Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Heart is Hurting

I am striking out the words to this post, and I literally feel a heaviness in my heart. I have three specific issues that have plagued our past two weeks and are just a burden in my soul. These are biggies. I know I have your curiosities waging war, but I honestly can't tell you what they are. I can say one is an issue with one of our teenage girls, we love her dearly, but it seems she wants to push us away. A war is waging for her soul, and she doesn't even see it that way. The other two issues involve marriages close to us and I am broken inside for these couples. Teenagers and Marriages: two of life's hardest human relationships!!! What a comparison and discussion that would lead into to.

Even though I can't post about specific things as to protect those we love: I can tell you what God is teaching me, where he is leading me in scripture and what I am learning. First of all, God has enabled my precious husband with an ability I have never seen. Through our week and its trials, he is so strong. Not as in, I am the husband, I must be strong for my family, but as in. . He is literally helping to carry the burden for many people in his life. That is a hard task to do, and at some point. . God has to take the burden. That's what I pray for today. . that God will help him carry all the junk he is feeling right now. J has been cool as a cucumber and I am strengthened by his walk with the Lord.

I have also learned that trials and tribulations in life are part of Kingdom work when we do it for the Lord. Paul, Peter, James, and Jesus all spoke of trials and sufferings we will experience in life (actually its covered in the Old Testament too, especially in Psalms. Kingdom work is hard and when we put ourselves in positions of leadership in which we are trying to influence lives, we risk a lot. My human, mama bear side wonders if the risks are too great to impose on my family, my walk with Lord tells me. . "press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14 (which ironically was one of our verses yesterday in Bible Study) I have to keep going, not only because God called me to this position I am in, but because I am living now in Christ. It is through my weakness that his strength is made perfect. I am living out my relationship with him because these experiences draw me straight to Him every time. I have learned out of these hard times is when Christ is stronger, and I am in HIM!!

Please help us pray for those we love, God knows the circumstances even if you just pray for that. He is at work bigtime in the lives around us, but those involved are hurting and NEED His peace and comfort, pray for us to show it to them more and more in a physical, tangible way. Also pray for our family, I am just going to say, and yes I am a Jesus freak. . . Satan is at work to destroy families in our world. Satan KNOWS the design God intended for a man and wife and even attacked that relationship in the garden. Be ready people, Satan "prowls like a lion waiting for someone to devour". . it's in the Bible people, it's true. Help us pray that the enemy will stay far away from those we love and we see being attacked, including us.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Putting Life in Perspective

As I came across this blog today on my friend's blog (Hector and Christy), God really showed me something. . I am so blessed. We all have our difficult situations and hard times, but God really put things in perspective for me today. I love the group Selah and this is the story of their precious child that they carried, and then lost after a life lived 2 1/2 hours. Their story has left a legacy that will touch thousands of lives and . . to God be the glory for that.

They have been open and honest in their journey and it will be priceless for the thousands that read to see their faith lived out in a dire circumstance. Please read their blog when you have a lot of time to sit, then look at their slideshow last. The song that plays during the slideshow was written by Christa Wells that wrote the song "Held" that Natalie Grant recorded. I believe they said it was sung at Audrey Caroline's memorial service. After reading their story, I could not help but go and hug all of my children as hard as I could and thank God for giving them to me. God has blessed me and I really must put things in perspective, I must stop being so selfish and go and serve others!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I am still Alive!!

Hi again to everyone in blogger land. Yes. . I am still alive. I feel I have not been able to keep up with my blog lately, as I was struck violently ill by a stomach virus that came from the pits of hell!!! Yes, That's right. . . I could not MOVE for two days except to pull myself to the toilet. My precious husband saw my desperate state and respectfully locked in me in my "chambers", if you will, for the next 48 hours. The only time he got near the door, he would cover his mouth and nose with his t-shirt as if it were a surgical mask. When giving me a ginger-ale, he would slide in, and slide out, never allowing himself to touch any part of me. Once, his hand barely brushed mine and he began to wipe his off violently on his pants leg as if he were a little girl that had touched a snake. He stepped up to the job and literally took over the house filling in for my many positions.

Now, Why is it that as mothers we would LONG for a moment, an hour, even a day alone in our room, but when given the chance for 48 hours. . I. couldn't. stand. it.? Why is that? Probably because my time awake was spent near a toilet and not reading, journaling, or looking at fun, cute magazines. I hadn't even the energy to read. So, I just laid there in between a sleeping state and staring at stupid movies TBS decided to replay over and over last weekend. I watched The Wedding Date twice as well as Bridget Jones Diary: The Edge of Reason. I think I am good on those. I even found myself staring at Hollywood's latest attempt at King Kong. I thought, yet couldn't move, what am I watching? So, here I am, a survivor of this year's nastiest stomach flu yet, and it hit ME!! Thank you Lord for healing me in 48 hours and not longer, Thank you Lord for a precious husband that could quarantine me from the rest of the family, Thank you Lord for sparing my family and not giving them a horrible virus I would not wish on my worst enemy, and thank you for Canada Dry Ginger Ale!!

Friday, April 18, 2008


I just wanted to give a shout out to all my peeps that read my blog!! Yesterday I got to spend some special time with old friends and a newer friend. When J and I first got married and moved back to Rome, I longed for my truest college friends that I missed so dearly. At times, I didn't know what I was going to do without them. BUT, I prayed for new friends. For a very long time. . . I told J "where are all the people our age in this town?" We joined a church family and I became friends with many of his family friends he knew growing up, but. . I never felt like they truly "got me" like many of my friends do. I was sad at times and longed for REALLY true friends that got me, were kindred spirits, and I knew would pray for my deepest problems, and I could pray for their needs as well.

During the next few years, I started meeting in a Bible Study with an old friend I grew up with, and it re-ignited our friendship and to this day we are raising two sisters that we did not have biologically. . Now, tell me God did not give me the desires of my heart? I love that. God has put the two of us in a position as mothers and friends. It's awesome because we can just pick up where we left off. That's a true friend.

I love spending time with my friends from college because it is the same feeling,
we just start up, as if we were never apart. I miss them dearly and long for our time together each Labor Day.

Then, I have newer friends that I have come to love dearly, one in particular that has shown me how odd it can be when two people are so alike, but not biologically related. I mean even down to using the same two types of shampoo that we alternate every two weeks. Who does that? My friend and I do. . J has even told me, "don't even tell me anymore of the things that you two do alike, because it is just getting weird." We don't even realize these things until after the fact, it's not as if we copy each other. . it. just. happens. God thank you for giving me kindred spirits I longed for, for so long.

In reading, Don't Waste Your Life, by John Piper, I came across this quote. "The gift of seeing loved ones highlights God's wonder in creating relationships of love." God has designed our friendships and even those we love so that we may see a part of His wonder and beauty. Thank you Lord for precious friends that bless me daily.

A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17

Friday, April 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Memom!!

The kids insisted she must wear "the birthday hat" we all wear on our family birthdays!!

My precious mom turned _ _ yesterday and we had a fabulous celebration. We planned a surprise birthday dinner at our house, well it was a surprise until ME called her and said, "you're coming to our house for dinner, but you will have to wait and see if it is a surprise". Oh well, so much for that. But it was still a fabulous evening filled with lots of fun, laughter, and time together.

American Idol redeems themself

Okay, based on my post from the previous day, I am thrilled to hear from so many people regarding the song sung on American Idol gives back that aired on Wednesday night. Last night during the elimination show, Shout to the Lord was sung again. This time the words were NOT CHANGED. In other words, MY JESUS, were the first words sung. Thank you, thank you that the name of Jesus was spoken with millions of viewers watching. How awesome that this song was sung AGAIN on the airwaves of American Idol!! I cannot believe that sang it once, much less twice. Yes, to the person that left a comment yesterday, I am sure Simon was squirming in his little seat!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

American Idol sings Shout to the Lord?

Okay, I just have to post about this because I am so confused. I have to admit in the early years of American Idol, I gave a strong support and following. I love, love, love to sing and so this was just a show I could relate to. When M and M were young, we even went to the Season 2 Idol Tour concert when they came to Atlanta. You may remember this was Clay Aiken and Rueben Studdard's year.

Anyway. . I promise I have a point. You may remember Mandisa from Season 5, I believe, she is an incredible christian woman that was following her passion with music by participating in Beth Moore's worship team. They travel to various conference via Travis Cottrell's influence and sing prior to her sessions. Mandisa auditioned for American Idol and made it to the top 9. (I have read her book Idol Eyes) So, when she was voted off, the week prior to that she sang "Shackles", by Mary, Mary. (my kids LOVE this song and I do too. S even knows choreography to the entire song, love it. . she says they sing it in worship every day at school, one of the things I love about my kids going to a christian school) Okay, so after she sang that song, "you broke the chains, now I can lift my hands, I just want to praise you, I just want to praise you", Obviously talking about Jesus Christ. Simon says to her," I didn't get it." Of course not, the WORLD doesn't get it, and they won't until we tell them. Anyway, she did it anyway, she took a stand and sang that song, knowing the world would not "get it". Many have followed in her footsteps and have tried to participate in Idol as Christians, but I am sure allowing others to know the true honesty of their faith would surely get them eliminated.

Okay, so this year, I just have not watched many of the episodes, except for the first ones where it is basically a comedy show. Last night on American Idol gives back, the last song was "Shout to the Lord" by Darlene Zschech worship leader of Hillsong Church in Australia. Hillsong is a very open and honest church that is pentecostal and firmly preaches the Bible and evangelism. Yeah for that. So. . as the top 9 or 10 contestants come out all dressed in white, clad with a gospel choir behind them and sing "My Savior, my shepherd, Lord there is none like you, All of my days, I want to praise, the wonders of your Mighty Hand". . . I heard this in the background while I am working on the computer, I had to watch. I stood there watching baffled in amazement that the world was literally watching as this song was being sung. To Who? Were they singing to my Lord? Or was this merely for show or to get more money sent in? I am so confused at the motive or was this merely to worship a great and Mighty God? If anyone saw this and has insight, please let me know? I personally loved it, because even if some of those Idols singing aren't Christians, they sure sang about it and millions heard!! Praise the Lord and thanks American Idol for a little free evangelism for us Christians.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Great Clothing Changeover

Well, it's here again. Warm weather means it is that time of year when we change the closets, drawers, dressers, and any other place we find to store clothes in this house. It happens every April and every October. I find myself in the middle of piles and piles of clothes wondering how many times could I have possibly come in from GAP? I told Big T if we took every piece of clothing, winter and summer for all 13 of us and stacked them in a pile how high would it be? MY WORD at the clothes. But once it's all spread out, hung up, put away neatly in drawers, and winter clothes are put away in bins, it really doesn't seem like that much. Of course we are nowhere near completed on our project of the "great change over", but a few are. Thank goodness little J's clothes don't take that much work and the big kids can do their own. BUT, they know I must inspect what gets passed down or taken out for Good Will. We truly try to be good stewards with our clothing and find someone in the family that will be able to use it or take it to the Salvation Army. We have also been known to make a pretty good amount twice a year at our community's consignment sale. Each spring I find myself in disbelief that each child has outgrown as much as they have. Do they have to grow so fast? I know I should be thankful for such healthy kids, but that does mean new clothes for some or unfortunately more hand me downs for those that fall correctly in the order. Maybe we'll be done by the time warm weather is here to stay.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Busy Days

I have been so busy for the past 5 days that I didn't even miss my Visa, as it was between my two front seats. (for those of you that know me in real life, you know I use my Visa a lot) This is because we have so many to shop for. . okay that's not what I am posting about today, but to tell you I didn't even notice it was gone.
Saturday we hosted a group of 20 people for lunch. This of course included an entire cleaning of the house prior to their arrival. We cleaned all Friday evening. (I felt so sorry for my high schoolers/middle schoolers that had been on a school band trip for two days) Nonetheless, we cleaned and cleaned. The group that came are operators, or managers, that will be taking over new or existing CFA stores around the country. They come to the campus where we live and complete together the ropes' course, then eat a meal with one of the three homes here to learn more about "what we do". The kids always give a thorough tour of our home, which is why we cleaned so darn hard the night before. It was a fabulous time and the operators even rode scooters with the kids and played on our swing set. The kids did not want them to leave. Of course, if they sell more chicken, it is better for our organization, so we encouraged them to "sell more chicken."

On Monday, I hosted a Silpada party for my friend that sells it here in town. Check out their website and find it near you. I love their jewelry. My reasoning was, well the house will be clean, so I will just go ahead and pack in two events within two days. I know, I know, my logic does not make much sense, but in went great. I am going to have fun, fun picking out lots of jewelry for myself. So thanks to my peeps, mom, and Mimi that came out and bought jewelry. (For those of you that still want some, my party won't close until Thursday) Anyway, as you can see, I have been busy, not to mention the usual for the week, school, dance, dentist appointments, and church thrown in on Sunday. I miss my blogging time when I get behind in the real life, but it is really more of a priority.