Well Good morning, Today I’m going to tackle this post a tad differently. I have my post up and as I go throughout my day I will write what pops into my head and we will see how this works (hehehehe)
Student of the week letter-
As a mom, I seek to encourage my children on a regular basis and in personal ways- some of my kids are very private. Well, our youngest is “student of the week” and each Tuesday the teacher reads a special letter written by the parents. This is a super difficult challenge because other people are reading it and hearing it. I can think of a gazillion great things about each one of our kids BUT either the kids don’t want us mentioning them in public OR they aren’t “public” things. I know some kids don’t get the encouragement their little hearts crave and so this exercise is both good for the parent and the kid. The parents because they need to focus more on the positive and the kid because they need to see that the parent sees more than just an inconvenience. (That just breaks my heart to write that! So the little guy’s letter is sealed in its envelope ready to go and I hope he won’t blush too much!
I was testing out some thoughts on a project for a friend and I tried putting vinyl on a Canvas panel. Well, It didn’t stick well So I fought through the transfer tape process and An idea popped into my head…ACRYLIC PAINT! So I painted over the vinyl and when it was dry I peeled it off. I must confess I picked red and blue and blended them together in the middle and initially I HATED it but after it was dry and I peeled off the vinyl- I decided it was what Bob Ross called a “Happy Accident! ” – And that is pretty much it for this week! How about you what kind of random is going on in your life this week
Have You ever hit what feels like a rock wall? I’m not sick. Just Tired. Mentally tired and spiritually broken. And it is not because I’m” not in God’s word”. I know that’s what everyone’s answer is, but that’s not the reason, nor the fix. I can tell you what the issue is- PEOPLE! But not in a bad way. It’s called being burdened. And it is rough because I can’t do anything about any of it. Moment by moment I have to give it back to God. I CANNOT and SHOULD NOT hold on to it, but if I am honest, it’s hard not to, because I love them.
The greatest burden of all? Watching believers (or those who say they are) reject God’s word and choose their own way over the way that they claim to hold so dear. You know the one that was most devastating to me, was someone I looked up to. And that person fell flat on their face off the pedestal we all put them on. Now you can try to play guessing games but the reality is That person didn’t belong in that place, to begin with, JESUS DID! Humans are sinners. we make the wrong choices. We let people down. I am sure I will let a bunch down this week. BUT it’s hard watching people fall, especially those who are closest to us and those we care about- and even harder is when they don’t want help back up. And that creates a whole different version of exhausted.
NOW ONTO SOME HAPPY
The weather outside is::::
COLD though we did have some glorious moments of sunshine! A glimpse of hope that spring is right around the corner
On the breakfast plate this morning::::
everything bagel with garden veggie cream cheese
As I look outside my window:::
Snow on the ground, bare trees gray skies- WELCOME TO NY
Right now I am::::
trying to write a letter to our youngest son who is Student of the Week in his class
As I look around the house::::
It’s getting a lot better. There are still glimpses of crazy schedules and me being sick two weeks ago!
On today’s to-do list::::
OHHHHH I’m so excited I have a project almost ready for a friend.
Dishes and Laundry
I have to sort boys clothes x3
general tidying up
Take a nap
Hopes and Dreams -my first fiction book in about 6 years (Outside of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle which I read with the boys before school each morning)
Purpose Driven Life
On the TV today::::
whatever hubby has been listening to as he works
On the menu this week::::
I must confess I haven’t gotten this far yet this week-tomorrow it’s top on my list!
Monday – Tater tot casserole
What I am creating at the moment::::
I have some super secret Cricut projects and a super secret sewing project and I am working on my sketching abilities. I have some upcoming painting ideas but I want to nail down some sketching things first
Favorite photo from the camera::::
I had this printed off for our youngest today for the Student of the week. Next month he turns 9 How time flies
Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::
8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
(In all seriousness I am not making this up! My struggles listed up above and I just opened my devotional for today and THAT is the verse. It is just a reminder for me to keep moving forward! To keep my focus on God’s word to teach what it says NOT what I think it says or what it means to me. It doesn’t matter what it means to me It matters What God meant when he had the writers write it! I think as I get in deeper in ministry-and trust me I’m in deep the burdens get heavier but I grow closer to God through them.
If I could define the last ten years in one word It would be ADVENTURE!
An adventure usually has highs and lows. And we have had both.
It’s been a whirlwind of an adventure. Ten years ago we were sitting in our new home eating pizza with all our new friends who had just helped us move across the state of New York. There were people in other rooms putting our beds together so we had a place to lay our weary heads.
Words cannot express the ride we have been on and there is no sign of that ride ending anytime soon. And we are so thankful.
This year holds some things coming down the road. Amazing things. Hard things. New Things. In these 1en years, we have added a fourth child-He’s almost 9. We have had 5 dogs, 6 indoor cats, and 4 outdoor barn cats. (Most of whom we have tragically lost to illness) We have changed houses only once. We have made many new friends, built on old friendships and said goodbye for now to some who have made their home journey to heaven.
We have laughed hysterically.
We have cried and wept with a deep sense of loss on many levels.
We have lost 2 grandparents, Numerous aunts and uncles, and many friends.
We had to hike one of the scariest, hardest paths one could come upon in life But God took that situation and gave us hearts for others on similar paths and made us hiking buddies to others as they move amongst the treacherous terrain!
There have been deep conversations, salvations, and choices made to follow God wherever He leads. Ministries have been started and grown, while others have been set on a back burner as God has said Not now. Great opportunities to serve outside of our church and in the community. And we have also experienced the heartbreak of watching people turn their backs on God and go their own way.
WIn this church all four of our children have been saved and baptized. In this church we received a diagnosis of Autism AND Central Auditory Processing Disorder And two years ago on this very date I thought it was a great idea to celebrate this anniversary by having emergency Gallbladder surgery! (Note heavy sarcasm).
We have had the blessing of meeting and hosting many missionaries, most of whom we call friends now.
We are even in the finishing stages of a church building project.
If you sit in at a group of our church, you will hear little digs about unicorns, late-night Wal-mart trips and prank call to a sleeping pastor. You might also hear about a little boy escaping Jr. Church just so he can give his pastor daddy a hug. You will hear stories about a pastor with a black eye, cut and sewn up fingers and a Knee and a chainsaw. You will also hear about a welcoming police officer wanting to know why the not yet voted in pastor was staying in the parsonage- Yes it was a joke and yes we still came. You will also hear about that same pastor driving multiple hours in a given week to span 3 hospitals in three cities. Hours he has spent working alongside men serving with them. What you won’t hear is him complain. Or of the burdens he carries silently sometimes not even telling me. You won’t hear of his fears but you will hear him share from God’s word. He once said he would never be a worship leader HA! Look at him now! And he said he would never sing a solo! Every ounce of him is poured out. From sun up to sun down and even into the wee hours of the morning he pours himself into full service. Not to please people but to bring Glory to the One who called him!
And if you look even deeper you will catch meaningful glances hugs in corners and tears as people connect on a far deeper level. You will hear a mixed worship service where all will find a variety of worship to fill their souls….. if they let it. You won’t find a museum of dusty old relics you will find a hospital of both hurting and healing souls searching for answers in hopefully the only place they can be found.
I’m not gonna lie. It’s been a lot of hard work and the burden is great to see many people either grow closer to God or to meet Him as Saviour for the first time. But what’s even harder to watch those who were once so faithful turn away- for whatever reason. Some days there are prayers of joy and some days there are prayers of great sadness and brokenness. But on most days it is a mixture of both. There are days when we have said Lord ” why did you pick us for this?” And there have been days when we have said: “Lord I’m so glad you have picked us for this” (Usually after we have asked the first).
As I write this I am sitting with my phone next to me waiting for a text or a call to learn some news about a BIG prayer request that has consumed much of my last 3 years as we have journeyed a difficult path with a friend. Most of the last 10 years I can definitely say has been spent in a constant state of learning to trust, wait and be patient. It seems as though that has been a theme for sure. I would like to think I have made progress but on days like today, I feel more impatient than ever before.
When we moved here 10 years ago I joked that they better like us because we weren’t leaving for another 30 years. A third of that has passed and we aren’t anywhere close to considering a move. And I am glad because I love watching our people grow. Through the good or the bad we have watched God work miracles and I know he is not done yet. We have counted it a blessing and still do to serve God with all our hearts, souls and minds and strength right along with you!
Happy 10-year anniversary! WE LOVE YOU! And so glad God has brought us together.
What Christmas Traditions are your favorite? Have you ever wondered where on earth we get the traditions we use when we celebrate Christmas? You know, things like Christmas Cards. Advent, and Christmas trees just to name a few. Well, Ace takes us back in time to the times and places that these traditions became an indelible mark on our holiday celebrations. 26 chapters you will learn about the history and heart behind each of these traditions!. Ace definitely did a lot of in-depth research that left us with some very interesting facts. The chapters are short and could easily be read each night leading up to Christmas.
Some of the interesting facts learned in reading this book :
Many of our Christmas traditions were started or carried on through the Vikings. Especially since the Vikings had the reputation of being a brutal people group. But after the Vikings became Christians it became very important that they made remembrances of their faith.
Christmas Seals. They have been talked about and I never knew what they were-Stamp like stickers used on Christmas envelopes and I most certainly had no idea what they were used for. Well, they were used for raising money in helping people beat the disease Tuberculosis.
Boxing Day and Epiphany- As Americans we don’t usually celebrate these but it was fascinating to earn about these traditions and I must confess I have mentioned to my husband that celebrating and teaching on Epiphany would be neat for our family!
Well, I enjoyed this book immensely. Though I didn’t get it finished in my timeline I will say that it really doesn’t matter when you read this book. I do think it would be cool to read a chapter a night with our family in the days leading up to Christmas.
It’s so amazing just how much of our Christmas traditions are tied back to the Birth of Baby Jesus too. It’s a great teaching tool for kids, and it’s easy to understand. And it would also be very simple to turn into a teaching tool for even younger kids! ANYONE can enjoy this book. It is a delight to read for sure.
I also appreciated the few times throughout this book when the author admitted that he just didn’t have the answers to when exactly a tradition started. Sometimes details like a specific person, place or time are not available and I thought it was neat that he admitted to not knowing.
I honestly cannot wait till next Christmas season when we will delve into this book as a family!
I give this book 5 Christmas lights! Check out this book on Amazon.
And a super Big THANK YOU to BookLook Bloggers for giving me a free copy of this book to review! I always give my honest review and am expected to do so!
My Friend Sarah over at SINCERELY ANCHORED wrote this book last year. And it spawned interesting idea. It’s a devotional, It’s dated but it is S-I-M-P-L-E! When I received it in the mail last year I couldn’t wait to start it so….I started in September! I had just Finished Hello Mornings where the author spoke about 3 minute mornings and can I tell you THAT principle changed things for me BUT enough on that for now. I used Sarah’s book in my 3 minute morning routine and boy did I fall in love- but this isn’t a book review (That will come later)
It’s no secret that this month is February and with that comes Valentines day (I know I know insert all the yucky faces and cue the comments about it being only a commercial day and blah blah blah- People this is a no negative zone)
Well Sarah decided (perhaps as she should) to use verses based on love throughout this month- people it took me 6 days to catch on I mean REALLY?)
Anyway through some preaching (thanks hubby) and reading on my own and some circumstances in our world we live in I have been wrestling with some questions.
Now I am not going to share this questions right now with you. but as write over the coming weeks maybe you will begin to see what I have been struggling with.
As I have worked through 6 days of verses based on love I began to ask myself a different question What if we took those verses and applied them to how we love God. HMMMM! What triggered this you might ask, well First Corinthians 13 to start.
Lets start at the very beginning
LOVE IS PATIENT- when we hear this at least for me I immediately apply this to my immediate relationships MY husband and kids, but maybe for others it is your parents, or your…..whatever. But what if we looked at is as showing love to God by being patient with him timing? We so often look at a situation we have been trying to wait patiently on God for- and then one day we just decide enough is enough God needs some help- I’m just gonna give this a nudge in the right direction…..MY direction. Verse 3b says Love does not demand it’s own way! Wowsers!! That has all sorts of implications in our world today! So Many say I love God but I’m still gonna choose……you fill in the blank with a sin of choice…..But when we get to February 28th and the verse says in John 14:15 IF you love me you WILL keep my commandments.
This is just one of the areas we will touch on overs the coming weeks in February ( and one I’m sure will land in March). This isn’t going to be an everyday discussion. It will probably look like every 5 to 7 days depending on our crazy schedules!
Have you ever looks at verses about loving others and put God in that place I mean after all He is ….