Sunday, November 4, 2012

Faithful

This morning a young woman hopped around the church and shared with me that she was singing a solo.   I aked her in what part of the service because I did not want to miss it!

As this middle schooler stepped toward the microphone and sang about our incredible God, my eyes began to fill with tears.

You see two years ago, this little lady came  to our AWANA club via the bus ministry.   One night she got very upset with the directions that were given to her and I had to  literally use safe physical managment techniques to contain her.   She is my height and could probably flatten me.   My friend, Tom, stood close by making his presense known as he allowed me to work through this struggle with her.   It left me mentally, emotionally, and physically whipped!  BUT, for some crazy reason,  she continued to come to AWANA.   I sought her out each week in attempt to mend my relationship with her.   It took a couple of weeks but she slowly allowed herself to warm up to me again. 


This kid, this same kid, now, 2 years later....God is faithful!  SO faithful that her parents have not just allowed Christ into their lives but are attending our church, ministering in a church plant and volunteering in AWANA!  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The "Little Sister"

I am the middle sister.   I have an older sister and a younger brother.   Because I am the "little sister" my wardrobe, for the most part, was prewashed- to say the least!  
 
One day, I asked my sister if I could wear her nightgown.   She replied no.   I informed her, that was okay because soon she would out grow it and it would be all mine!
 
My sister said, "Oh NO It Won't!"
 
AND as usual, my sister's determination won out.   I NEVER owned the nightgown.   She kept it hidden away from me until I was too grown to fit in it or even want it.
 
BUT THEN.....
 
a blue eyed, blond middle sister won her over and cleaning out at home, she loaded a trash bag of goodies for my house.
 
So, Kim, this picture is for you!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nana, nana, boo, boo, I HAVE THE NIGHT GOWN!!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Blessed in this Mess!

I used to try to blog once a week and now I am trying for once a month.   I know it appears as if nothing is going on but it is just the opposite!

My sweet niece moved in with us, yes, we are a full mini van!
We celebrated a year of Tall, Dark, and Handsome being with us.
Billy celebrated his 11th birthday.
My Dear began a redo on our rotted deck.
Got to visit with my dad and Miracle Mama.
We started school using Tapestry of Grace and Easy Grammar with good ole Abeka math.
We added Miss B. to the mix of school- she is so fun!
I resigned from my part time job to continue doing some of it for free!   Only Jesus would call someone to do that!
AWANA began!
Billy was hospitalized with pneumonia.
Miss B. and Dolly attended a Teddy Bear Tea Party
Billy earned his green belt in karate ( a week after his hospitalization!)
Attended my High School class reunion.   FUN!
and we ate, slept, laughed, cried, prayed, praised, loved, and did laundry of course!

As I look at the list of the excitement that is life, I am reminded of how faithful God is.   He continues to show how BIG He is.   You see,

I have asked my niece to come live with us for years and she finally came to the end of the rope and let go!

God has taught me so much about myself from having this young man in our lives and in our home.   I am certain there is lots more but God needed to turn up the dirt a bit to get me growing.

My mom suffered another, much worse stroke while my dad was right beside her and able to identify what was happening to respond.  Dad called from the hospital to tell me while I was having a yard sale.   My precious "Mamaw" who adopted our family when we moved north, stopped by the sale just in time to allow me to come in and take a moment to pray and cry.   Mamaw was praying too and sending words via text to pray.   She also sent more folks to stop by and hug me!  Doctors were amazed that there was no addition damage and my father's faith was jump started!

School is fun again as we are working together on unit studies and Miss B is like most kindergarten students, a sponge!

Billy had a cold and the next day he no longer had cold symptoms but could not stay awake.   His heart seemed to be racing a bit too.  He began to feel a bit better in the evening but I decided to call the doctor in the morning against his wishes.   That doctor was shocked to hear how sick Billy was when he listened to him breath.   Billy spent 2 nights in the hospital which allowed My Dear and I to rotate and both get one on one time with our quality time kid.   The blessing in the mess.   Billy was blessed with visitors, gifts, and balloons and chose to give some balloons to other children at the hospital when we left.  He loved the large remote control, TV, a large variety of movies to borrow, and the comfy pjs not a hospital gown.

Billy was upset when he learned he would miss his pretest and may have to wait another 3 months for his karate test, but they let him go for it!   Tears filled my eyes as I watched the same kid struggle to breath  4 days earlier, now others are telling me what a good job he does in karate.

So many blessings of folks in my class of 56 people!   Nice to see them all after decades several years!

God is faithful!   Pray you feel Him near!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Lesson Learned From an Unsettled Heart

A week ago, I walked into the living room after evening bath time to find a sweetie perched upon daddy's lap with a tissue compressed on a little finger.  I saw the blood and asked what happened but the sweetie said they did not know.   I asked again how a cut that large could happen and a person not know.   Shoulders shrugged.  We seem to forget how things happen when we should not have been doing them.   I asked again and again and flatly declared that the truth was not being told and that God and the child knew what happened.  

As I thought of the behaviors and activities before the cut, it occurred to me what probably happened and this sweetie was to ashamed to tell on themselves.   I asked bluntly, after much prying, if that is what happened and I heard a low peep, "maybe."  I explained that we needed to know so that we could care for the sweetie properly.

All band aided up, hugged, and prayed over, the darling went to bed.

As My Dear and I lay in bed hours later, the sweetie enters the room with eyes hiding behind tears about to fall.  I asked what was wrong and was informed it was the injured finger.   I took sweetie by the hand and walked to the restroom and took a quick look and asked if it was the finger or the heart clouded by wrong doing that woke sweetie.   Sweet face turned up with mouth turned down and said it was the heart.  I looked into the childlike face with chubby cheeks thinning and I said, "I forgive you and dad forgives you."   Hugged sweetie and asked if they could sleep now which was confirmed with a head nod.  We walked to the doorway of the bedroom and the sweetie stepped in and then quickly turned around for one last hug and an "I love you."

My heart was heavy in that, do I allow my unconfessed sin to rob my sleep?   Thankful that this little person allows their heart to be convicted and pray that I can grow up to be like them someday.   Reminded that God uses everyda objects and situtations to grow us toward Him.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

PURGE!

Last year, I announced to my father-in-law that I would not be having a yard sale this year.   He smiled and chuckled and I knew he did not believe me.   So at Christmas time, we donated lots of used toys.   When folks had yard sales for charity, we donated even more!   I gathered books and teaching materials and sold them at a homeschooler sale.  I was SURE we would not have enough to have a yard sale.   While preparing for the homeschool sale, the children gathered things out of their rooms and decided.....they wanted to have a yard sale.   So guess what Pops, you were right!

There is something about purging that makes me feel better!   Perhaps it is an illness but we have so many blessings and I spend way too much time maintaining or fussing about them.   Let's be honest, most of them no one even likes or cares about.   Our 4 year old, Miss B., is more than willing to get rid of something if she does not have to pick it up off of her floor.   I am convicted of being a poor steward of my time, our home, and the fact that someone could really be using it (like this book I have been looking for,  for school-I KNOW someone has it collecting dust in their home!)

This summer, I purged some classrooms at church.  I freely got rid of most of the stuff and took the old Sunday School materials to the reuse store at the recycling center.   They were gone within the month when I made a return visit.   Garbage at one location-turned ministry in another location!  

I found a set of ooolllddd junior song books (yep, they were old!)   I asked permission to take those to the reuse center and it was approved.   I drove them around in my van for a week due to a busy schedule.   When I finally made it, I carried one in and talked with the lady.   She quickly said, "HOLD ON!" and went to find another lady to see if she could use them in her jail ministry.   BUT she could not use any hardback books at the jail.   WELL, could you use these folders with lyrics typed out in them?   About 30 of them?   "YES!!!!!!" she said and my church will use those song books.   She was delighted and thanked me several times.   I was thrilled someone could use them!  

I guess I share this all to say, purge and reuse instead of throwing it away.  Try to find someone who can use it.   It is a double dose of blessing!   Oh, and if you have the Encyclopedia of Ancient History at your house with dust on it, let me take that off your hands!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

PLAY BALL!

I just saw the date of my last post...how embarrassing!   Truth is, all kinds of blog worthy stuff is going on but since life is so busy, I just have to keep on living it!

It is baseball season for Billy.   Things did not quite work out as we had hoped with his team but I see now how divine the arrangements are.   I have been keeping stats for Billy's team and hanging out in the dug out for crowd control (along with Dolly, Miss B., a bag of coloring books and Kirsten books from the American Girl series.)   Since  so many other distractions present themselves, I sometimes miss stuff in the game.

A young man on our team named Blake has decided to be my assistant and help me keep a count.   He is a cute little thing, Billy enjoys his company, and he is a pretty good ball player!  Blake will seek me out in the dug out and hang close.   He also has a sense of humor which is essential if you are going to spend any time with our circus!

I have prayed why God would have me in a dug out 3 times a week with 2 little girls and strapping me in at the ball diamond.   I do believe Blake may be the answer or at least part of the answer.

Billy and I decided to get Blake's phone number and invite him over to play.   I had briefly spoke with his grandmother at a game about what a cool kid he is.   While assisting in a free meal distribution for children, Blake came to help too!   This sealed the deal and that night, all beds were filled in our home as Blake spent the night.  The boys were laying in bed talking and after I put the girls to bed, I went in to join them.   They were discussing where they were born and talking about their family members.   Blake shared that his mom lived in another state.   I shared with him that my mom lives in the very same state as him mom.   I thought little of it until we went to the pool the next day.

My heart has been broken for the orphan.   I knew, just knew, God would call us to adopt internationally but that has not happened.   Instead, He is placing in our lives, children who are orphaned by at least one parent and some physically and some just emotionally and mentally checking out on their kids.     

While at the pool today, I finally warmed up and got into the water.   I was sure to play with each of the children a bit and keeping our little Miss B pretty close.  But Blake really wanted my attention.   He worked really hard to get it and then chose a silly game for us to play together.   Billy is off doing something else and could care less about hanging with me at the pool.   Our short time together was enough for him, but Blake still lingered.   God then showed me that Blake needed a mother.   So, I played silly games and held hands and hugged this kid who was well aware someone was missing from his life.   He tried every way possible to get to come back home with us but it just would not work for today.  BUT tomorrow there is a free movie and a ballgame so I  will get to hang out with the kid with a really cool name and just pretend to be mama!

Monday, March 26, 2012

More Happenings in the Hoood!





Miss B. improvising on a set of roller skates!














Billy decided he wanted to wait until Saturday to finish some school work. A great plan, until Saturday and friends showed up in the back yard. So this is, Saturday School!











Dolly is dog sitting this week. Not this sweet little pup but another. This is Candy and we share her with our neighbors. We buy dog treats and play with her and they get dog food, grooming, vet bills and such.

Like her flower? This dog will tolerate Dolly for a while. She knows Dolly will save the bones from meat, treats and even slip her some cheese or lunch meet on occasion. Just one little bark at the door and her mere exsistance is rewarded!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012



With the warm temperatures, it was time to switch out the winter for the summer clothes! It is like Christmas as the children are reunited with favorites or find new favorites to wear.


This outfit was the top pick for Dolly!














And this outfit (or should I say her brother's hand me down pjs) was Miss B's top pick. I heard My Dear instruct her to put shoes on as she walked outside in her " outfit." She got a bit upset and said, "But I am a firetruck and firetrucks don't wear shoes!" Then the voice of wisdom said, "then you need tires!" Apparently, she likes white walls!












Our Dolly had a date planned with My Dear and eagerly awaited her time to go! My Dear works hard to maintain time with the children despite his work schedule. Even an oil change becomes an opportunity to talk.










Thursday, March 15, 2012

GO BLUE!!!

Billy is all ready for March Madness! Check out his new accessory!

Way to go Billy!

















GO CATS!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

One Word Challenge

A few years ago, I was challenged by a radio station to choose one word as a goal for my year. The one word would sum up what I was to work on over the year like a New Year's resolution.

That year, I chose the word LESS. LESS selfishness, LESS stuff in my house, LESS baggage in my life, LESS debt, LESS orphans in the world, LESS physical weight on me, and LESS thought about me and more about the Savior. I had no idea what God had planned for me that year, only to choose that word.

At the end of that year, I assessed the year and I indeed had gotten rid of many material possessions and refrained from purchasing others. We had paid some debt down. I had maintained my physical weight. I took a mission trip to aid the orphan and had began to deal with some baggage. Pretty good huh! Well, not good enough as God called me to the same word the following year. THEN he showed me how to do it! He called me to LESS than the LESS I had already presented.

The baggage continued to be laid down, lost some weight, and learned it really is less about me and more about what HE wants to do in and through our lives. In that year, we also took guardianship of a very handsome and enjoyable young man. This, I am certain, only happened because the baggage had finally been dealt with-not that I will ever be completely finished with it but God has that under control and LESS of me trying to control it.

This year, PRAISE GOD!, He released me of that word but quickly showed me that I had another area that TOTALLY needed God sized attention. I have two words for this year--I am hopeful that means I will GET one early in the year and can move on to the other....a girl can dream!

PEACE. As Ms. Martha said, seasoned in years and experiences, I am the barometer for my home. There is a lot of truth to, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" I had disturbed the peace in our home. My Dear is the nicest person on the planet. He rarely speaks out of anger or frustration. I need to set that type of peace in our home. Our children deserve it!

The other word is INTENTIONAL. First off, I need to be intentional about the climate I establish in our home. If I am grumpy at school time, what I am teaching them about learning, mothering, and love? I do believe a public school teacher would teach ALL of those things MUCH better! I must be intentional with my time. It is so short with them, what do I want them to know? How do I want them to feel about themselves? Do I let them know how I feel about them? Being intentional means doing it on purpose. This is not just in our family but in the mission field, everywhere I go! I need to be intentional about communicating God's love to others. You know that love that took care of the baggage for me, yep, that undying love.

So that is where I am. What about you? What is your word?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Journey of Hope




Every Christmas my mom blesses the children and I with a new ornament. She loves Christmas ornaments and is a Hallmark Queen! I had told her last year that it was no longer necessary that she give me an ornament, but she is my mom and well, she disagreed!



My Dear has been putting the tree up with the children as a surprise for me while I was away at our church's annual Christmas Tea. They did not have the tea last year so I simply sat on the couch, uninvolved. I received the new ornament in the mail and kinda tossed it into the storage tub in no mood to unwrap it or the other ornaments dating to 1995! I was going through a private battle in my life and could see little beyond it. Frankly, the only reason we even had a Christmas tree was because My Dear put it up and the children begged him to do it!



This Christmas I was in a much better place-MUCH! My Dear put the tree up and I opened the storage tub and enjoyed trying to create the Norman Rockwell Christmas. The ornaments were a bit a mess because My Dear and the children had packed them at the end of the season last year. I sorted through, opening boxes and sharing stories with the girls about the ornaments. Then I picked up an ornament I did not remember. The date was last year's. It was the ornament from my mom, the one I was "unable" to see last year. God knew I would not look at the ornament last year so He put a message on the ornament that would be a reminder to me this year of what He had done. The word I claimed for my journey last year was HOPE and sure enough the ornament read just that. It reads "Hope" and is dated the year that my HOPE truly came alive in Christ!