Sunday, October 31, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 21

A Picture of Me

It's a little dated but it's one of my favorites!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 20

Nicknames:

Mickey
Mist
Mistifer
Pixie
MJ
Niece M
Misty Misty
Misty High Fiven' Jewell

Show Some Love Saturday Blog Hop

Show Some Saturday Love



Hey! I joined a great Saturday Blog Hop hosted by ace and friends co. and am having a blast getting to know other bloggy friends out there. Hop over and join in the fun! Also, check out my sidebar for some other great hops! 





Friday, October 29, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 19


Something you Miss


Narrowing this down to just one thing is not gonna happen. So I will make another list. I like lists :)

My Memah

My Grandma and Pop-Pop

My Tara in Virginia

Ohio and Kentucky Friends and Family

Being near a zoo and/or a museum 

Granite City's Cheddar and Ale Soup


Ducky and Family in Canada

The Flying Joe

Tart N Tiny Candy

The Beach

My Cali Family 


Sleeping in :P













Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thankful on a Thursday





This is my first official Thankful on a Thursday post! I am thankful for the work of my Heavenly Father in my life. God has been up to so much in me that I have no idea where to start. I will begin my sharing that in recent months God has really revealed some ugliness in my heart. He has convicted me of reading the Bible and believing the Bible but not really living the word out loud with my life. One day, in Walmart - yes, Walmart, God convicted me so deeply. Please don't judge me as I tell tell this story. I am human and this is exactly why I need a loving Savior. So I was in Walmart and there was a very large man that walked by. I am sad to say that my first thought was, "Wow. He's so fat." Here is my dialougue with God after that thought:

God: I made Him.
Me: (broken hearted, ashamed) I know, God.
God: He's my creation. Do you even know his story?
Me: No, God.
God: Love people, Misty. Let me love them through you.
Me: I want to Lord. I'm so sorry. (In tears at this point)

Breaking the silence that followed, my son hugs me and says, "Mom, don't cry! It's just grocery shopping! I promise I wont ask for candy!" Kids and their comic relief right? I smiled through the tears as the words of a popular song by Brandon Heath echoed in my heart. For the first time, I really "got" those lyrics and felt them in a genuine and authentic way. They became my prayer. Let me share a video of this song with you (you can scroll to the bottom of this page and pause the music player so that it doesn't interfere with the video sound):




God used a moment in my ordinary life to completely rattle me and pierce my heart with His love for people. Isn't that just like Him? We as Christians should be so thankful for God's mercy , grace, and patience with us. We are such a fallen people and yet He, the creator of the entire universe, has chosen to use us to glorify Himself and reach people for Christ. It's humbling and beautiful and my heart rejoices!


Things I am thankful for:


1. Fall - it's finally under 75 degrees! Love it! It has been a never-ending summer but there is some relief in sight!


2. Rain - We have had some rain in recent days and it was much needed. Maybe now the laves will start changing instead of just dying a horribly crispy death!


3. My husband. He's patient, loving, godly, funny, a great daddy, an amazing husband, and a wonderful pastor. He is my best friend and soul mate and I adore him!


4. Rhapsody music subscription service. I love having whatever music I want (almost) right at my fingertips. It gives way to much joy and worship in my life and lots of silly dancing with the kiddos! Good times!


5. Friends. I am blessed with some wonderful people in my life, some close by and some far away, who encourage me, challenge me, hold me accountable, and love me even though I am messy. What a gift!

30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 18

Something You Regret

I regret not being more serious about my relationship with the Lord when I was younger. If I had focused on growing closer to Christ and set my mind on eternal things versus worldly and earthly things, I would have been saved from a lot of heartache and pain. For those of you who are reading this, no matter how young you are - fall in love with Jesus FIRST. Read your Bible, pray, sing songs of worship to Him, talk to Him, wrap your life around the ONE who should be your first love and serve Him with reckless abandon. You will not regret it! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thankful Thursday - starting 10/28

Well, I had decided to start making Thursdays my day to post something or things I am thankful for and while browsing the internet, I found this really neat blog hop called Thankful on a Thursday. I am really excited about the opportunity to pause during each week and reflect on the things for which I am grateful - then share it with my bloggy friends :)


I am the Jr. High Sunday School Director at our church and last month the lessons were on the different types of prayer. My personal opinion is that we neglect prayers of thanksgiving the most. It's easy to ask God for things, to pray for forgiveness when we messed up (which is again asking God for something), and it's easy to fall on our knees on behalf of ourselves or others in times of adversity. However, we are commanded to give thanks. These are a few verses I found - and there are many more!


1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ~ Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.


Psalm 107:1 ~ Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.


Psalm 7:17 ~ I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.


Psalm  28:7 ~ The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.


Psalm 100:4 ~ Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.


Psalm 105:1 ~ Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.


In Romans 1:21 we are warned about the outcome of a thankless life:
"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles."


2 Timothy 3:1-2 says, "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them."


It is made clear in the Bible that the lives of thankless people are godless , unfaithful, and unfruitful. In fact, we are told to have nothing to do with those who are living so selfishly. Now, I do not believe that we are to just forget about such people and not witness to them and love them, but as far as keeping them as our closest friends, this would not be good. If we surround ourselves constantly with only people who are ungrateful and ungodly, we will become like them because the world's influence is so great. We need to be witnessing to the world in full force but also surrounding ourselves with people who lift us up in encouragement and hold us accountable. We need to be reminded how fortunate we are and how many opportunities for thanksgiving present themselves throughout the course of the day. We are a people who have been richly blessed and we tend to focus on the most futile and fruitless things don't we? It is my goal to live a life of gratitude and to give thanks to my Creator for the abundant blessings He has showered on me and my family. I hope you will come along with me on this journey! God is GOOD! ALL the Time!



Are You Normal?

Since we made the decision to homeschool, we have fielded many questions. Of course there is always the most popular one: "What about socialization?" I could go on for a long time about that one, however, another question that I have been asked a few times recently is, "Are you going to be normal or are you going to be like those weird homeschool people? The first response out of my mouth each time was, "Oh, we are normal!" Well, yesterday I was thinking about my response to the question and how quickly I jumped to say that we are a "normal" family. Whatever that means right? When I, a supposedly "normal" homeschool mom, compared my beliefs, morals, values, convictions, standards, etc. with those of some supposedly "weird" homeschoolers....I discovered that we are indeed weird! And that's good! We live in a world where is it so easy to conform. Many Christians look exactly like the world and then we wonder why people are tuned off by the Jesus we try to sell them. It's because many look nothing like the Jesus they claim to have a relationship with. I am learning that being a follower of Christ means you WILL be persecuted. You will face criticism, skepticism, and even hostility at times. In the short amount of time we have been homeschooling, we have come up against some pretty nasty comments. However, the most important thing I try to remember is that I am not held accountable to my critics. I am held accountable to my Lord and to do what he has called me to do. And for me, that is homeschooling my children. If others don't like it, I can't worry about that. Galatians 1:10 is a great reminder for me: "For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ." I cannot please God and man at the same time. It's impossible because God's ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9) Another scripture that gives me encouragement is Deut. 6:5-7 which says "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." How can I do this if my children are spending the majority of their day with someone else? Simple. I can't. Luke 6:40 states "A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher." I had to ask myself: Which teacher do I want them to be like? There are many many other reasons that led us to homeschool but those are some of the major ones. Maybe I will find time to devote a whole post to our reasons for homeschooling. We are happy being weird and I believe God is pleased with our decision. And folks, His opinion is the only one that matters :)

30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 17

Something You are Looking Forward To

1. Being debt free.
2. Going on a family mission trip once the kids are a bit older.
3. Growing old and gray with my best friend and love of my life.
4. Falling more in love with Jesus.
5. A cup of Crimson Cup coffee whenever I have a chance to get one.
6. Christmas.
7. Watching my kiddos grow up and learn and develop as people. 
8. Being there when my children enter into a love relationship with Jesus Christ (I pray pray pray!)
9. Being a Grandparent someday. I know that's weird but I do!
10. Leaving a legacy through raising a godly family.

30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 16

Dream House

First of all, I feel very blessed to have a home at all. Especially since most of the world lives off of less than a dollar a day. Many live on much less than that. Many have nothing. Absolutely nothing. The house I live in is more than we every thought we would be blessed with. It is filled with laughter, the sound of little people, and lots of love. So I am living in my dream house. My home. But....since we are dreaming and this is for fun, I really think it would be fun to live in something like this, by a lake or something: 


30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 15



(Some of my) Favorite Bible Verse(s)


Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
   "For your sake we face death all day long;
      we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39


Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18


Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 14

A Picture You Love

Again....who could narrow this down to just one?



This is Big Daddy T and Drama Mama at a Friend's Wedding
when she was just a few months old. I love it!


Me and my hubby at Lake Erie. One of my favorites!



Wiggle Worm's first birthday party. She was not happy that I took the
cake away. Notice the clenched fist. Looks like she's gonna punch me lol!



My three precious ones in the hospital after Wiggle Worm was born.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 13


My Goals - in no particular order:


1. Start exercising regularly and do better at taking care of my body.

2. Spend more time making meaningful memories with my family.

3. Begin a family journal.

4. Read the Bible in 90 Days.

5. Memorize whole passages of scripture instead of verses here and there.

6. Limit the time I spend watching TV, browsing the internet, time on FB, etc.

7. Love people better and in more tangible ways.

8. Blog more consistently.

9. Make the most of our homeschooling years.

10. Take an ASL class.

11. Sponsor two more Compassion Children.

12. Finish the process of applying to be foster parents.

13. Hold family worship services on a regular basis.

14. Learn to do more with my sewing machine besides hemming and mending.

15. Go backpacking in Europe.

16. Take a trip to the Philippines to visit the little boy we sponsor.

There are many more but I cannot think of them at this point :)

30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 12

What I Believe


Jesus Christ is my Savior.

I would not be where I am today without my Savior.

God is up to something amazing in my life!

I could look the whole world over and not find a husband as amazing as the one God blessed me with!

Life was meant to be lived abundantly.

God is good. ALL the time. 

30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 11

Favorite TV Shows

I like TV. A lot. But I have been convicted lately about watching too much of it. So I am trying to take a break and not watch as much and have completely cut out things I was watching but were not necessarily things I should have been watching. But, when I was watching more often, I loved reality TV. I admit it. And I loved HGTV and TLC shows :)  However, I am discovering how rich family life is when TV time is limited and I don't miss it much at all. These days with my family are days I will never be able to get back and so I am trying to focus on the important things, the things that matter, and not waste all of my time in front of a piece of technology. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy some shows and we love family movie night. It's just not the center of our activity like it felt like it was becoming there for a while. Now we like to take walks, wrestle or play together, read or just talk and it's been great :)

30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 10

Something You Are Afraid Of

Snakes.

Yogurt by itself. It's a texture thing.

Something happening to one of my babies.

Dying in a painful way.

BIG spiders.


Basically I am learning to trust God more and more and I am trying to not live in fear but in freedom. I posted about this already and you can read about my journey through fear here.

Oh, and here are lyrics to a song about fear that I love, by JJ Heller. You should get every single one of her albums - they are wonderful! JJ also has a great BLOG you should definitely check out :)

Save Me

Living
Am I really living
Or am I just existing
Hiding away

Danger
The world is full of danger
But if I never try to go outside
My heart will waste away

Come and save me
You’re the only source of all the peace I need
Come and save me

You tell me life will not be pain free
What will be will always be in your control
Darkness is light to you
And all you ask me to do
Is trust what you say is true

You are stronger
Than any terrible possible scenario today
Come and save me
You’re the only source of all the peace I need
Come and save me








30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 9

A Picture of (some of) Your friends



Me and T



Jules



Lawa and T



Me and Ducky



Me and H


Me and C

H and M

K and Me


There are many many others not pictured here because I didn't have photos readily accessible. I need to change that :) Those of you who are not pictured but you know we are friends and that I love you - let's get a pic of us sometime in the near future! I love you all!












Thursday, October 21, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 8

A Place You've Traveled To

Laguna Beach, California


Falls Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee

Smoky Mountains


Huron, Michigan

We LOVE seeing new places! We have been to some other places but I had trouble getting pictures to load so maybe better luck next time lol! 




30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 7


Favorite Movies

These are in no specific order:

1. Singing in the Rain
2. Cinderella Man
3. Finding Nemo
4. Annie
5. A Walk to Remember
6. Letters to Juliet
7. Spiderman - all of them
8. Mary Poppins
9. Sweet Home Alabama
10. The Princess Bride
11. The Labyrinth


I am sure there are more but I just can't think of them right now!

30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 6


First, I want to apologize for being so behind on the 30 Day Blog Challenge. There have been some things that have come up and slowed me down! I am supposed to be on Day 11 but am only on Day 6 - so I am using this nap time to play catch up! So here goes!

A Picture of Something That Makes Me Happy


This is my Tater Tot a few days old!



This is My Drama Mama a few days old!


This is my Wiggle Worm a few days old!



And of course the three little blessing would not be here
if it were not for my amazing husband! Love him!





Tuesday, October 19, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 5

My Siblings

I was blessed with a sister whom we will call A,  who is five years younger and has severe special needs. It is beca
use of her that I am able to love people in spite of their differences. It is because of her that I have compassion for others. I remember one time in Middle School I had a classmate ask, "Will she bite?" and I remember replying, "No, she's a human not a pit bull!" Ha ha! I also remember being in the grocery store one day and while I was wheeling her around this man gave us a dirty look and stared at my sister for what seemed like five minutes. Well, my little sister liked to kick out her legs and if they were not strapped into the wheelchair she would trip people and kick them. Not on purpose, but just because she liked to stretch out and kick and whatnot. Well, I unstrapped her legs and we followed that man down an aisle where  I "accidentally" wheeled her a wee bit too close and there she went, kicking him in the keester. Oops... :) The funny thing is, A laughed so hard. She knew what she had done and she thought it was funny! I am so glad she is in my life and I know I would be very different if God had not sent her to our family.

Another person I am blessed with is Ducky, My cousin and sister at heart. We have spent most of our life together and I lived with her and my Aunt and Uncle for  several years. We had the same growing pains in our relationship like all sisters do, but we are still very close. She is beautiful, creative, feisty, and I love her so much. She has moved to another country and it is hard having her so far away. I remember Saturday mornings when she would climb up to the top bunk and we would lay there laughing and giggling, slumber parties where we would have to be asked to go to sleep several times, she time she dumped laundry detergent on my head and the time we got into a fight with soapy water while doing dishes. My life would not be the same without her as well. She has been by me through many tough moments in my life and has stuck there even when she was worried or didn't agree with my decisions. She has loved me and been my best friend when other friends have given up on me or left. I love you and miss you Ducky!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 4


My Parents


When asked to talk about my parents, I couldn't just write about a set of people. You see, I am blessed to have many people who have helped raise me and have loved me throughout my life. These include my Parents, Aunts and Uncles, Memah, Grandmas, and many others be it church family or family friends. Without each person I would not be who I am today. Through joy and pain, triumphs, and trials, each person has played a special role and has helped shape me into who I am with love, prayers, guidance, more prayers, support, and even more prayers :) I am very thankful for each one! To each person who has been there for me, I sincerely praise the Lord for your presence in my life. 
Love you all!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 3





My First Love

It has been a long journey to get to this point but I can honestly say that my first love is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and my husband is right after. It is because of Christ that I am where I am today. My past is littered with choices that were, let's just say, less than virtuous - "lookin' for love in all the wrong places" and all that jazz. I made decisions that hurt not only me, but countless others in my path. Although I accepted Christ when I was 12 and had family and church members who invested in me, I didn't really grasp the depth of that decision until I was in my twenties. I remember literally waking up one morning, staring up at the ceiling, and realizing that I was not anywhere near where I wanted or needed to be in my life. Through a course of events, God led me to my wonderful husband and began a long process of healing in my heart and soul. My husband stood by me and loved me through some pretty unlovable moments and was (and still is) very patient with me. We now have been married almost 8 years, we have three wonderful little blessings and a live rich with love, laughter, fun, and ministry and it's only by HIS grace!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tinkering Tuesday: Building a Birdhouse

So, this is our first year homeschooling and we have joined a local homeschool group. Our local state park is providing classes for boys 5 and up and we are having a  great time learning different things. Last week was hiking and Tater Tot had a blast. Today, we made birdhouses and I thought I would share just a few pictures of our birdhouse. It's not perfect, and it's not necessarily beautiful to the normal eye, but my Tater and I built it together and it's perfectly beautiful to us :)



We were nailing the roof on and Tater Tot was not pleased that
 I stopped to take a picture. He wanted to HAMMER!



Getting ready to nail the floor on. Smiling this time :)



The finished product! The side that is crooked is supposed
to open out so that the birdhouse can be cleaned.
Let's just say it doesn't quite open the way is should...

 All in all it was a great time! I think Big Daddy T will get a good chuckle at our birdhouse and then he will help us nail it a tree or to a fence post. Drama Mama wants to paint it pink but I am not sure Tater will allow that to happen. He wants to pain it army green :)




30 Day Blog Challenge ~ Day 2

Day 2: Meaning Behind My Blog Name





This Beautiful Mess is all about how life is messy, imperfect, crazy, unpredictable, chaotic, and yet - Beautiful. When we are tired, hurt, overwhelmed, when our world spins out of control, and we fall short of who we are meant to be - which, for me is every single day - God makes us beautiful. He loves His children when we are messy and He sees the beauty in our brokenness. He sees the potential even through all the pretense we as Christians can hide behind to mask who we really are. Life is meant to be experienced in abundance (John 10:10) and so many times we fail to LIVE. God has used depression to awaken my heart and soul to how precious life is and I want to live it to the fullest. So this is my life, my Beautiful Mess :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

30-Day Blog Challenge - DAY ONE


So I have decided to join the 30-Day Blog Challenge hosted by Katie at Katie's Journey. The first days requires you to introduce yourself,  post a recent picture, and post 15 interesting facts about your wonderful self. Sound like fun? Join in!




I am Lil' Mama J and I live in a small town in Arkansas. I am a homeschooling mama to three little blessings and wife to the most amazing man who happens to be a youth pastor. I love the Lord and have a desire to raise our children to have an impact on the Kingdom through passionate example. Our life is crazy, messy, beautiful, and we like it that way!

15 Interesting Facts About Me:


1. I was once hit on at the Louisville Public Library main branch by a guy who   gave me his number on a random bone he pulled from his pocket. Creepy and gross on so many levels I know..

2. I am hopelessly devoted to Cherry Cokes from Sonic!

3. One day I plan on owning a kayak. Preferably a sit-on-top  that someone just gives me because they love me. Ha ha!

4. Out of dedication and undying devotion to the sheer and utter excellence of the Crimson Sound Marching Band I once flung my body selflessly under the wheels of a tractor. Actually, that is a classmate's version written in one of my yearbooks. I was in the pit (for those of you who are thinking NASCAR, not so much. Try xylophones, marimbas, timpani, wood blocks, etc.) and was putting a snare drum onto the bed of the equipment trailer when the driver decided it would be an appropriate time to begin moving. Thus my toes were flat and sprained but not broken due to the fact that I was wearing army boots - thank goodness our theme was Miss Saigon that year!

5. Singing is something I could do 24/7. I have been known to completely wear out my friends who play guitar really well from having non stop sing-fests :) 

6. I have a sister with severe special needs and I know my life is drastically different because of her. She has taught me so much about love, acceptance, and patience and I love her dearly.

7. I would love to go hang-gliding one day!

8. If I could go through the list of every person I have hurt in my past and apologize personally to each and every one - I would in a heartbeat.

9. Today I discovered what raisins look like when they are not chewed and digested properly. Thank you, Wiggle Worm for expanding my horizons in the scariest way possible ;)

10. I wish that I could let every single person in the world know that they are special and amazing and that God has a plan and a purpose in life for each of them. There are so many hurting people out there that don't know how different life can be with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

11. Although there is not a bone in my body that responds well to team sports and I will probablynever play one, I LOVE watching college basketball. Let's just say I am mad for March Madness!

12. I am married to THE most talented man in the world. Yep, my hubby can make himself sound just like a weed eater. No joke!

13. I cannot whistle. Sad but true.

14. There is a journal entry of mine that reads: "My biggest fears are being a stay-at-home mom, a pastor's wife, or working a normal 9-5 job." I'm thinking God got a good chuckle out of that one!

15. My life is blessed beyond anything I ever imagined or even deserve. There is always something to thank the Lord about. Always.

Go to Katie's Journey and link up your post and join in the fun!