was able to finish and felt as though I really achieved something. I posted it on facebook and even got a few others interested in the challenge. My goal is to try for the 100 real push ups before the end of summer but am only 1/4 to a 1/3 of the way there. Here is to good heath and physical well being.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Legacy

Oh how often in parenting I wish there was an easy button to push. I wish that I could push the easy button when I need a new attitude, when my kids need a new attitude, when I am tired or when I am hurt. I wish that there was some way to guarantee that my girls will turn out the way I want them to, respectful, obedient, worshipers of God. Since there is no button to push, I pray continually that the legacy I leave my children is one of contentment with God, love for others and passion for the lost. Unfortunately there are many days that those principles don't resound through my house and I once again am on my knees asking God to make up for my lack and the truth is I am all lack. Apart from God this task is WAY TOO BIG for me to handle.

As a reflection on Mothers Day I am reminded of the example my mother has given me. I've grown closer and closer to my mother over my adult life and know that she is a woman of faith and purpose. I'm not sure that she would say that she has always been that way though. She has grown so much in her relationship with the Lord over my life and she is always willing to pass on what she has learned to not only my sisters and me but to all the women she comes in contact with. One thing she and I share a passion for is that people truly come to understand who they are. As my pastor says, understanding who we are and who's we are.

My mother recently wrote a note that expresses a small piece of what God has taught her and I wanted to share that with you.

"One day while walking along the shore at Edisto Island, I was impressed by how different each sea shell was. The difference in size, color and shape made me reflect on the different experiences I've had in my life.
The white shells remind me of the bright spots in my life: my graduation, my wedding day, as well as the birth of my children and grandchildren.
The dark shells brought to mind the difficult times I've had to endure: the loss of a loved one, a broken relationship, and the ordinary stress of day to day life.
But, the shells I like the best are the broken ones. These made me think about the pieces of my life. As I look at these pieces, I can hear my Lord say, "You're broken my child, but without this brokenness you can't grow. As you let Me comfort you, you will learn to comfort others. I love you so much that I sent my one and only Son, Jesus to die for you."
Just like I went looking for these shells, collected them and put them in this jar, so God came looking for me. He calls me by name and promises that He will never leave me or forsake me. What a joy and what a simple lesson to be learned from a jar of ordinary sea shells, each one different, each one special, just like each of us is special to our Heavenly Father when we seek a relationship with Him.
I pray that this jar of shells will help you be reminded of how special you are to God. He calls you by name, too, and promises that He won't leave you either. When the creator of the universe says that, how can we doubt our purpose and significance?"

I am so blessed to have a mother who lives a life fully knowing who she is and who's she is. I want to pass the same confidence and faith on to my girls. I'm not sure what my mom was like when my sisters and I were toddlers, if like me she thought some days might drive her crazy and others made her cry and laugh and pray even more all at the same time. Whatever she was like then I owe her the gratitude of who I have become now. Thanks mom! I love you and covet your prayers for my family.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Innocence in prayer

I love learning from my kids. Lydia and Emma both teach me so much and open my eyes to so many things every day. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to spend each day with them and enjoy them. We make a regular habit to pray with the girls and most nights before dinner. Lydia and Emma both like taking turns to pray and I've actually learned about prayer through their innocent offerings.

Tonight before dinner Lydia wanted to pray. Most evenings I encourage Lydia to pray for 2 things she is thankful for so often her prayers go like this: "Thanks you for this day, for our family and our friends and then she says thanks you for any number of things whether it is a toy, person, activity or just about anything may pop into her little mind to be thankful for. A couple weeks ago when Justin had his surgery and was recovering we often prayed to his "ouchies". Lydia on more than one occasion prayed "Thank you for Daddy's ouchies". Lydia picked up a bit of a cold somewhere this week and has been coughing a lot so tonight at dinner she once again thanked God for Daddy's ouchies and for her cough.

When I hear a prayer that is saying thank you for not good things there is a part of me that wants to correct her but the truth is that the Bible tells us to be thankful, to rejoice in all things. Lydia is actually correct in her thanking God for things that are not so good. Paul wrote the book of Philippians from prison yet the word joy/rejoice shows up more here than in any of his other letters to churches. He is encouraging readers to be joyful in all circumstances. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God." (Phil. 4:6) That verse reminds me just how much Lydia's innocent prayer was a reflection of how God want us to approach Him with childlike faith.