Thursday, August 30, 2007

Swimming with the Sharks-Thankful Thursday style

Today while we were at the aquarium we took a swim with the sting rays and sharks. Was this a planned event you ask? Why no it was not. I took this picture from the aquarium website since in the moment I did not have a camera handy or ready.

This tank is a touch tank for sting rays and sharks. My Hannah was leaning in to get a good touch and in she went head first. Now I was right beside her and watching this take place in slow motion. When I went to reach for her she just went in further and deeper. The volunteer, Mrs. Rebecca said she started to swim which was taking her farther from me. So finally I grabbed the back of her shirt and pulled her up. I guess there is some truth to that natural instinct taking over if you fall into a body of water. Anyway, my fearless baby was traumatized and so was I. I could not believe this could happen when I was right beside her.

But God sent a wonderful servant in Mrs. Rebecca to help us. She was a wonderful volunteer who was finished with her shift but just "felt like" she was to stay for some reason. She told me this was probably it. Since my baby is almost four we have passed the stage of bringing a change of clothes so soaking wet Hannah was. Mrs. Rebecca, a diver took us to a behind the scenes diver room where we could blow dry hair and get clothes dried in the dryer and towels to help Hannah stay covered. While waiting for her clothes to dry we were treated with seeing the aquarium from the top. We got to learn many fun facts and got to see the inter working of it all which answered so many of the questions Hannah has always asked. Then Mrs. Rebecca took us to the penguin room where she also works and showed us neat things about them. It was a great day considering the circumstances. Hannah came out okay, got her dry clothes on and said she was as good as new. With lifted spirits we thanked Mrs. Rebecca for her loving kindness which was so like Jesus and went off to eat our lunch with the rest of our party. No harm done but it did give us some special Mommy-Hannah time which was much needed.

So in Thankful Thursday tradition I am thankful for God's hand of protection, His provision of a wonderful saint in Mrs. Rebecca to help us, and a His loving kindness which He extends to us daily. God is good all the time in all things and all circumstances.

For more TT posts visit Iris at Sting My Heart.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Wordless Wednesday-What Laundry?


Dental chair confessions

It was the most wonderful day of our lives. We finally had the baby we prayed for. She was finally here to hold and love on. With this new life change I was minus a job that provided insurance. My husband carried medical but dental was missing now. Year after year passed with no visits to the dentist after that. I made excuses about not going until it was so long that I feared going. There was a fear of chastisement from the "professionals." I knew it was not a good thing to miss the dental appointments for 6 years. I do know that the human mouth is filled with bacteria-I was grossed out by the confession I had to make of not making it back for 6 years. But when I arrived I was greeted with love. I was gently worked on and reassured that I was okay, at least I was back. I was also sent away with many goodies for me and my children. Then it hit me, this is kind of like what happens with people and church. For some reason they may stop going. Year after year goes by until finally they are embarrassed it has been so long and afraid of chastisement of others in the church. Let us be sure to greet those people the same way we would the weekly (or bi-tri-weekly) visitors with the same love. Let's help them to know they are wanted there and make them want to come back.

I did have two cavities and I am good with going back like the decay we have in our lives when we do not take care of it spiritually. Let's welcome everyone with open arms so they are free to work through their own decay and become whole. I saw Jesus in the dental chair a place I least expected it. Let's show people Jesus in church, a place where it is expected.

Oh the Things They Say


Go over to Mary at Not Before 7 to see what others are saying about young ones words!

K who is now in Kindergarten and who has been very scared to go to children's activities says to me, "Mom, you don't have to come with me anymore, I am in Kindergarten now. I can do it."
Approaching the zoo a sweet worker smiled at us.
H went up to her and said, "Hi! We are not allowed to talk to strangers."

For some reason the word for tomato in our home is mashed potatoes. They like the "real" mashed potatoes but not the red tomatoes so it can get a little confusing to a mom who loves them both!
Just now when I asked H if she had anything funny to say she said (pulling her thumb out of her mouth) "no-mama,best friend."

Monday, August 27, 2007

Marriage Monday-Why Him?


Christine for our marriage Monday challenge poses these questions this week-"Why him? Why your husband? What was it about him that drew you in? Let's reminisce about those first butterflies and share what about our husbands makes them unique." Go over to her blog to see what others are saying.

I had just turned 16 and was granted the privilege of my driver's license. I also was given a car for my 16th birthday. It was an older, used car but it was a car. I felt like I sprouted wings. This new freedom was an exciting thing. Being one of the first of my friends to have a car, I was elected to be the driver to many places we desired to go. My best friend at the time was dating my husbands best friend at the time so they decided to set us up on a blind date. He was 17 and went to a different high school but I had a car now so perhaps it could work. After talking on the phone for about a week we finally were set up to meet in person. It cracks me up that I was going through with this "blind date." After all there were many perfectly suitable guys at my own high school that I had seen before so why chance this "blind date?" But out of loyalty for my friend I went. We met at a McDonald's parking lot and went off to our destination which I cannot remember now where it was. But I do remember really liking Tony. He was a really neat guy. Though we were both SUPER immature and had many challenges ahead of us I can see now why God has us together now.

I have now known my husband for half of my life! That is so funny for me to say. We have been through so much and have grown up together. I just look back over the years and think of how wrong we have done things but what we meant for evil God meant for good. He now has me paired with my best friend. We compliment each other perfectly. Where I am weak, He is strong and vice versus. I am so thankful for my husband who is my protector, provider, and best friend. He is a great example of Christ to me and I love him so much and thank God for him all the time. God does give great gifts!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

He Quiets the Storm


It started with a phone call that came as a warning. As we turned on the television we sat stunned as we stared at what was about to come. Watching that television screen brought on a feeling of certain distress. We were on the deep blue ocean in a ship. A hurricane was projected to come right over our path. As we sat there watching the prediction, we saw the eye of that hurricane going right over usIt started with a phone call that came as a warning then we turned on the television to watch the warning we received in real time. Watching that television screen brought on a feeling of certain distress. We were on the deep blue ocean in a ship. A hurricane was projected to come right over our path. As we sat there watching the prediction, we saw the eye of that hurricane going right over us. It was an unavoidable situation. God and His great power to control the winds and waves was our only hope. Then God gave me these verses from a book I was reading by Chip Ingram called, “God as He Longs for You to See Him.” Read them carefully because it was the situation we were in.

“Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the LORD, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits' end. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.

~Psalm 107:23-32

This Psalm described the very situation we were in except we were not merchants. We were cruise vacationers. We were in awe of His great creation and were mindful of how small we were on that boat in the middle of the waters. We also experienced a drunken stupor minus the alcohol. The waves tossed us around. With all the advancements of today’s technology the captain did keep an eye on that storm on radar but we were still in another storm. I cried out to God as the people in the Psalm did. We have a God who cares for every detail of our lives. When I read those verses I asked God if that was His promise to me in this situation. I felt a peace that only God could give me so I trusted this was His will.

Finally, the news came that the storm had turned away from our path. I was very thankful to Him for that. In life, things often get rough and rocky but we do have a God who is bigger than the storm and despite all other consequences is big enough to move its course. All praise and glory to God.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bittersweet Endings and New Beginnings

Well, today was it. The unavoidable comment came out. "We won't be able to see each other now til summer and that is just too long!" I fought so hard to hold back the tears. My daughters best friend is going off to elementary school while I am schooling mine at home. To make matters worse her friend is now going to another church. I never thought I was one who struggled with change but this time it was so much different. (I can barely type this through the tears.) So immediately I said, "No, we can do things in the evenings and on weekends or after school." Knowing full well that this presents its own challenges but perhaps it will be something worked out from time to time. A good friend is hard to find. One who is nice to you no matter what. One who loves you through your faults. My daughter is blessed to have her. But I know God will send others like her.

Consider your friends. Thank God for them because they are precious. And at times He takes some away but the good news is He is constant. He is dependable and He is always there.


Hey all! I know it has been like FOREVER since my last post. I am just giving you a quick update to let you know I am home! Things have been so very crazy here. The cruise was great and I even got to share Christ with a few people which was awesome. I will post more later about that stuff.

The Daddy Chronicles did not happen because hubbie was so busy with the girls and having a good time he forgot. He was also trying to prepare his syllabus for his class he is teaching this fall which started last Monday. So with me gone he used most of his free time doing this.

I unfortunately am suffering with some bad sinus issues. I have been feeling really run down and I am all stuffed up with a bad cough now. This was also our first week of home school so this doesn't go well with that! The good thing about it is that we can start later when I feel somewhat better in the middle of the day after all the meds have kicked in. It has been a little emotional. Today is our last day to play with Kaitlyn's friend who is going to elementary school tomorrow for good. That is the hard reality and really leaves me feeling somewhat lonely. I know this is what God has called us to do as a family and I am so excited. We have had so much fun doing it since birth but this making it "official" is really kicking in. It is fine, I have selfishness in me that needs to be worked out. This will help. It is really a time of searching for me. Just wanting to be the wife and mom God desires and then fulfill any other ministry that He has prepared in advance for me.

So please be patient with me as I adjust. I am sure I will have some more interesting posts in the near future. Right now it is just trying to survive. I know with Christ all things are possible and we will get through this. Thanks for all your prayers.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Stay Tuned for the Daddy Chronicles and Other Things

I have the privledge of going on a free Caribbean cruise August 12th-19th with my in-laws and 12 year old niece. My hubbie is taking off this week to stay with our girls. I ask that you pray for him and the children. Also, for me to be a light while away. I have such mixed emotions about this trip. I have never been away this long before and am finding it hard to handle. Hubbie is fully capable of handling it all but emotionally it is just a hard thing to do. So, I am asking God to help me have a good time and just relax. I want to enjoy every moment of it. I want my hubbie and kids to enjoy their time as well. I will miss them dearly! So with all that said, hubbie may write a few entries as he experiences life at home with the kids. I hope they will encourage you! It is nice to trade places from time to time. We learn to appreciate each other more deeply and make it easier to connect.

A little bit of the word:
I decided to read through the book of Proverbs little by little and digest each portion of it. Lately we have had many bouts with foolishness in our household. So, I plan to read portions of this book to the children daily and perhaps act, draw, or make up songs/stories about what we are reading so it will really stick with them. Today we started with:
1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight;
3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young-
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance-
6 for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Proverbs 1:1-7
Why study Proverbs? I have underlined the reasons from the passage above. As you can see there are so many benefits from studing these for people of all ages. So from time to time I will post what we are doing. Look forward to sharing! God bless!

Also, go check out my friend Micca Campbell's blog. She is a powerful speaker with P31 ministries and has just got a contract on her new book! Her first one. I am so excited for her and look forward to gleaning off her wisdom from it so I will be ready when I get a contract on mine! You will not regret checking out her blog! She is such a blessing.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Thankful Thursday


This will be my first Thankful Thursday. Go to Sting My Heart to find out more and to see others who are participating.

I am thankful that we have a creative God. God could have made us all look the same. He could have made trees and animals all look the same but He chose instead to make things interesting and beautiful. I appreciate that so much. My oldest is turning into quite a blooming artist. Her idea yesterday was, "Let's go to the aquarium and draw the animals." What an amazing idea! So while we were there I learned to appreciate the beauty of God's creation. Things I never would have noticed before suddenly came to life. Through the eyes of my child who God made creative. We had the best time. We were just in awe of God and how so many different and unusual things there were. Instead of rushing through we just took our time. It was probably the best time I had ever had at the aquarium. It was a time we could just worship God for His creativity and just giving us a part of it. We worshipped Him for His greatness. So, I am thankful for:
  • Creativity
  • Being a SAHM
  • My hubbie providing for us
  • Homeschooling
  • Sweet children
So, what are you thankful for?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Go check out Not Before 7 to find out more about this.

Dad: Hannah do you know what your full name is?
Hannah: Yes (confidently) Hannah Bananna!

After my 5 year old sings the ABC song.
Hannah: My turn now! A-B-C-T-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-N-O-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z
Some versions skip from G to Q.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Marriage Monday


A wife of excellence? Does that exist?

Go over to Lynn's blog too see more about this challenge. Thanks Lynn for hosting this! Lynn inspires me so much.

Excellent as defined by the Webster dictionary means very good of its kind. In the beginning I would tell you I was the excellent wife. In fact perhaps there was a better word for it than excellent. I was the best. I never lost an arguement, I ran the house. I did whatever I wanted and whatever felt right. That made me pretty excellent in my own eyes and the eyes of the world. My husband knew nothing different because we were in the world and of it. That was how a wife was suppose to be right? Excellent....yes that is what I was.

Oh, but then something happened. A long and unending process started to occur. God started to get into my business. He loved me enough to show me my error and He had even better for me. You see even though I had everything, I was not truly happy or satisfied in our marriage. It was not modeled after God's design and that is best. So, slowly and painfully God moved me and held my hand as we started stripping layers of filth off of my life. As I looked back at the excellent wife I began to really feel sorry for her.

Today when I think of excellent it is now in the standard of God's eyes. I will never stand up to what I think excellence is to God but I am redeemed and God sees me through the eyes of Jesus and that makes me excellent to Him. No matter where I am in the process or what I do I am seen covered by the blood of Christ and I am forever thankful for Him. The more I know Him the more I know I am nothing without Him. I just want to please Him and make our marriage what it should be as God's design. As a representation of Christ and the church. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit in me is this possible.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Leeches, Lessons, and Love Panama City Style

This is our CRAZY group picture. How we really are! HA! This is such a fun group.
Just some of the guys!
More group pics!
Girls group!
Out in the ocean-Many of us were attacked by the sea leech! Not sure if it was just one or a few but it liked us a little too much! No real damage done though!
If you ever want a nice retreat center to go to check out this place. It is run by a wonderful Christian couple who have intercessors interceeding for the group the entire time. Pretty awesome!
Just chillin! Does anyone use that word anymore?!
Practicing for worship!
The best part of the trip. Imagine all 40 of these students dispersed on the beach each morning spread out along the beach and the center just having their quiet time with the Lord. That picture just blesses my heart so much! Our theme was Extravagant love and we learned so much about God's love and our response. We learned so much about loving others. It was a great weekend. Thanks goes out to everyone involved but especially to our nanny my sista girl Leigh (who kept great care of our kiddos on the beach) and our associate pastor, Marty who has always pulled for this ministry because he believes in these young adults! I cannot wait to see what God does with each and everyone of them! Thanks for your prayers!

The Sunday School Experiment


We were told it would not work. Sunday School for the college group had been tried before and did not work. Go check out to our ministry home page, Refresh My Soul, if you want to read the devotion about this for more detail. It gives you more of a background and what God is doing. Really words are so hard to use to describe this awesome and tangible movement of God. It is like trying to describe God in a limited amount of space and is indescribably really! I am so excited about what God is doing. Here is a picture of our whole group that went to Panama City minus 4 who could not make it. We had a great group and after three years and no "formal" training we are thriving!

Statistically speaking according to a Barna poll, 61% of twenty-somethings who were active in their church youth groups disengage in church activity after high school. We have beat those stats! God is moving and it is so refreshing to see these young adults on fire for the Lord. I am blessed to serve them.

One of our students has been called to be a missionary in Japan. She leaves September 3rd. $5000.00 of fees have popped up at the last minute. The class decided collectively to raise the funds for her. Today the entire class showed up to sell biscuits for Alyssa! At one dollar a piece and only 140 sold we raised $546.00 already! That was with little advertisement. We are expecting it to double next week. Please do pray that all the funding will be raised for her. I am so proud of these young adults coming together and running this effort. They got to the church at 6:30am this am and worked through 3 services ending at noon. That is dedication! They inspire me and I hope they do you too. God is on the move and I cannot wait to see what all He does with these young adults.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Why follow Jesus?

Go and leave a comment at Kathy's blog with your answer to this question this weekend. There is one catch though you can only answer in one sentence.
Have a great one! Lifting prayers for each one of you!
Much love,

Friday, August 3, 2007

Boy Do We Grow Up Way too Fast!


Tonight was the special kindergarten welcome party for all the upcoming kindergarteners at church. So I took my sweet K to the party and we had a blast! They had one of those big bouncy rubber slides outside for the babes to play on. Well, the problem was it rained on this slide but there was no stopping us. We were going to take advantage of the slide. So K and I ventured out and climbed to the top of Mt. Slidemore. There were really no others parents out there yet so we were the only ones to venture up. Plus, being a parent I was not sure if I should go on it or not. K really wanted me to go with her so knowing it would be much fun (for both of us!) I ventured up with her. We struggled slipping all the way because it was really wet. As we held on for dear life climbing that big set of bouncy stairs we arrived to the top. Now keep in mind this slide was wet. We bounce on top and dropped on three! WHHHHEEEEEEEEEE! This slide was unlike no other. Basically we flew so fast I was surprised we didn't launch in mid air! What had happened was this slide transformed into a vertical slip n slide! It was the fastest downward drop I think I have ever been on! When we got up we were drenched in water but it was so much fun!

Then it got me thinking that life is so short that if K wants to ride the bouncy slide with me, I want to do it. I want to take advantage of the times she does want me with her. I want to just live life. I lived so many years sick and unable to do this with my babies that now I can I want to just live to the fullest. After a bit of time I think most all of the other parents came out. I think I was the only one that continued down the slide. I almost stopped because of the others around but that would not have been right. I was almost worried about what others thought or not being sophisticated enough or whatever. But sometimes we need to loosen up a little and just enjoy life. To just enjoy the moments of joy and opportunity to just have fun with our children. There is so much time I spend disciplining that I have come to just enjoy the fun moments. So I challenge you to just live and enjoy your children. Also, I would like to know what was the craziest thing you have done with your children? Oh and this post is dedicated to Kara who gave me the idea to blog about this! :)

Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader-Bible Edition

Go and check out my pastor's blog on. It is a funny set of questions that stretch your brain! I enjoyed it. I would like to know how many you got right without looking up the answers!
Be blessed!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Translation Please?

As most of you know we just got back from a wonderful weekend with our young adult group. We spent four days on the beach of Panama City Florida. I have so much to post about this but before I do that I wanted to just post some interesting things I noticed that my children say. I suppose I never really noticed before but this weekend brought it all up close and personal so since I thought it was funny I am posting. So what about you? Do you have any funny words? I promise I will post more about the trip soon and I am hoping with pictures!

Student-Kaitlyn, do you want to swim underwater?
Kaitlyn-No I don't want to get tic tacs in my eyes like mama.
Student-Tic tacs?
Kaitlyn-Yeah you know those things she has to put in her eyes because she went underwater.
Student-Oh, contacts! You don't have to get those for going underwater.

Hannah-Mama, I need my swim soup. Please put my swim soup on. :)

And Just a random funny that comes up from time to time......
Kaitlyn-Mama, why does Jesus take soooo long to come back? Does He need water because He is working so hard on our house in Heaven? I am going to ask God to give Him some water.
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