Saturday, March 30, 2013

Break Time!

Well, I suppose I should start out this blog by offering a humble apology for how long it's been since I've update the blog!  I'll make it up to you by sharing some recent photos of my Sweetie and my Kiddos!  I considered tossing in a self-portrait as a bonus, but changed my mind - I didn't want to scare you into never coming back to read all my nonsense the next time I update my blog!  When I took these pictures I was taking a break from working on taxes (I think I heard something about a massage when I was done...) - one more reason for you not to see a picture of me today! First we have....

...."Mr. Field & Stream Man" - I can't convince him to look through the proper end of the binoculars - he likes everyone to look far away, I guess!  Hmmm...maybe he's NOT quite ready for a hiking trip!

         Next is "Martha the Animal Tamer"... of course at this point she only tames her stuffed dog "Dug"!  She practices on "The Borrowed Cat" also!  Daddy likes Dug much better than Borrowed Cat!

Someday I will capture that elusive moment on film when everyone is looking at the camera at the same time - smiling normally and eyes open!
And finally we have my second favorite picture of the day.....
My favorite picture of the day is the one of my Sweetie with both my Kiddos in his lap!  
Now......what was that about a massage....?????

Monday, March 18, 2013

Martha's Birthday

This past Tuesday (3/12) our Martha Jean turned four years old!  We had her birthday party (for girls only) this past Saturday....everyone had a good time!  Here are a few pictures from her party and the last one is from this evening!
Martha's birthday cake

More cake and Martha's real flowers from Daddy!

Martha admiring her cake
(It was a "Dirt Cake")

The Birthday Table

Martha and Claudia

Opening Presents

Playing Games
Martha's Moustache
(Tonight she was enjoying the last of her cake!)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Strong in Grace

2 Timothy 2:1
"Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."
Do you ever find yourself out of strength?  Have you ever questioned why God allowed a certain thing to happen in your life?  I fact that's how I've been spending a lot of my time lately.  Trying to make sense of the circumstances and trying to understand exactly what God is doing and why.  I haven't been very successful in understanding, but one thing I do know - God is always good!  No matter what happens in my life - good or bad - God is always good!
I read 2 Timothy 1 this morning during my quiet time, but then the Lord drew my attention to
2 Timothy 2:1.  How I needed that verse this morning!  Praise the Lord, He didn't just say, "Be strong!"  He said, "Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."  God wants me to be strong - yes!  But not just for the sake of being strong - He wants me to be strong in grace.  And He was very specific about which grace I am supposed to be strong in - THE grace that is in Christ Jesus.  Where would any of us be without His grace?  His grace does so many things for us - things that we don't even stop and think about so many times......His grace saves us, protects us, provides for us, and sustains us.  His grace helps us get through those trials and burdens that weigh so heavy on us....without His grace, how can I take the next step - especially when it seems there is no hope in sight?  His grace......

When I think about my childhood, it is always with a thankful heart.  I can remember many times my Mom and I singing our way through the song book as we drove to town for groceries or church.  Little did I realize then what God was doing....just like with the verses I memorized, God was using my Mom to fill my mind and heart with Godly music!  How many times have I gone through something and God brings a verse of a song floating through my heart to help heal the hurt.  For example:  recently I found myself singing the third verse of "Little Is Much When God Is In It":
"Are you laid aside from service,
Body worn with toil and care?
You can still be in the battle, 
In the sacred place of prayer."

Do you know the song "Jesus I am Resting"? Verse 3 says,
"Ever lift Thy face upon me, 
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting 'neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus, 
Earth's dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father's glory,
Sunshine of my Father's face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting,
Fill me with Thy grace."

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Prayer and Praise

The Lord has been teaching me much about praying for is something I know I should be doing, but sometimes my prayers end up pretty general - you know the kind..."God, please bless So-and-So in whatever is going on in their life today."  The Lord has been showing me how important it is to pray specifically for people.  Naturally, my own family gets to be the "guinea pigs" when it comes to the Lord's lessons in my life!
The Lord has been encouraging me to be specific in my prayers.  There are certain character qualities I want to be evident in the lives of my children, but if I don't pray for those things specifically, how will they be there?  Then the thought comes to mind, that the very things I want for my children must be evident in my life first - whew!
So how exactly should I be praying for others?  Find out their needs and pray for that area exactly.  If I want to see cheerfulness in my children, I need to pray for it in their lives, then practice it in mine!  Cheerfulness is sometimes a struggle - especially when you don't feel good - it's easy to be whiny!  I have noticed that my children are a perfect reflection of me - scary, isn't it?!
I have also noticed that on the days when I go through my quiet time "with a lick and a promise" that those are the hardest days to get through!  I recently observed one of my students, and as I was thinking about it, the Lord reminded me to pray - pray for the exact areas in that student's life that need improvement - and keep on praying until the Lord answers!
In our family, we recently started putting Psalm 119:164 into practice.  "Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments."  One of my favorite movies is "Pollyanna."  I recently read the two books that the movie came from....and we laugh about Pollyanna's "everlasting gladness," when really we can take a lesson from her.  Her "Glad Game" really was just another way of looking for things to be thankful for...and when we are thankful, we are glad!
I pray that you have a wonderfully glad and thankful day today!