Monthly Archives: September 2016

A little bit of random and a whole lot of pictures <3

So I guess yesterday was National Coffee Day…which seriously?

Isn’t every day Coffee Day?

And while I did have my usual allotment yesterday, alas…

too busy with three little boys to post a coffee pic….so…

here’s my last cup o’ the day …

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and yes…technically…open cup in the car…

and borrowed without asking as Rachel tucked the last sleepy boy into bed and I loaded my car to head home.

As Emmett would say….

img_5629 and did numerous times….

I saw-wee…I din’t mean to…=0)

We decided it was time to attempt another pie-baking since it’s been a while….

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And now the pupil is giving instructions…

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So we added some new flavors…

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and practiced new skills…

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using the highest standards of food safety…

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under careful supervision by quality control…

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and the results were undeniably successful…

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And if all that wasn’t enough to make me burst with a full heart, God went and did this for me on the way home…

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all in all…

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Best day ever <3

 

Just the way we are <3

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I have had a variety of part time jobs in my life.

Okay.

I have had a zillion part time jobs and only one short stint of a full time job that lasted from 1982-1984…but who’s counting.

One of those jobs was as a sub in the public schools for a number of years.

I enjoyed subbing in our kids’ school most of all because I knew the teachers and, more importantly the parents, which is great leverage as a sub. Trust me.

Sometimes as I chatted with a teacher later about how the day went we would find out that the one kid that drove me up a wall was her favorite student and the one that I thought was a huge help was her worst nightmare.

Because we are humans.

And we are wired differently.

So we have preferences about who we like and who we find annoying.

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Our quirks and unique personalities can prove charming or irritating depending on who is dealing with us.

And we can tend to think that God operates like that.

But He doesn’t.

He finds all sin deplorable (thank you presidential candidates for reminding us how offensive THAT word is…)

BUT

He finds all humanity worth saving.

He loves us and desires that none of us perish.

He has no favorites and yet all are favored.

We can do nothing to make Him love us more…nor can we do anything to make Him love us less.

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He sends us all sun and rain, moon and stars.

He loves us so intensely …

so abundantly…

so extravagantly.

He loves you, over there, who thinks you messed it up too big this time…

and you, who lost it with your kiddos today…multiple times…

and you, who think you might just quit the whole church thing because it isn’t working for you like you thought…

and you, who have tried a hundred thousand times to stop that thing that you hate doing but then…you do it again..

and you, who have cried out one too many nights and are thinking He must not care…or worse…has turned His back on you…

Yes, He loves you…

and me.

Yes, God loves us…

the Bible tells me so <3

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For God so loved the world, that He sent His only Son…that whoever believes IN HIM….will not perish…but will have everlasting life. John 3:16

If it really bothers you, do something tangible to make a difference

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I was the mother of three when my dear neighbor and friend asked me one day what I thought about abortion.

My response was well-rehearsed from the information that had been poured into my head by the good common sense I had gleaned from listening to the world.

It basically went like this…

and I will tell you, if you cringe reading it…

just imagine how much I cringe typing it….

“I believe that an embryo is a human being from conception, but if one of our daughters was raped and became pregnant, I would want to know that their rights are protected to not have to carry that baby. I would want to be able to know that I could advocate for them legally.”

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To which she responded, with much grace mind you…

Who speaks for the rights of the child?

And in that instant…in that gentle question…I moved from the Choice camp to the Pro-Life camp and I have not gone back.

I can’t.

One of the comments I heard following the debate from Monday night was how disappointed some people were that Hillary was not called out about her position on abortion.

I can not speak to that…

or how Trump feels…

or how the governing of our own state can be convinced of what I was convicted of.

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But this I know….

Last night we attended the New Life Pregnancy Center annual banquet.

We had a great evening with good food, good laughter, good company and good information about what this ministry does for those who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy.

We were told the number of lives of babies that were saved last year…

of mothers and fathers who are being equipped with knowledge to provide the best home for their babies…

whether to become better parents or to make the sacrifice of allowing someone else to parent their child.

We were blessed by the testimony of a young woman who has experienced the healing restoration that came when she turned to Jesus Christ following the regret of her own exercise of choice and now ministers to post-abortion women to bring them to healing and forgiveness and restoration and NEW LIFE.

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You and I may not be offered help in the political arena to stand for this cause that we believe in…

the rights of the unborn.

But we do have a resource to make a difference.

And it is found through the local crisis pregnancy centers.

If you missed the banquet, don’t miss the invitation.

Get involved.

With your money.

With your time.

With your prayers.

The director of NLPC here in Decatur once asked me a pointed question….

I will leave that with you today…

“What are YOU doing to advocate for the rights of those who have no voice?”

http://www.newlifepregnancycenter.com

 

Blessed are the care givers <3

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This is for the weary ones who sit alone in silent tears…thankful for the mercy of God to allow them to be the care giver to a loved one…realizing the blessing in the weight of a heavy heart…the kindness of God to allow them to bear the burden of love.

I have been in your shoes and I can tell you that the precious refining of the sacrifice of love and time will change you in ways that make you more compassionate…more longing for Home…more grateful for grace <3

This was written several months before my own father succumbed to the final stages of Alzheimers and aging in 2010.

I am particularly sensitive that one dear man in Washington state may be reading this and so to my dad’s little brother, I say …. I love you and I am so thankful for you and Aunt Ella Mae <3

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It really is the end.

A wheelchair replaces the bow-legged walk down the hall. Sweat pants and sweat shirt replace the soiled pants and button down shirt with the inevitable pocket to keep his notebook in.

He isn’t angry, but he isn’t really happy either. Just in a fog. I think he knows me, but hard to tell. Trying to make conversation, his words are nonsense. He is embarrassed because he couldn’t swallow his medicine and now it is a wet spot on his shirt.

He looks at me, but doesn’t see.

It isn’t like I wish he was the way he was before. That wasn’t any better. Just a different kind of awful.

I don’t feel sorry for me. It hurts more than anyone can know, but I don’t feel sorry for me.

I don’t feel sorry for him either. It’s just another part of life for both of us. Another part that is hard and seems cruel, but it’s just another part.

In it are sweet things.

Things like a fall pumpkin he made in crafts. It’s obvious he had a lot of help, but still he thinks he made it.

When I tell him it is beautiful, and I really mean it because it is, he thanks me in his own way. Though the words make no sense, I can tell by the way he moves his head what he is saying.

When I think of how my mom was spared the pain of this, I can’t stop thanking God. I can’t think of anything but how thankful I am to Him that she never had to see this. I am thankful it is not my sister. I am thankful it is me.

When I told him I love him, he said “me too”. I asked him if he meant he loves me or he loves himself. He laughed. I am going to believe he got the joke and it made him laugh.

The laugh and the pumpkin are enough for today. God’s grace poured out for one more visit, tangible in a fall decoration on the seat next to me.

Tomorrow will bring another dose of grace for that day. Tonight the tears flow from my tiredness. Tomorrow will bring new mercies.

Hang in there precious care giver, loved by God.

You are the tangible touch of Christ and the ministry of His hands to one of His precious children…I pray today you know HIS ministry to YOU <3

So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.

Galatians 6:9-10  The Message (MSG)

Above all else

It’s been a weekend full of more violence, more hatred..not just here but all around the world…these are turbulent times and our footing can get shaken in an instant.

Literally.

As even the earth quakes in unexpected places these days.

So this morning…would you come away with me for a few minutes before we go out and face our giants?

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Not to close our eyes to the ugly…but to open our eyes to the Truth?

Because tonight, there will be a great debate and it can stir up your heart and get you all twisted inside to listen to well-calculated words that fly.

Words fueled by agendas and a desire to rally people to take sides.

But for those who are in Christ, there is only one side and that is the side that took our side and reconciled us to God.

So let’s step inside a quiet place and examine our hearts before Him.

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From my journaling this morning from a devotion by Frances Ridley Havergal…some of her thoughts…some of my thoughts…on God’s thoughts…

Who is among you who fears the LORD, who obeys the voice of His Servant, yet who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust and be confident in the name of the LORD and let him rely on his God.                     Isaiah 50:10

Who is among you who fears the LORD…

I fear so many things…

live paralyzed some days by what could happen if the scenario’s in my head really do play out.

Fear born from what I can see with my eyes crowds out and overcomes the FEAR of the LORD …

but it is in this FEAR…

HOLY FEAR of our LORD…

that I find wisdom (Proverbs 9:10)

who obeys the voice of His Servant

Am I following the teachings of Christ Jesus my Savior?

The One who spoke only what the Father told Him?

The words that are in the Word of God, the Bible….that book that holds the God-breathed, inspired Words of faith…

am I reading it, applying it, obeying it?

Am I listening with my spirit ears to the Holy Spirit who guides me and leads me into all truth?

Am I putting to death the works of the sin nature that still wrestles for my attention and obeying the spirit nature of my regenerated soul?

yet who walks in darkness and has no light?

Wait.

What?

There will be a darkness that is not the darkness of sin?

Most certainly there will be.

Just as the night comes in our 24 hour day…

and the absence of light is not because of sin but a part of the rhythm of the gift of time…

so there are times when we do not sense God’s light.

Seasons of darkness that are not the darkness of sin.

Let him trust and be confident in the name of the LORD and let him rely on his God.

So in the darkness that comes as part of life…

take the Word of God and go into the quiet places …

physically and spiritually.

Literally, step away and close the door to the noises and distractions of this world.

And PRAY…ask for His help. Ask for His light. Ask for His comfort and His guidance.

Do not try and create your own light, but place your trust in His coming Light.

TRUST in the name of the LORD, the Trinity…

Father + Savior + Comforter

Pray to Him to give LIGHT to your darkness.

Pray to have discernment to recognize and follow only His light.

Do not try to find your way on your own.

That is the old way…the old nature…

Know and believe that you will not always be in the dark.

Rely on the promises of God until His Light is revealed to you.

The promise and comfort of the Isaiah passage is that, if we are viewing our God with an understanding of His power, might, sovereignty, authority, magnificence…and we are not knowingly embracing sin and disobedience…then when our understanding is darkened, we can place our confidence and trust in Him that He IS leading us because He is worthy to lead us and we are willing to follow.

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May God bless each of you to realize that we can do none of this apart from the help of Christ through the Holy Spirit.

All the things of this earth will pass away…

the conflicts and elections,

the agendas and the causes,

the debates and the campaigns.

All of these will go the way of all that is temporal.

I urge you today, do not neglect the Fear of the LORD…the pursuit of knowing HIM…the quieting of your heart…the bending of your knee.

Steady your heart on Him today <3