Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nine Years




Nine years ago today I said, "I do," to my best friend and partner in crime. Granted, nine years is not a long time in the grand scheme of, say, 50 years, but folks, a lot has happened in nine years! We have ministered in two different churches in two VERY different states, given life (with God's help) to four beautiful children, and now we find ourselves on this new journey toward military life. It's been a wild ride with many ups and downs but I can honestly say that there is no one else I would rather go through this life with than my husband. 

I am thankful for my wonderful man for so many reasons. Here are a few:

He loves the Lord.

He loves God's word.

He loves people.


He is genuine.

He messes up and isn't afraid to admit it.

He says, "I'm sorry." And means it.

He loves me for who I am, even the messy parts!

He plays tea party with our daughters.

His sense of humor keeps our marriage very entertaining. I can't help but laugh at him even when I am annoyed to no end :)

I can hear him talking to our children about Jesus and God and answering their sweet questions. It makes my heart just soar that they have a daddy who is sharing His love for the Lord with them. 

He is genuine.

He is humble.

He is an amazing counselor.

He appreciates my cooking :)

I love how my head fits right in the indentation in his chest and I can hear his heart beat.

I love how he rests his chin on my head when he hugs me.

He can sing - and I LOVE singing with my hubby!

He is honest.

He works hard for our family and for me to be able to stay home. 

He is the most handsome man I've ever known.

He has given countless "horsey" rides to our children even when his knees were hurting.

He likes to clean :)

He is a wonderful preacher/teacher.

He is resilient. Even in his failures, I've watched him rise above and learn from them - and come out better.

He watches chick flicks unashamedly.

I make him laugh. 

We often know what the other is going to say before they say it.

He is my best friend and we have fun together. I love him more than I ever thought was possible. Happy Anniversay, honey - Love you!







Monday, December 19, 2011

Daybook 12/19





FOR TODAY


Outside my window...a crisp cool night that makes me thankful for heat, thick blankets, and a hubby to snuggle up to.



I am thinking...about the fact that my husband leaves for ODS in just 11 days.

I am thankful...to be around family and friends during this new journey.

From the learning rooms...the kids are doing well. Apart from the normal subjects we are doing lots of reading aloud and I am working on incorporating some fun crafty goodness into our day. Especially for Drama Mama who LOVES crafty things.

In the kitchen...hopefully baking some cookies tomorrow!

I am wearing...a t-shirt and sweatpants.

I am creating...snowflake ornaments out of macaroni.

I am going...to the doctor soon to see if I have fibromyalgia.

I am wondering...what on earth the Lord has planned for my family...and I am really excited about the future :)

I am reading...the one year Bible and Educating the Wholehearted Child

I am hoping...for God's strength to make it through the next three months.

I am looking forward to...moving to California in April.

I am hearing...sweet little coos from my nearly three month old baby boy :)

Around the house...MUCH needs to be done but I am determined not to stress.

I am pondering...how Mary must have felt knowing she was carrying the Savior of the world in her belly. What an amazing gift! 

One of my favorite things...Target...I have an addiction!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Hopefully a Polar Express Night with some sweet friends and then, of course, Christmas festivities!

Here is picture or thought I am sharing...


Love this shot of my three bigger kiddos!




Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Much Needed Update




Ok, I have been horrible about keeping this blog. There's something about having four kids and a husband and a life that keeps one, well, busy! Ha! So, without further ado, I give you...an update :) I make no apologies for the "realness" you will read in this post. 


Little Bubs was born on September 30 at 5:17am. He was 8lbs. exactly and was 20.5 inches long with brown hair and blue eyes. I am guessing the eyes wont stay blue as every other child as well as their daddy and I all have brown eyes. Anyway, I was able to have a natural birth with no intervention for the first time ever and it was awesome! PAINFUL. I'm not even gonna lie. But awesome and worth it :) For those of you who enjoy the (not too graphic) details, this is for you. If not, skip ahead by all means! 


The Birth Story: 


I am pleased to tell you it went exactly as I prayed it would! It was fast and unmedicated and resulted in a precious gift! At about 1am Friday morning I took a bath because I couldn't sleep and I had been having terrible hemorrhoid (sorry, but it's true) issues for the past couple month so baths were very helpful for relieving pain. I must have been contracting all day and not noticed now that I think about it. My back had ben achy but it wasn't any more than usual. I was back in bed around 1:45am and just couldn't sleep so I started browsing the internet. At 2:20 or so I began to have contractions about 7 minutes apart. I was not concerned because I had been having braxton hicks and I figured since they were so far apart they would stop and I would go to sleep. After a few contractions, around 2:57am I felt a small gush and when I stood up I confirmed that my water had definitely broken. Travis sprung to life and I was really calm, thinking I had a while to go and so I was packing some last minute items and assuring him that there was no reason to hurry. I know, I know, this is my fourth baby so I should have expected it to go faster but I didn't think that part of my prayer would be answered (oh me of little faith!) haha! Still, T kinda rushed me along and it was a good thing! We got to the hospital around 4am and by then the contractions had gone from 7, to 4, to 2 mins apart in less than 45 minutes. The nurse asked if I had to use the restroom and I said yes. When I came out I told her that I couldn't get anything to come out but I felt pressure and needed to push a little. She said, "THAT'S not what I expected to hear! Come lay down and let's see what's going on!" I remember them asking me if I wanted an epidural and I said, "If I am only dilated to like a 2 or 3 and it's already hurting this much, then, um, YEAH." So they checked me and the nurse said to me, "You are at an 8, almost 9! You are ready to have this baby!" So I was wheeled into a delivery room and the doctor was called and I pushed my sweet baby boy into the world at 5:17 am after 32 minutes. I do remember asking for an epidural and then, at one point, a C-section HAHA! But I had assured Travis that when I started asking for pain medication that I was close to delivering the baby so just to be encouraging and assure me I can do it. It was painful but so worth it! I felt like a mighty mommy warrior after I had him :) I remember when they finally pulled him out the relief and the joy I felt. I am so glad I was able to go all natural although I recognize some may think I am a lunatic. I may be :P And yes, I'd go that route again. I loved being able to get up immediately and not have an IV and all that jazz. I also feel like my recovery was easier and quicker than the other three. I am so very thankful for our sweet baby boy! The End. Now all those who get the heebie jeebies when anyone says words like, "dilated," "gush," or "natural childbirth," you can breathe easy!


More updating: 


I am officially the wife of a US Navy Chaplain! A big congrats to my Lieutenant JG  - I am SO proud of him! We have been in this process of seeking and praying for God's will as T pursued this new ministry and I have to admit that I thought him a little crazy when he brought up Military ministry. Me. A military wife. Ummmm.... Yes. I. She who wrote a journal entry stating that she could never, I mean EVER be a military wife! And God chuckled yet again at my attempt to determine what I was or was not capable of. This has been quite a road we've walked down. At first I wondered if this was just an "easy fix" because it would be a good way for T to provide for our family. As we've pursued this we have also been working on developing a closer relationship to each other and the Lord. We have been healing from pain caused by communication issues and things that can be neglected in the business of family and ministry. Let me tell you guys - Satan prowls like a roaring lion. He devours. He does. Just when you think things are good to go and you can coast a little. There he is. And he thrives on seeing godly marriages suffer and break apart. I've watched it happen over and over again to many friends. If you are having marriage issues - even tiny ones - seek help, cry out to the Lord, and get it taken care of. Those tiny things all add up and can create a mountain before you know it. Chisel away at the small things to prevent a mountain from forming. Ok? Now, I will step off of my soapbox...but it's not the last you've seen of me on this topic :)


Many of our loved ones have expressed concern about going this route in our lives and have questioned if it is God's will. I mentioned my own skepticism above. Yes, this will be difficult. Yes, there will be times of separation, starting with T leaving in January for ODS (Officer Develpment School). Yes, we know there will be stress and hard times, but, let me tell you - oh how we have prayed! Together and separately, we have prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed some more. My heart's cry was that if this was not the right thing that God would shut the door so tight that we couldn't walk through it no matter how hard we tried. Well, friends, God continued to throw doors wide open. As T and I have had heart-to-heart conversations about this journey, I have come to complete peace that this is indeed God's plan for our family. I believe with all my heart that this is a calling placed on T's heart. He has always enjoyed volunteer chaplain ministry in the past but never imagined he could be in the military because of the reconstructive knee surgery he had several years ago. Looking back and recalling some conversations and things that T said, I believe God was working on him for several months before we left the youth ministry. My heart was already being gently tugged away and I was wondering why. It wasn't easy. Especially with a husband so very convinced that we would be in Arkansas for several more years. But God, in His sovereignty, has VERY graciously given us the opportunity to serve the armed forces and we cannot begin to express our gratitude to Him. I can also tell you that the past six months have provided much healing and problem solving in our marriage. I feel like I have my best friend back and T feels the same. We both feel that we are in a better place than we have ever been before. To clarify, we were never on the brink of divorce. That option never was an option or a thought for us. We simply needed to take time to communicate in a healthy way to get to know each other again. Our identities had become whittled down to being minister and ministers wife, mommy, and daddy, provider and homemaker, but friends, we are so much more than our roles - we are children of THE living God. We are coheirs with Christ and we are LOVED. We are called to live life abundantly and we so often settle for much much less. Remembering who we are in Christ helps to put everything else into perspective. When you lose that perspective, things fall apart. I am thankful that when things fall apart they CAN be put together again, contrary to the story of Humpty Dumpty :) 


Anyway, I am proud of my Chaplain and am looking forward to supporting him as we begin this new journey. After ODS and Chaplain school we will be heading to serve the Marines in Twentynine Palms, CA and we are very excited! My dad lives about an hour and a half from where we will be and I have other family members about 2.5 hours away. Super happy that I will be close to some family when T and I have times apart. I don't think that was a coincidence ;)


Thanks for enduring this long post! Much love to all of you and God bless!





Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Daybook 11/17/2011



\

Outside my window 

it's a cool, crisp, dark night.


I am thinking 
about how to coordinate six people for family photos on Saturday without looking generic and boring and without spending tons of money on new clothes just for pictures.



I am thankful 
for a marriage that is held together by the Creator of the universe and for His continued blessing and faithfulness. I am thankful for the time I have had to reconnect to my husband - my soul mate and best friend. 



From the learning rooms 
we are finally getting into a groove. It's been rocky and we will probably be schooling a bit through summer but that's ok. I have finally settled on some resources to use: Handwriting Without Tears for handwriting, Math Mammoth and Life of Fred for Math, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 easy lessons for Reading, and Five in A Row for reading aloud and exploring History, Science, Art, and Music. We also have Bible time and some fun morning time with the calendar and charting the weather, etc. 



In the kitchen
I am hoping to come up with a yummy way to cook the country style ribs I just purchased :)



I am wearing
pajama pants and a gray t-shirt.



I am creating
(hopefully tomorrow) a "Thanksgiving Tree" for us to hang leaves on with things that we are each thankful for. I had hoped to do this earlier but we will have the whole week to add things and then on Thanksgiving we will have our guest join in all the thankful fun. I am also excited to print out some fun thanksgiving decorations and such from This Site :)



I am going 
to bed shortly! 



I am wondering 
when my hubby will find out if he is accepted as a Navy Chaplain. His interview was in Washington, D.C. at the Pentagon yesterday morning and they said we would know within 72 hours...so I guess we are being impatient :) 



I am reading 
Educating the Wholehearted Child and The One Year Bible.



I am hoping
  to be able to make a trip to Ohio to see some beloved friends - SOON!



I am looking forward to 
making Thanksgiving dinner and watching people enjoy the food and each other.



I am hearing 
the sound of my six-week old baby boy grunt and giggle in his sleep - so precious!



Around the house
  we caught the field mouse that came in out of the cold. 



I am pondering 
what being a Christian really means and what that looks like put into action in everyday life.



One of my favorite things
  is caramel salted mochas from Starbucks. I am SO very addicted.



A few plans for the rest of the week
Dinner with a lovely friend Thursday night, much needed family fun time on Friday, some ministry at a pregnancy resource center Saturday morning, our family photoshoot Saturday afternoon, possibly attending family date night at church Saturday evening depending on how we all are doing, Church on Sunday then a fellowship and meal after the morning service, then later we will go to the church I grew up in for their Thanksgiving meal in the evening. 



Here is picture or thought I am sharing:



Me with our fourth little blessing born September 30 :)


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fabulous FALL!!!!

We have officially entered the Fall season and the weather is already turning breezy and beautiful. This is my favorite time of year with the leaves changing color (hopefully soon - c'mon fall!), pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin and apple scented candles, sweaters and jackets, hot chocolate, and football games. For the record, I am not a huge football fan but I love the atmosphere of football games so I go for the ambiance I guess you could say, haha! 

The best thing about this particular fall is that we are expecting our fourth little miracle on October 3! That leaves me with just 6 days to go! I cannot wait to meet this tiny little baby boy inside me, see his tiny features and hold him close, breathe in his baby goodness :) Although this is our fourth child, the thing that never ceases to amaze me is that this little person who was moving around inside my belly just moments before is now breathing and moving in my arms - coolest thing ever! God is just amazing!

Schooling is going well but has not been nearly as consistent as I'd like it to be. However I have found support in other homeschooling mamas that assure me I am not scarring my children for life and they wont be living in a van down by the river sometime in their adult future :) I have figured out that we can still meet our goal of 180 days by the middle of June even with taking off some days when baby comes if need be (and it will probably be). 


God is using this season in our lives to teach me more about who He is as provider, healer, Father, and His Spirit as Counselor. 


I am learning patience. Pretty sure that lesson is going to take a lifetime ;)  Isaiah 40:31 says, "yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and grow weary." Psalm 46:10 tells us to, "cease striving (Be STILL), and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."


I am learning to truly cherish the role of mother even in the monotony and mundane things. Isaiah 40:11 says, "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.  What a sweet truth for moms to hold in their hearts. He is leading us.


God is showing me that He is truly in control and I am not. He is reminding me that He has always taken care of our needs and He is not going to drop the ball now. Trust. Him. Always. ALWAYS. We are told to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your paths straight. Even crooked paths. Even paths littered with hurt and mistakes and all our human messiness.


I am learning not to live in fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the power others possess. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind," 2 Timothy 1:7. 


Those are just a few not to mention that I am learning more about grace, forgiveness, love, perseverance, and God is teaching me how to be a better wife and helper. It is one thing to read the Bible and acquire biblical knowledge but it's an entirely different ballgame when we seek to actually trust, believe, and live out what the scriptures say. There is so much freedom and peace when we step out and start following the Jesus we claim to love so much. There is much to learn and it would be easy to be overwhelmed but I am doing my best to "cease striving" and let God take the driver's seat. Things turn out so much better when we let him do the navigating don't they? 



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Standing on the Promises - An Update


       Well, a lot of things have changed in the past couple of months. God has moved us away from youth ministry and the state of Arkansas and back home to Kentucky for a season. We are focusing on our marriage and family and I am enjoying rediscovering my best friend. The picture above is of our kiddos playing in the yard at my husband's parents house where we will be staying for a time. They are so enjoying having the big space to run and play and are enjoying seeing the neighbor's cows and horses :)
       While the decision to move was not an easy one, we are at peace that this is indeed the right thing. God has been so very faithful and gracious to us from the love and encouragement we have felt from our church body in Arkansas to the quick sell and closing of our home, travel mercies, and the  love and support we have experienced among friends and family here in our home town. We are getting settled and hopefully we will have some sort of a routine in the coming days and weeks. Hopefully! 
       I am now 28 weeks pregnant and I have my first appointment with my "new" doctor in a couple weeks. He's not really new because he was my doctor when we lived here before. It's a blessing to be able to get into the group he is associated with so there is some sort of familiarity. I am having fun reconnecting with old friends and am looking forward to church this Sunday. Keeping fingers crossed that no one is sick this week! It has been a month since I've been in a church service. SO ready to break that streak and get back into worshiping with a local body of believers! This week I am working on homeschooling planning and am hoping to get into a school routine next Monday. My goal is to school through the rest of the summer and September and then take October off to focus on taking care of my family as we adjust to the new little one. That's my goal as long as the little guy comes around his due date and not early. I'm due on October 3! 12 more weeks!
       The kiddos are adjusting as well as could be expected.We got a membership to the zoo which also has a splash park so that has been a lot of fun. They absolutely love it. Especially the part with snakes and spiders and frogs oh my! There is also a splash park by some boat docks not terribly far away from our house and some other neat things we plan on checking out in the future. We are also going to join a homeschool group and will be signing Drama Mama and Tater Tot up for Soccer through the church in the fall which will be fun.
       Big Daddy T is currently going to be doing some website sales for a friend's design company and will be driving a couple truck routes for a family member's freight company when they come available for a while. We have also been blessed to receive a transition package from our Arkansas church family that includes health benefits and half of his regular pay which is a tremendous gift that we never asked for or expected to get. God's love has been poured out on us and it is such a humbling and heart-warming thing to experience. Another thing we are praying about T becoming a Navy Chaplain. He is currently pursuing this avenue with much prayer involved. There are actually two processes he has to go through: one with the Navy and the other one with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) which is our Southern Baptist organization that will (hopefully) grant him what is called "Ecclesiastical Endorsement" which is required for military chaplains to have. He will be considered a NAMB missionary but will be employed by the Navy if this works out and is God's will for us. The biggest concern of ours was/is deployment, especially knowing how the responsibilities of church ministry took a toll on our marriage and family. This is why we are praying and seeking the Lord even in the midst of the process. I believe if this is not God's will He will shut the door and that He will reveal an even better plan. As wife to my husband, it is my job and my privilege to stand beside him and support him and to trust him and ultimately trust the Lord in this decision. I have been open and honest about my thoughts and feelings and am at complete peace with whatever the Lord may have in store. Plus, I know my hubby will be held accountable if it is the wrong decision because he is the head of the household :) Takes the pressure off of me haha! 
       The bottom line is that God has proven over and over again that HE is faithful and will never leave us or forsake us. He loves us no matter what and He knows us inside out. It is a very comforting place to be - in His arms and wrapped in peace - even when we have no clue what the future looks like. I am looking forward to seeing what he does in the lives of our children, in our marriage, and in whatever other ministry He leads us to be it the military or something else entirely different. With God all things are possible and the possibilities are endless. It's exciting to know that a whole world of possibilities is at our fingertips and comforting to know that God is in control of the next step. We are never alone. Thank you, Jesus!  
      I leave you with a pregnancy pic:

28 weeks pregnant





Sunday, May 15, 2011

He's Always Been Faithful


It is an absolutely GORGEOUS day in the Lord! It is 73 degrees and sunny with a refreshing breeze. I just thought I'd take time to elaborate on what God is doing in the life of our family. As I wrote about yesterday, I am about 20 weeks pregnant with our fourth child and am having an amazing pregnancy compared to the others. I have not had to have a blood transfusion or IV fluids in the hospital or be on bed rest or be on home IV therapy or a zofran pump for hyperemisis (which is severe nausea and vomiting to the point of being dangerously ill). Praise be to God for this miracle! I have had a bad infection which caused some worry at first but antibiotics took care of that. In the same day I went to the hospital for some spotting and cramping, I was dealing with some difficult issues with friends, and we found out that our air conditioner completely went kaput. But God always has a plan doesn't He? The cramping and bleeding was because of a bad infection and so I was put on antibiotics. The baby's heartbeat was perfect and I was told to just take it easy the next few days and to keep pushing fluids. Praise be to God! The issues with friends were worked out and God whispered to my heart that HE is Healer and Savior, and Sustainer and I am NOT. Thank goodness! The world would look vastly different if I were in charge. Praise God that I am not, right? :) God used the hard stuff to show me exactly who was in control and that I am not that person. Those lessons are hard but so necessary. Praise be to God! As for the air conditioner, we learned that depending on what had to be replaced it could cost up to $5,000 dollars. Thankfully our homeowner's insurance will cover all but the $750.00 deductible AND we can get on a payment plan! Praise be to God! He is good good good! All the time! And what is even more profound is that through all of that, my heart understood that even if something was wrong with the baby, had I lost a friendship, and had we been in a situation where we had to pay the full amount for a new air conditioner out of our own pocket - He STILL would be good. ALL the time. 

I am learning to not only treasure the times where God answers my prayers, but rejoicing even in the times where He does not. Because He is God and I am not. He doesn't owe me an explanation and in my humanity I am not deserving of anything but death. But God, in His love for the wretched people of this world, gave his only Son that we - that I - might have eternal life. Abundant life. Praise God that I am covered by the blood of Christ and that He has washed me white as snow! God gave absolutely everything He had so who am I to expect anything from Him? 

There is a beautiful song I'd like to share with you that talks about being drawn closer to the Lord in the storms of life and laying those treasures which are formed by the trials down at His throne.  I hope you love it as much as I do! Blessings friends!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook





Outside My Window...

Crickets chirping, a light breeze is blowing, and the sky is a deep blue.



I am thinking...

how amazingly blessed I am. God has been so good to us. HE is AWESOME!


I am thankful for...
my husband who sees the real me and loves me with the love of Christ.


From the learning rooms...
gearing up for a summer of learning fun! Researching ideas, planning, and we have started bird watching and nature journaling. Fun!


From the kitchen...
Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana, fresh homemade salsa, and hopefully trying a recipe for Sopapilla Cheesecake - YUM!


I am wearing...
gray sweatpants, blue-gray maternity shirt and bare feet.


I am creating...
a new look in my kiddos rooms with new paint and wall decorations. Pics soon to come!


I am going...
to head to bed for some much needed R&R in just a few moments!


I am reading...
my One Year Bible, and The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

On my mind...
Wondering what this new little one is going to look like and be like. Feeling the tiny kicks of my fourth child in my swelling belly. Such a gift!


Around the house...
painting, decorating, cleaning, and loving my family and God in each mundane task I endeavor to complete each day.


One of my favorite things...
Those moments in the morning when our children make their way into our room and snuggle in our bed and we laugh and giggle and tell stories. Such sweet moments!


A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Ultrasound to find out who this little one is! SO EXCITED! I can't wait until Friday! 


A Picture or Thought I am Sharing:


Next Sunday we will say goodbye to some sweet friends. This is a picture of one of our last days with them. From Left to right in the back is our friend JW and his daughter LW,  My husband, Big Daddy holding our Drama Mama and our friend's little boy CW. From Left to Right in the front: Our son, Tater Tot, our friend HW holding her son, MW, then me holding our  little Wiggle Worm and carrying our fourth little one in my belly which is hidden lol!



Monday, February 07, 2011

1000 Gifts and Thankful on a Thursday...on a Monday...

It has been a while since I posted on Thankful on a Thursday. I got "busy" and even in my good intentions of keeping a record of all the thankfulness - I faltered. Then I came across Ann Voskamp's blog at A Holy Experience and began reading her book and have decided to continue posting my thankful thoughts - aiming towards 1,000 and hopefully thousands upon thousands more! 


Many are the moments of true joy, beauty, communion, and sacred love that I allow to just pass me by as though I am entitled to another, 

and another...

and yet another. 

But another day we are never guaranteed. For the time I am here on this earth I want to catch the moments.

Taste them. 

Feel them. 

Smell them. 

Search for, savor, and hold them, each one. 

So here I really begin my dare of living fully - 

Right where I am!

Thankful for EVERY DAY!


1. The smell of a freshly bathed little one

2. The sound of laughter bouncing off the walls

3. Hugs

4. Snow. And more than a dusting!

5. Shadows dancing on the walls, cast by a warm fire

6. Hot Chocolate with marshmallows

7. Strong arms to hold me

8. That love is unconditional

9. An unexpected card

10. That His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts. Thank you Abba father!







Sunday, February 06, 2011

Chiseled

Here are the videos of Chiseled by the Skit Guys and the song, "The Hammer Holds" by Bebo Norman I mentioned in the previous post. I hope they speak to your hearts and they do mine every time I see/hear them. Blessings!




One Thousand Gifts Book Club

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this amazing haven of rest, encouragement, peace, and hope. Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience has created a space of raging beauty. She writes with a rawness that is scary yet refreshing. I feel like she is a friend I have shared thoughts with over a hot cup of tea. She is real and transparent. She has also authored a wonderful treasure of a book. 

This led me to purchase it in the form of an e-book and join a book club over at {In}Courage. As I read what others are sharing about themselves on the various posts I was moved to tears last night. Each woman so unique. 

Stories different. Tears cried from all.

Joy. 

Hope. 

Pain. 

Searching. 

Reaching.

 Each one a child of God. 

Precious. 

LOVED by the ONE. 

The CREATOR! 

HE is GOOD! 

I am so excited to be a part of this group of ladies, each one with a special part in God's plan.  

Through Ann's writing I am learning more about Eucharisteo - this thanksgiving - Thanks-living and the depth of that beautiful arrangement of letters has completely shaken me to the core of my being. God has used the words on Ann’s blog and the words of this amazing book to begin stripping away anything that is not of God. 

Michael Angelo was once asked of his Angel sculpture how he was able to create such magnificent masterpiece and he replied, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” Isn’t that what God does with us? 

He sees us in our raw form, with all of the mess, the sin, the ugliness, and he chisels and carves and shaves and hammers until everything that is not of Him is gone, setting us FREE!

It is with unconditional, unexplainable, yes, CRAZY LOVE that he loves us just as we are but loves us too much to simply leave us that way. There is pain and hurt involved at times but He can make anything beautiful. He is CREATOR! There is a great illustration of this by the Skit Guys called, “Chiseled” if you want to watch it. Amazing. Listen to Bebo Norman’s song, “The Hammer Holds,” as well. It is my prayer that as we all read this book and share our stories that God will use it to set us free and allow us to become His original masterpieces, letting go of everything that does not sing, dance, speak, shout, and wreak of HIM! God bless! Wont you join us? We are on Chapter One and there is time! Dive into the beautiful love story between a woman and her God. It is going to be amazing!  
                                                                                                                                    












Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

                                                                             


Outside my window...kinda drizzly and icky.

I am thinking...bedtime sounds really good!

I am thankful for...so much!

From the learning rooms...we have battled lots of sickness and then we had some conferences to go to and so "formal" learning (I use that term very loosely) has been a little sparse but we have had a lot of fun playing outside, building lego structures, building letters and numbers out of playdough, lots of reading aloud, and working in some workbooks. This week we have started back to our regular routine and it's nice.

From the kitchen...been trying several new recipes from various cooking blogs which my computer will not let me link to right now for whatever reason...and I am too tired and impatient to figure it out right now :)

I am wearing...jeans, a long-sleeved Jedidiah t-shirt, and fuzzy socks.

I am creating...nothing at the moment but it's ok. At least that is what I am telling myself!

I am going...to finish my household planner this week!

I am reading...The One Year Bible and The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

I am hoping...to be taught much in the year ahead - no matter the cost. However scary that is, Lord bring it!

I am hearing...the sound of children laughing even though they are supposed to be in bed. Drama Mama "snuck" into Tater Tot's room and they
are laying in the bed giggling and shining flashlights
on the ceiling. So cute!

Pondering these words...Eucharisteo.

Around the house...I am actually doing well in keeping up with housework and am excited about that!

One of my favorite things...Creation. It is truly a testimony to the artistic ability of our Creator and puts me in awe of Him.

A few plans for the rest of the week...clean the garage. Again. I am not sure how things pile up in there. Must be some garage demon or something trying to make my life harder ;)

Pictures: Enjoy Creation! (some of these still have the date stamp
and for that I am truly sorry. Didn't know how to remove it
on that old camera - oops!)


















 You too can take part in the Simple Womans Day book by going over to The Simple Womans Day Book   and linking up!