Saturday, September 22, 2007

Did ya ever?

Did ya ever feel like no matter how hard you try and how good you are and how many wonderful, sacrificial things you do for others in your life, you still get poohed on? Well, I never feel that way, but I have a friend that had one of those days, okay it was me!! Feeling like I can do everything so perfect for no thanks and then the ONE thing that I mess up on, minor as it may be, BAM! "How could you?" Yes, such a raw human emotion, and all it took was reading Zach a story before bed, "Rewards", it's a little board book that talks about how our reward is in heaven when we see Jesus face! And instantly I am humbled. Tonight I am faced with this very real fact, that in my life if I am living the way God wants me to, I could possibly end up an invisible person on earth that amazingly enough has had a profound influence and impact on those that knew me and still no one will remember my name. But, I will hold my head high, press on and continue my good works and silent acts of service in the background of God's amazing orchestration here on earth and one day I will see my Saviour face to face, and it will all be worth it and to Him it meant something, and He saw everything I did. So I am content to live a life that God rewards.

Friday, September 21, 2007

No more "Grey" for me.

Have you every been praying silently and then have some horrible thought creep into your mind that could only be from the enemy (Satan) himself. I was ironing, and praying for my husband, my kids, my church, friends, and suddenly, there it was, a terrible thought just crept right in and interrupted my prayers- so frustrating! I have to handed it to him, he knows my weaknesses. I have been soul searching and trying to figure out how I can increase my Savior and decrease self. I want my walk with God to be as strong as it can be and I want EVERYTHING in my life to reflect that, I want to take EVERY thought captive. SO, here's what I purpose to do! I am "cleaning" house, you know that saying "garbage in garbage out", I was also given so many great examples of this last weekend. My dirty little secret is watching 'Grey's Anatomy', a completely intriguing, and terribly immoral show with not a single person on it living any where near a godly life, or even with God in their life. I am sad to say, I have been practically addicted to this show and have been looking forward to the season premier of it all summer. I have noticed that as humans we want there to be a "gray" area, when in actuality there is only black and white, it's either God's way or it's not, no in between really. Well, one of my areas of "gray" has been "Grey's", but I am done trying to convince myself that it's okay and I am taking back that part of my mind and I am going to fill it with the things that would be pleasing to God, I am going to spend that hour reading an inspirational book of my choosing, maybe a MOPS book, or a Jennifer Rothchild book!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Penny Pinching

Today our MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers) topic was stocking the pantry. Michelle, mommy of six spoke to us about one of my passions, saving money. She focused of the pantry and gave us lots of tips on saving "dough". I have a few ideas of my own that I use on a weekly basis. The Penny Pincher Gazette is one of my favorites. I have tried out the Beto Junction Wholesale and that is wow! I do watch the sale ads and clip the coupons, but I like to search the internet for printable coupons too. I am a big believer in stocking up when it's cheap and I want to save up for a deep freeze so bad! I enjoy stocking my pantry, I really like to organize it too, okay, quit with the jokes, I know, ha ha, yes I do go overboard and it is very pretty! It is just these sorts of subjects at MOPS that keep me coming back for more.

Winter's Wonderful Weekend

Okay, that's not the official title of the weekend, but it was! Kansas-Nebraska Covention of Southern Baptist, has a Wonderful Weekend for Women (WWW) every year at Webster Conference Center in Salina, KS., and I have had the privilege of going twice now. Both times-wow! This year I was able to go on a scholarship from the Kellly Shelton Fund for Leadership Training. I was so excited to get this scholarship, because I otherwise would not have been able to go! My stellar mom-in-law came and stay at our house to take care of things and I went off and had a WONDERFUL WEEKEND!

There is a main speaker and then 4 "break-out" sessions, my first break-out session was "It's a Boy!, but someday he'll be some body's husband and father", taught by Marca Deimund, a women who has definitely gained my respect as a great women of faith. She is the mother of two adult boys and a pastor's wife and a cancer survivor of three years, and she is a great speaker and obviously God was using her this weekend to speak to me! I guess I have been so wrapped up being afraid and not knowing how to do this that I have not thought of the awesome responsibility of raising boys and the wonderful opportunity this is for me to literally change this word, with three men of God! I mean, think about it, one man of God can make such a difference in this world and three, just imagine! Taking hold of his little heart and mind and teaching him all that he needs to know to be the man the God desires him to be, with an understanding of how a women's mind works and how to be strong, but sensitive, and responsible for his actions. Obviously they have the great example of their Dad in their lives, and I really was counting on that, but I, too, can have such an impact on the man they become, letting them be my heroes and teaching them to love and affirm others and how to honor and respect a woman!

Another session I attended was "Soccer Moms and Spirituality", taking a look in the bible at Deuteronomy 6 as a parent and refocusing myself on the right things in life, keeping my eyes on him! The leader, Cheryl Cooke is such a vibrant speaker, a home-school mom of three she really know what she's talking about. I actually felt really good about my own practices in life on the subject, I really strive to make sure the kids know the giver of the blessings and the "true value" of "stuff'," and being as an authentic Christian as I can be.

Third, I went to Jeanie Roten's session, "The Storm, The Sword and The Serpent", on Acts 27-28, I love hearing direct from the word of God and Jeanie can bring it! I felt I did know a little about how Paul was feeling, I related, boy, did I relate. But, you know, God is just as faithful today as He was then and the distraction of the devil are just that, distractions to throw you off track, our responses are what can turn us into a testimony for God's glory.

The main speaker of the weekend was Jennifer Rothchild and if you have never been blessed to hear her speak take the opportunity next time it arises, she is an inspiration. An author, pianist and composer and blind since the age of 15, she brings a wonderful perspective to things we can see, if we open our eyes! She is a mother of two boys and married to "Dr.Phil" (Dr.Phillip Rothchild, that is!). I could write all day about the things that I learned from her, so I will, just kidding, some key points that I took away were, "God has given you a life to live not in perfection, but to live a risk-taking life." In short she was talking about how confidence and courage are not the same and asked if we were a "risk taker" or a "hole digger", because hole makers are not life livers, they are grave diggers. God has given you a life to live. #1 Acknowledge that who you are and what you struggle with are not the same thing. #2 Turn your feelings into action. #3 What you feed will grow and what you starve will die. 2 Samuel 23:9-10 talks about the brought victory to the one clings to the Sword (the Word of God), not the shovel.

In another session she taught, and well, the thing that most stuck out to me was this, "The deepest longing in your heart is one that God put in you and it is for Him", we can search and search for the fulfillment of this longing and try to fill it with our husband, friends, children, job, etc. and never fill it, because only God can fill it, He created us that way! Another thing she said that I thought was great, "Hope is when we are walking with God and we let go, God is still holding on", she described this as a child and parent holding hands and the child trying to wiggle out their hand, but the parent is still holding on.

During a lunch session Jamie Speak Wooten spoke, I had heard her just a few weeks before at the Women's conference at our church (love her!), she talked about "Fashions of the Heart". Fashion is best described as the way of dressing, behaving, writing , or performing that is favored at any one time or place . She talked about how to "clothe" ourselves in the fashions outwardly and inwardly that will be sure to make us fashionable always. She used Colossians 3:12-15 as our inward "wardrobe".
Colosians 3 (Amplified)
Clothe yourselves therefore, as God's own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].

13Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].

14And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].

15And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ's] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].

16Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts.

All in all I really enjoyed all aspects of the conference weekend and really, you can go and gain what you will from it, I gained a wonderful time of fellowship with the ladies that also went, and also I was able to rest, and have 45 minute quiet times with God (yeah!), and the worship experience, oh, the worship, 650 ladies voices lifted up to God, AWESOME! A chorus of angels must sound similar!

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Amazing Zach!

He never ceases to amaze me, so smart, he really is! We were in my room and I was finishing brushing my hair, Zach was playing with all those little bottles of hair stuff, make-up and such like he does every morning while I get ready and I told him "Mommy's done, lets go do some laundry" and he heads out the bedroom door into the laundry room and proceeds to "sort" laundry. He put some in the open dryer and then took some socks and went back into my room, as I followed him, I was amazed as he opened up one of my drawers in the closet and put the socks in it! They weren't mine and they were still dirty, but Zach is only 1! He is just so smart isn't he? He is mimicking all sorts of things now, he plays football with his brothers all the time, from what I understand, he has a pretty good stance. Zach and the neighbor's dogs have made friends, they talk to each other, he barks, they bark, it's really cute. Since he started walking in shoes for the first time this week, he is getting used to those and running around the yard is one his favorite things to do now. Zach is going to be a lion for Halloween, and lions roar, so Zach is perfecting his roar under the tutoring of his "Daddy Lion", and so when Daddy got home from work yesterday how was he greeted? Why, with a big "ROAR" of course!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Father/Daughter's New York 2007

My WONDERFUL father just out did himself! My sister's and I went this past week to New York City with my Dad. We had so much fun, I could let the pictures speck for themselves! We really did it up right! It is so funny, right after we got off the plane, in the airport we saw so many New York cleshays, we laughed out loud, and in the taxi on the way to the hotel we went past a car blaring Frank! Arriving on Thursday night we went to a really great BBQ place that I found online, Virgil's Real BBQ on 44th, it was REAL good! I believe the tell tale sign on some good BBQ is that they have hand towels for napkins! We tried a little beef, a little chicken, a little ham and the ribs! The "Train Wreck" fries are awesome, and all the sides we tried we're great. My Dad is a chocolate shake expert, and the shakes here are really good! They brought us warm rags to clean up our BBQ faces and hands after dinner, very nice. Following our great BBQ experience we headed to the Empire State Building, for some breath-taking views. It was close to 10pm by the time we got there, and you couldn't tell from the amount of traffic and people on the streets if it was 3pm or 10pm and you couldn't tell the time of day unless you looked up past the skyscrapers, because the city lights were so bright! I really recommend the guided tour, via hand held recordings, it was neat to hear about what you were seeing, and pointing out the points of interests, gave you a real sense of the city. Something we did that may sound geeky is we took the Gray Line Tour buses, this is a must to really see the city I think, double decker, open top buses all over the city with a guide to tell you whats what, it was great, we went all over, and you can hop on/ hop off all over too, that was great. We went by ferry to Ellis and Island and saw the Statue of Liberty. She's a beauty! Again, the hand held guided tour is a must, especially for a history lover like me! Dinner on Friday night was another great experience, we went to Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House, which is right near Rockefeller Center, we actually were overlooking Radio City Music Hall, great view. The food was again, incredible, we tried each others steaks and agreed that it was the best steak any of us had ever had! Our evening was complete with fantastic production of "Grease" at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on 47th, just off Broadway. It was so fun, like seeing friends in a production, because of the TV series, "You're the One That I Want", we felt like we knew Laura and Max and we even saw Laura's parents and sister there, a few rows in front of us! We had great seats and I got a t-shirt! Now, you must know that every day we did some shopping and my Dad, he was so great about it, he gave us a little spending cash and we each felt like princesses every minute of our trip! He is THE BEST! He found a comfy chair wherever we went and waited all the while with a smile on his face, we must have been hilarious to watch going to and fro in Sak's and Macy's ! Did you know there IS a difference between a GAP t-shirt and a $300 t-shirt at Sak's, so SOFT! We had to ride one of those bicycle driven carts, we raced, that was fun (Andrea and I won!)! Saturday we had the Italian food experience, (notice I call these experiences and not meals!) it was at Carmine's on 44th around the corner from Times Square. What an experience that was, the food, amazing, and fun, it's family style meals and so you get a little of everything. We did the manicotti, a 38 oz steak and the meatballs, wow, wow and wow! The manicotti is something to write home about, savory like cheesecake, I swear! When in New York you must try a hot dog vendor, very good, very New York, we had ours in line to get on the ferry to Ellis Island. I might mention that it's a good idea to pick out ahead of time all restaurants and make reservations ahead too, you'll have the best "experiences" in food that way! The Lion King at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway was just so incredible, really, it is no wonder it has been running so long, my favorite in the show were the giraffes, the costumes and drama of the stage was just amazing. For brunch on Sunday we went to the Rainbow Room at the top of the Rockefeller Building, the view alone was worth the wait! I could have had me a McD's with that view and been perfectly happy, but instead there was this incredible buffet, fit for royalty and we revelled at the sight of the little masterpieces they put out for us to eat! Now, if that wasn't all, we went on a dinner cruise on a little thing called a yacht, and oh my goodness, talk about breathtaking views, we went sailing around the city via the water ways and saw the most spectacular views New York has to offer! There was dancing in the hull and my Dad busted a move with us on the the dance floor! It was the perfect last night in New York. Every day in itself was the best day ever. We had such a great time and I couldn't say thank you enough to my dad, you're the best, I love you, Dad!

Great Computer!

I haven't taken the time to tell about my great new computer! I lost mine in the flood and in talking to my cousin I found out that he is quite good at the computer biz and he totally hooked me up! I use it several times a day and for all my pictures and such, so it is a very important part of the family, and let me tell you, if you need computer stuff done, he's the man! He put all the bells and whistles on my computer and it's super fast and does everything I wanted it too, and the coolest thing, even though my computer couldn't be saved, he could save all my info and pictures off it and put them all on the new one, so when I start up this one it's got all my own settings and favorites and pictures that I thought I'd lost! He's starting his own business and so far so good I think, his website is pretty rockin too . I have to say, I really like his company name too. Jason, you're the man, I love my new computer!