Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How are YOU doing?

I have quite a day ahead of me! Lots to do, too little time. If politics and activism interest you, I've been blogging a bit about current events and such on my political themed blog. Hop on over and feel free to comment if you'd like.

We're doing well. I got a new dishwasher last night- for free! I'm very excited. I'm on a mission to get routines back in every aspect of our lives. I believe it would greatly help with the stress levels in our home. The kids are doing soccer now, tonight is our second practice. They're both very excited about it. I'm Twittering now, if you can't tell ;o) So follow me!

I'm going to be doing a giveaway soon here on the blog. Maybe next week- we'll see! I'll have to think more about it. It will be my first giveaway so I'm hoping it will go over well.

How is your bible reading going? How about my Bible in a Year pals? Amy? (looking around) are you out there? I'm keeping up. I have some "back reading" but it's not too bad. The routine thing will help a lot in that area.

Something to pray about:
We're desperately wanting to get the kids back in private Christian school next school year. Please pray that we will see any open doors the Lord has for us, and that His will be done. I truly believe it's His will for them to be back there next school year. Jackson needs it, badly. Also pray for Jackson. The Lord knows his needs.

Link me to your updates if you've already posted a personal update on your own blogs I have not commented to! (((group hugs))))

Monday, March 30, 2009

They should be ashamed

I'm not suprised, but they should really be ashamed of what they're doing! There's no "modern Christianity", there's TRUE, and there's false! There's sticking to what the bible says and teaches, and there's picking and choosing what you'd like to focus on. It's very simple, why must people try and make it so difficult?

Cool verses 3-30, 4-7

Numbers 23:
19God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Proverbs 30:
15... There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: ...

17... The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

Deuteronomy 4
29But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

30When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;

31(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.

Deuteronomy 5
33Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

Job 5
17Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:

18For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.

Tomorrow is THE day! are you ready?

Tonight (March 30th) at midnight is the cutoff date for guaranteed delivery from the Red Envelope Day site- http://www.RedEnvelopeDay.com/send.html

I think we're going to use the site to send ours. Are you sending? Have you sent one alrady? Where did you find your envelopes?

Friday, March 27, 2009

GF Girl Scout cookies and more

Stephanie at Totally Together is on a quest to recreate Girl Scout cookies in gluten free form. I'd love to know what the nutritional stats are for these myself! Nevertheless, they look yummy. So, that is on my list of recipes I want to try *g*

Lemon Chalet Cookies (in the comments section they're devising a plan for a homemade mix, if you have a cure for the boxed mix idea, I'd love to hear it- please comment!)

Thin Mints (I know this is a beloved favorite- I hear they're awesome straight from the fridge.)

Trefoils (shortbread)

Sidenote: Stephanie is also the author of A Year of Crockpotting, which is linked in my sidebar right now. I love that blog. If you love your crockpot or have a desire to get to know it better, that blog is a very good place to start!!

Talking about sweets, Bakerella made the cutest Spring Chicks pops. One day ... pops will be a favorite pastime with me and my children ;o)

Speaking of GF, Carrie (Ginger Lemon Girl) has a couple of new recipes posted- she's so clever! Using rutabagas for "hashrounds"? Genius! and I've never had rutabagas, but this simple recipe makes me want to pick up some when we're at Whole foods this afternoon *g* and I'll tell ya why- I do think there's merit in a low carb lifestyle (which is what Carrie is doing). and I have quite a bit of weight to lose, and I love potatoes though in moderation. I like te idea of recreating carb laden dishes with alternatives, and this recipe looks like it will be comparable to the "mouth feel" that regular hash browns do for me. That's part of my enjoyment with hash browns, the crispiness, that feeling you get when you bite into it. Does that make sense? That's my biggest challenge with the kids, morseso Hannah overall, is the mouth-feel factor. (Jay is the same way.)

Oh! and she's also given me hope for spaghetti squash, too! I've fixed it one time, and like Carrie, I ate it though not really joyfully. She posts her recipe for roasting the squash, which makes me wonder if that was my mistake. Last time I fixed Spaghetti squash (years ago) I done it in the microwave. That might be the difference for me, ya know? and it's such a good-for-you squash, why would one not want it in their diets?

Well that's it for now. I'm headed to go get the kids and run some errands before meeting my family for Japanese tonight in celebration of my father's birthday- Happy Birthday Dad!!

Frugal Friday 3-27

Frugal posts I've found over this week:

Christy from Mercy Every Morning posted some neat ideas for eating out on a budget.

Amy with "Four frugal hackers sitting at a bus stop"- a great comparison of the varying stages of frugality we all face at some point in our life.

A free sample of an Encouraging Word Christian magazine for ladies.

Hillbilly Housewife is talking about planning and saving for large purchases.

The Heavenly Homemaker is pondering the pros and cons of eating out (I need to sit down and do the same thing!!)

What Frugal finds have you found this week?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cool verses 3-25, 26

Something to share with the kids, don't you think?

Ecclesiastes 12
13Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

14For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Exodus 15
26And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

Wordless Wednesday 3-25

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gratituesday 3-24

This Tuesday I'm grateful for God's faithfulness. I was having such a hard day yesterday, it was just a really weird type of day. By the afternoon I knew why, it was another "waiting for the shoe to drop" kind of feeling. But even while I was holeing up trying to gather my thoughts, the Lord sent me assurance things were going to be ok. It made me think of one of my favorite verses-

Hebrews 13:5
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

and one of my favorite hymns-

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.


Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.


Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

I'm so grateful we can be confident in God's promises.

For more Gratituesday head over to Heavenly Homemakers

My Blogroll Buddies:
Sarah is thankful for her husband.
Christy is thankful for a weekend without the kids.

I ♥ Faces: additional pics

Here are more pictures I done when playing in Photoshop working on the contest picture.

This is the original:

I just LOVED this-

these were neat (can you tell the difference?)

and this is what I entered into the contest-

and the original! (added Tues. am)-

Monday, March 23, 2009

I ♥ faces: no flash contest

It's Amanda's fault. She entered Emma's sweet picture in a contest last week, and I followed the button from her post to this new-to-me blog I ♥ Faces. Photo editing is not really a strength of mine. I have realized in recent months that the camera can do a lot to help with the appearance of the pictures, in that, there are things you can do in the settings, etc ... then I found out MY camera had some of those! So my Canon PowerShot 95 (5MP) and I are getting to know each other ;o)

I was excited to see the entries for "Fix it Fridays"- that gave me hope that maybe one day you'll see pics on my blog as gorgeous as on Amanda's blog (sans twins unless the Lord suprises us, lol)

So I saw today the contest for this week, which is basically a 'use no flash' challenge. Hey, here in NC we're actually in Spring only with a slight bite in the air so I was happy to get outside today with the kids to take some new pics I knew for sure would have no flash attached. I got a few good ones but Hannah gave the camera some serious love with this picture, so this is my entry for the contest:

Click here to see the other pics I done, and to see the original.

Hope Deferred

The blogger at His Hands His Feet got an encouraging email today and she shared it on her blog. I've had a horrible day. It started last night after church. Church was great, but when we got home this uneasiness settled upon me. I was glad it was bedtime. This morning was not a lot better. Nothing really out of the ordinary bad, but it was one of those times where if there was a button that I thought I had ripped off and could no longer be pushed, it seemed the buttons were hanging by a thread, and were getting pushed. That uneasiness of being in my own skin, and it's not PMS. So I have no idea what has been going on today but ... something is going on. I got some valuable info concerning something that is really heavy on my heart, all I can think is that Satan is wanting to rattle my chain to get my eye off the ball. Pray for me, will ya?

However, this letter was such a blessing, and just the word I needed:

Hope Deferred
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. --Proverbs 13:12

My dear child, do not be afraid to put your hope in Me, for I am good and I am kind and I take care of My own dear children.

Many of My own have been hurt or disappointed over and over again--until they reached a place where they became afraid to hope, for fear that they will be disappointed. This happens in the world, for the ruler of this world seeks to crush the life and hope out of people; that he might fill their hearts with despair. But that is not My way and I am not like that. In fact, I am calling My own out of that place of fear and despair, so that they may enter into My place of peace and joy.

Dear one, you are no longer of this world, you are adopted into My own family.[a] I have rescued you from the ruler of this world, and I have planted My seed of hope in your heart. Do not be afraid to let that seed grow and mature, so that you might be able to abide that place of endless joy and peace that I have prepared for you. It is My desire that you have a peace that passes all understanding[b], and that your joy might indeed be full[c] and overflowing.

I assure you that you will not be disappointed as you look to Me andtrust in Me. I am faithful, and I keep My promises. So open up yourheart, dear one, and dare to believe Me in all that I have promisedto you. Remind yourself daily of My nature and My character, for I amgood, and those who come to Me will receive good things from My hand.I am truth and I cannot lie to you. I am faithful and I will notabandon you or forget a single one of My promises to you. I am theGod of all power, and I able to work My good on your behalf.

Yes, dear one, I am both willing and able to take care of you. I have many good gifts for you, and I have given you a hope and a future.So do not be afraid to trust in Me. Dear one, open your heart and allow the hope of your salvation[d] and the hope of your calling[e]to fill your hearts. Simply dare to believe what I am telling you,and these things will begin to overflow you until it pours out from you to those around you. For it is My plan and My desire to fill you with all peace and joy, so that you might abound in My hope and be filled with the power of My indwelling Holy Spirit.[f]

a - John 15:19 "You do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you."
b - Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."c - John 15:11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."
d - 1 Thessalonians 5:8 "But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation."
e - Ephesians 1:18 "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints..."
f - Romans 15:13 "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Making your home a haven: 3-23

I just found this meme through Crystal at Biblical Womanhood, and I'm so glad she mentioned it because this is something I need right now. At this point, my home is my biggest weakness. I've started reading my Flylady emails again, and actually, just this morning, made the bed and swished and swiped. It amazes me how at one time, when Jackson was little, I was incredibly, Kate Gosselin-like organized and structured, and all that is out the window these days, and has been for a good while now! So this kind of accountability-slash-challenge is good for me personally. If you'd like to join me, I'd love to encourage you! Just leave me a link to your blog or if you don't blog, comment and let me know ho you're progressing.

Today she is talking about morning routines. I'm babystepping the routine thing right now but am following loosely the FLYlady morning routine though in no particular order:

Morning Routine:
-Get Dressed to Shoes including Hair/Face, Brush Teeth
- Make Bed
-Swish & Swipe
-Empty Dishwasher
-Reboot Laundry (a Load a Day Keeps CHAOS Away cause it's neverending)
-Check Your Calendar
-Check Your Control Journal

Hey, I said babysteps, right? So the challenge is to have five things for a routine, so let me see how I can customize Marla's idea to make it my own-

  1. Get up, make coffee, swish and swipe.
  2. Go wake up the kids.
  3. Start getting Dressed to Shoes including Hair/Face (I'm running low in foundation so face might not get done some days until I can reorder- Everyday Minerals, ya know .. Oh! check out their specials!! Note to self- order this weekend. Oh, what was I doing ... the list! ok ...)
  4. Go wake up the kids again. Get some coffee.
  5. Reboot laundry (if previous day's loads are folded, hung up, and put up)
  6. Start breakfast.
  7. Make sure the kids are getting ready and not back asleep on my bed.
    Ideally the rest of the monring would be something like:
  8. Breakfast.
  9. Take kids to school.
  10. Come home, do bible reading.
  11. Work out if it's Monday, Wednesday or Friday.
  12. Blog (reading, writing) and email.
  13. 15 minutes decluttering.
  14. Reboot laundry.

Oh I'm tired juts thinking of it. I need all the help I can get!!

added: Talking about routines, SimpleMom has an article up with 20 tips of finding your routine- even with kids. It's simple great! I like her perspective.

Cool verses

Verses I read in my daily reading:

Ecclesiastes 9
15Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.
16Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.
17The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.
18Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.

I thought about our government when I read these...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Cheesy Imposter

I'm for some reason attracted to gluten free recipes. Caesin free, the better. However, I've not had much experience with cooking this way, but the concept is very interesting for me. I love Carrie's blog Ginger Lemon Girl. She is very inventive with her recipes and has lots of good looking things on there.

If you are interested in this way of cooking, this is definitely a good place to "jump off", from. I'm very interested in trying this recipe she's posted about:

Ginger Lemon Girl: A Cheesy Imposter (Gluten Free, Casein Free, and Soy Free "Cheese" Sauce)

I asked what garlic granules were because I had never heard of them. Jay likes to cook with garlic salt, for the garlic flavor without dealing with actual garlic. I am SO going to order some of these granules- at $2.49 a container that's a steal! The fact that Carrie cares enough about her readers to go back and insert links into her articles is very telling of her generosity and willingness to help people through her blog, I believe. (Thank you Carrie!)

Speaking of new recipes, I recently bought the book Deceptively Delicious, and it's so great! A friend of mine posted about her recent brownie experience, and it made me think of this brownie recipe I want to try. Jackson thinks the concept is awesome and that we shouldn't tell Hannah until she's been eating some of the recipes :p

What do you think? Is that a concept that interests you? Would you try something like that?

Speaking of food, I just went by Tara's and she has a yummy looking broccoli, cheese, and rice casserole recipe posted. Check it out!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

An Encouraging Word

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An Encouraging Word is offering a free sample issue. Just mention the promo code inashoe at checkout to claim your free sample.

Offer and code found at Frugal Hacks.

raising foodies 3-19

This week, we're highlighting the night we made tuna pasta salad. That's a dish that is welcomed in our home, and Hannah enjoys making it. It's very easy, and frugal. I always make a big batch of it because it reheats well (for us weirdos) and you can eat it cool for lunch the next day.

We start out with half a bag of yolk free egg noodles, though probably any pasta will work- the texture of this pasta works well for our family. While you're boiling your noodles, boil some eggs- we usually boil six, because one will get eaten before it reaches the pot.

While the pasta and the eggs are boiling, chop some sweet gerkin pickles up. We like these pickles, so we usually use eight or ten of them (eating some along the way too). I leave some bigger chunks, and chop some smaller as well. When the eggs are ready, peel them, and chop them up in the manner you choose to chop. I love my egg slicer- I slice egg whites one way, then I turn them around and slice them again for a "chopped" size.

Put everything together after the pasta is drained back in the same pot- the pasta, eggs, pickles, tuna ....

Mix everything together with mayonaise. Jay likes a lot of mayo, but in my attempt to watch calories, I use less than what he would. You add as much as or less as you want for your own family. For those watching cholesterol, I've used Veganaise with this too and it was equally delicious.

Finished product-

Salt and pepper individual servings to taste.

Grace's Kitchen Friends

Red Velvet Cookie-sandwiches

This project was inspired by Bakerella, if you have not read her blog, you MUST- just as soon as you finish reading this ;) It was a Valentine intended treat, but we made them the night of Valentines I think. I was very impressed with the number of cookies this recipe (using a cake mix) yielded. I believe, by using conservative tablespoon drops I ended up with a lot more than what she did, but it worked out well because the sandwiches were just big enough- not like those huge cookie sandwiches you see in the stores.

I like the idea of making smaller portions and getting seconds if you want, instead of having bigger portions and having the psychological struggle of wanting to "finish" so you "don't waste" any. Whichever way is fine, whatever works out best for you and your family.
I did find, however, that it is better to let your cream cheese filling fit in the fridge and set up a bit before icing the cookies, it spreads a lot better that way.

Hannah thought assembly was easy, although I needed to use my electric mixer for the actual mixing. That was a nice suprise though cause I remembered to pull out my new one with the digital display *g*

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Jesus Easter egg display

This is so neat. I was at Nicole's blog, and she always shares the cutest and neatest home decorating ideas, I'm thinking that's her "thing". Anyhow, she found this blog that had an Easter egg project that was glorifying the Lord, I think we'll do this this year-

Wordless Wednesday 3-18

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


My friend Jennifer got some inspiration last week, and I thought it was just wonderful and wanted to share it with you. Click here to read it.

Gratituesday 3-17

Last week, I learned on Tuesday morning that a sweet friend had passed on. I learned two weeks too late. I was not able to go to the funeral, comfort her family, look at her one last time. This time last year I was in "babyland", with Jordan here with me. Last year, last Spring, Jordan died at 6 weeks old, four days after our Spring revival on April 14th. I remember telling a friend at church Sunday- week ago how weary and odd I felt at the thought of having revival-at church. It was a month early according to the calendar, but for me, it took me right back to the thoughts and events that was going on the week before Jordan died. What a precious time that was with him. We had FINALLY found a nipple that he liked and nursed well from his bottle without struggling- that was a 2-3 week experiment in and of itsself.

As I was telling my friend how I was feeling, I said I felt as if, even though it was a year later- I was still waiting for the next shoe to drop. I still felt on pins and needles. I felt as if my pain was not over yet, and I was guilting myself because come on, it's been a year- lets feel better already! But that's the thing with grief. Grief has no timeline. I know this because seven years later- I know I am still grieving my grandmother. I cannot honestly tell you which pain has been worse, losing her, or losing Jordan. Really- I'd have to say her. I had my whole life with her. She was like my best friend. She was really the only grandparent I had growing up. But that's not here nor there, both hurt, tremendously.

My point- grief has no time frame, it is what it is, until it is, no more.

But then I go and open my email two days later after sharing how I was feeling with my friend, to have a new wave of grief staring me right in the eye. I could not believe what I read. One line. That was it. One line and my friend was gone- away- forever- to never see her again. Just like Jordan, last year. You know at least with grandma, she had been sick for a while. She was in the hospital for about two weeks before she passed. We were expecting it. She had lived a long, full life, she was ready for glory. My friend was 35 years old, Jordan was six weeks old. Death knows no age.

The bible says-
Psalm 118:1
"O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever."

1 Thessalonians 5:18
"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

Isaiah 61:10
"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels."

Philippians 4:4
"Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice."

My grandmother was saved. My friend was saved. Both of them knew Christ as their Savior. Both of them are with the Lord right now, as well as Jordan. Sheila is up there right now probably rocking him and spoiling him rotten, as they sit by Jesus' feet. It took me months to get up after we lost Jordan, but I don't think Sheila would appreciate that or want that for me. I'm thankful that I can find out when I get there, why the Lord brought Sheila and Jordan home so early in their lives. I'm thankful for the knowledge of knowing for a fact where they are right now.

I cannot imagine the helplessness of not knowing where one of my loved ones are after death, and one of them might actually read this, who knows. If they do, I want them to know I love and care about them and want them to know where they are spending eternity. If anything, I want them to ponder the thought of what their loved ones will be thinking after their death- and maybe that would have them consider the idea that if they know they are going to heaven through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, then their loved ones will know that as well because the change in their life will be that noticeable. Salvation is first and foremost about our own salvation, but lately I've pondered the thought, it's about your loved ones peace as well after you have left this world and left everyone else here to grieve over you.

"Three Things"

Copy this on your on blog post and put your answers in. Then tag a few good friends and / or family INCLUDING the person who tagged you. The theory is that you will learn things about your friends that you didn't know before.

I'm tagging:
Amanda- The Richardson Family
M~ Simple Reflections
Stacie- The Arizona Benningtons
Jennifer- PJ Academy
Nicole- The Graves' House
Amy- Growing Like Trees
Tara- Feels like home

1. Wendy
2. Jackson / Hannah's mom / Mrs. Wood
3. calvarygirl (LOL)

Can't say I've really worked anywhere interesting as in "fascinating"=
1. McDs- you'd be amazed ...
2. childcare- a study in psych alone!
3. convenience store- again, a good way to study "people"

1. Winston (current)
2. Mocksville (NC)
3. Albemarle, NC ("home of Kelly Pickler", lol)

1. John & Kate Plus 8
2. Grey's Anatomy
3. Everybody Loves Raymond

1. Washington DC (my "Phantom" trip)
2. Alabama (various places)
3. Gatlinburg, TN

1. Italy
2. Ireland
3. back to Hilton Head, SC

1. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (lets be honest, right?)
2. Fettucini Alfredo from my fav Italian place
3. Jay's fried squash

1. the kids going back to private school
2. getting organized
3. GNO with my BFF

1.^Temone^, my mini schnauzer of 13 yrs (til 4-07)
2. ^Mickey^, my black kitty of 15 years (til 10-08)
3. Timothy and Titus, our current fat tabbys (they come as a unit, lol)

1. Amanda- The Richardson Family
2. Nicole- PJ Academy
3. Jennifer- Growing Like Trees

1. Jackson's basketball team
2. Jackson's soccer team
3. Wake Forest

1. Sweet Tea
2. Gloria Jeans Cafe Mocha
3. McD's coffee

Three top Concert experiences:
1. Shania Twain (first time, a long while back)
2. Shania Twain (second time, a long while back)
3. WS Symphony?

Three Things that make your SKIN CRAWL:
1. Tarantulas (sp?)
2. nails on a chalkboard
3. adult vomit (eeww, why is it I can handle kid vomit better?)

Three Things that calm me down when I am stressed:
1. Praying
2. someone praying for me
3. sticking my head in a freezer (if panic is involved!)

Three Most Dangerous things I have ever done:
1. hmmmm .... I might not want to answer this ;o)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why Lord?

I just received an email, Sheila, one of my very first online buddies-turned-IRL friends, went home to be with the Lord the night of February 22nd. She died in her sleep. One of her co workers just went through her emails at her work address this morning replying to everything with the news. I looked up her obituary and it shared no information, really. two lines.

I'm personally floored as I counted Sheila as a good friend. I've known her since I was pregnant with Hannah (eight years). We met during a staff chat for iVillage.com- both of us were community leaders for one of the parenting boards then. The first night we were both in the room and realized we lived two hours from each other we were insant buddies.

She has been to my home, been to my church ... My family has spent time with her and her family; through last year as she had appointments in my city we would meet for lunch. When Jordan died she was here in a heartbeat and met B and me for lunch. She was a dear friend and will be greatly missed :.....o(

The thing is, the past few months we only shared quick, non lengthy emails- just enough to check in. I happened to look on the board where we met that I used to lead, and noticed a post from her (she rarely posted, if ever, in the past year there) ... her last post was the 19th, three days before she passed. She didn't say much, only that they had just had to put their oldest daughter in a girl's home. Needless to say- their family was already under a great deal of trials. They need a lot of prayer.

She posted because one of the current leaders had noticed her "last visit" date was recent, and had posted a shout out to her and she replied. She would not have posted then if she was not posted "to" in the first place. Amazing, that I even happened to be on that board to see that last week.

Last year, Spring revival was great. It was a wonderful revival- last year it was in April. The last night I had got to bring Jordan to church with me that Wednesday. The following Monday we lost him. Now this year, we're not even through with revival and I feel like I'm back to square one- losing a loved one all over again! Why, Lord? I've always remembered that if you don't learn the lessons God is trying to teach you, He will bring you full circle back to the same thing until you "get" what He's trying to teach you.

What did I miss last year?

In reality I know Sheila's death is not about me. I realize that. But it affects me. I know she was saved. She might not had been walking close with the Lord, but her salvation I do not doubt. I know she's with the Lord. Thing is, she was only 35 years old! Again, death knows no age! She left a 17 year old daughter, a 12 year old daughter and a 8 year old son. and a husband.

I'm just so sad ...

oh no, not again

Last week's migraine made sense, I was "due" for one. After I wrote my post last night I started feeling the tension in my forehead and temples. I slept very lightly last night, which has not helped matters. So it's 9:10 am, and as soon as I finish my coffee I'm going to have to retreat back to bed and hope this goes away. I really don't want to miss revival tonight! :o(

Monday, March 9, 2009

What a week!

This is going to be a busy week for us. Our Spring revival started last night (Sunday) and it lasts through Wednesday night. Thursday morning I leave for Virginia for the Ladies Prayer Advance, and I'll be gone through Saturday afternoon. Then mom reminded me today that this Saturday night is the night I had planned to go to the Steven's Center with them cause they had extra tickets, lol I'm going to be SO tired!!

I'm excited about the prayer advance though. I have fond memories of past ones I've been to. The first one, I had no idea what it even was. We had not been back in church for very long, and my mentor at the time just said "there's a paid slot, and I'd love you to go with me", and my thoughts was "hey, three day trip with the ladies from church, no money required, I'm in!". Little did I know. I can just say that most people only think they have experienced revival, until they've attended one of these events. I went to the one in '01, then another one in '03.

Basically it's breakfast- morning session (preaching & worship, lasts 1 1/2-2 hours each session) - lunch - rest an hour - afternoon session - workshop (optional) - dinner - evening session. Basically, up to six hours a day on Thursday and Friday of worship and preaching, you leave Saturday after the early-afternoon session. No cell phones, no TVs, no computers, no land lines (except for the main building). You are completely separated from the "outside world" for that time period.

I know six hours of "church" can make someone wonder how that can be exciting, but when you go expecting to meet the Lord there, expecting that "something", be assured- He is going to meet you! Like Jacob wrestling all night with the angel of the Lord, he held on TIGHT to that angel, fighting, until he got his blessing.

I have no idea what will come about this weekend, but I do know that eight years ago I went, and I come back a completely changed person. That weekend saved my marriage- literally. The Lord dealt with me and changed me in ways that weekend that can be attributed to nothing short of a miracle from God. Jay's still amazed to this day I think- cause that is one thing he does not hesitate to encourage me in, lol I think if he had to drive me up there and drop me off at the front door he would! LOL The Lord dealt with me on my pride problem, and showed me how pride can ruin everything in your life- every relationship you have. and He dealt with that seriously in depth! My blessing? a saved marriage and Hannah was conceived two weeks later ;o) I say she's my prayer advance baby :p

This year is going to be extra special for one, because revival is this week. My heart is going to be right from session one! ;o) Also, my retired Pastor is the preacher for this year's advance! He retired last March and our current Pastor "took the reigns". He had been on staff working as Associate Pastor three years prior, so it was an extremely smooth, precious transition and time for the whole church. But it's been a year since I've heard him preach ;) we're talking about the man who led Jay and I to the Lord, it was his ministry and preaching that brought us to salvation, and his ministry that led my kids to salvation. He's a very special person to us. So I'm excited.

The fellowship, the preaching, the time away to just focus on God, man, what a great weekend it will be! Please pray for us all, and for my family. I really hope revival will be special for Jackson. He's struggling so right now. Thank you!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Part I - Joy To Serve (Finding Joy In The Midst Of It ALL)

Simple Reflections: Part I - Joy To Serve (Finding Joy In The Midst Of It ALL)

Part II - Joy To Guide

Simple Reflections: Part II - Joy To Guide

Not doing a lot better

By last night I was worse than I was through the day. I was very sick to my stomach, barely able to eat. I just had some breakfast and I hope this will stay down. Right now the pain is not quite as bad as the disorientation, so I'm going to juts take it easy today and stay offline as much as possible. I'd appreciate any prayers you can spare. Thanks!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Migraine coming on

This is going to be a "take it easy" day today. I woke up with "that" tension in my head and it's been proogressively getting worse as the morning has went on. Prayers would be appreciated!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

You Can Make Yogurt in Your CrockPot!

LOL- I created the link on the wrong blog :p but that's ok, hop on over and answer this over there, and check out the cool page I'm linking to. VERY interesting stuff- especially if you have little ones, and / or dealing with taking antibiotics with all this ooky- stuff going around. It's a lot cheaper that's for sure! I remember when the kids were smaller they went through yogurt like crazy. I'm going to try this to see if it will spark that interest again. If all else fails- smoothies!

Calvary Girl Devotions: You Can Make Yogurt in Your CrockPot!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Weather, Rally

We got snow last night! All winter long I've got to see my northern friends and thier snow, and we finally got some! All it took was a massive storm that somehow started from the south, LOL Jay and I were talking and we both agreed the last time it snowed *this* much was back in '91. So this was the kid's first REAL snow. We spent probably 3-4 hours outside with the kids today. I have a thousand pictures (well, not exactly, but ...). We built a life sized snowman. I have to say I think this was the first snowman I've ever helped make! So the kids and I both got to have a "first" today.

I have some great shots I want to share, I believe I'm going to save them for Wordless Wednesday. I have some beautiful scenic shots- I hope to be able to turn them into blog layouts for the designs site. I do plan on taking a bunch of them and creating a photo book for the kids.

Tomorrow is the Return America rally in Raleigh, and a group from church is going. We have about 250 people signed up, I'm not sure what the turnout will be since the weather is so rough. Our "Young at Hearts" do this every year as a group, and the rest of the church is invited to join them. My only thing is riding the two hour + trip down there in a school bus, LOL! I'm taking Jackson with me tomorrow. We talked about what it's for, without even having to get into the fact men are wanting to marry men, etc ... He was all for it just because the bible says "man and woman" and that's good enough for him.

I explained to him that when he is older, and the amendment is passed, he will appreciate being able to tell his own children he had something to do with it. I've had people ask why do I concern myself so much with "current events" and politics, and the answer is quite simple. It's the same thing my now retired pastor said many years ago when Jackson was just a little guy-

"... if this country ever gets far away from God, and my kids or grandkids look
at me as a Christian and ask "what did you do to stop this?", I want to tell
them I done everything I could. I don't want to have to say "nothing"."

I would say this is a biggie, don't you think? So if you see this throughout the day, please pray for our safety and that the mission will be accomplished this year!