Friday, April 30, 2010

Coming to a Close

This month has been really fun to celebrate poems and songs. I've even tailored my preschool lessons to teach each of the kids poems that they could remember. Down to the sweet little 8 month old baby I keep...her favorite by far is patty cake. And dance little baby. Asher and Maddie love Baa Baa Black Sheep, and Little Miss Muffett the best. Of course we did crafts to correspond with each. And then River's new favorite song is I Will Sing of My Redeemer. It's really sweet to hear her sing the words as loud as she can. It was on an Easter CD that I made this year, and I love how it's come to be a favorite. However, I try to get away from my old standby's, my favorite by far is still this old hymn.

Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
Hither by thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed his precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above.

Go see what other poems have been in cherished at Kari's. And even though we may only put a poem in our pocket once a year, remember to keep them close always.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Heritage from the Lord

My little ones are away at the beach this weekend with their grandparents. I came home from dropping them off, and I immediately begin to think, "How can I make the MOST of my time? Should I clean the whole house, and do all the laundry, and reorganize my closet, and then go out for a little while?" You think I'm crazy...and I kind of am.

My hubs had to work last night, and as silly as it seems, as I was fixing my own dinner, in the silence of my house, I felt a twinge of loneliness. Sure, the quiet was really relaxing at first, but then, it was almost too quiet. To alone.

It's wild how these little creations, that you never even knew would be there, come into your lives, homes, and families, and begin to be a part of your heart. And then they begin to move into all of your heart. And when you're not with them, as one of my dear friends used to say, "you feel like you're walking around with your heart outside of your body". A very true statement indeed.

"Children are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him." Psalm 127:3

Monday, April 19, 2010

Finding His Grace

Yesterday at church, a friend of mine gave a message about knowing God's grace in the midst of trial. And, last week, the message at Bible Study was about knowing joy in the midst of struggle. It feels like this message has been one of the main things that the Lord has been speaking to me lately, which makes me starts to think, "Lord, what's coming?!" And, of course, the enemy would love nothing better than to make me sit in fear and worry about what struggle might be waiting around the corner. As one who has struggled with fearing what hardships my future may hold, this can be pretty tempting.

I love how in 2 Cor. Paul tells how tempted he is to trust in his own strength. I think if we were really honest, most of us would say that it is much easier to trust in our own strength, and to know that we can handle the things of this world on our own shoulders. That when trials or suffering comes, to just believe in our selves and our own strength. To remind ourselves that we're strong, and capable, and able to make it. But the truth is, that He doesn't want us to do it alone. That he said to Paul, the most capable, talented, and knowledgeable man of God,

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9)

He doesn't want us to handle life on our own, or try to muster up the strength to make it through. He wants us to become weak, and in our place of desperation and need, to see how sufficient His grace is for us. How His power is made perfect in our weakness. He did not shed His blood and lay down His life so that we could walk this life alone, but that in all things, ALL THINGS, we would know...

"the secret of being content in any and EVERY situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who GIVES ME STRENGTH." (Philippians 4:12)

It frees me from worrying about the future. What trials or hardships I or those I love might face. Or from hoping and praying to not have struggles or pain. The secret is not to avoid pain and suffering. Nor is the secret learning that we can do everything on our own. The secret is to allow ourselves to be made weak, and to surrender to His strength, His power, and His love. I pray that whatever you're in the midst of, that you would know His strength, and that you would allow His power to be made perfect in your weakness. Only then, are we truly strong.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Trading Spaces...

So, I'm not officially "trading". I just feel a little guilty hitting publish over there, without having something new over here! I've always wondered how those of you do know have more than one blog to keep up? But the two are so separate in some ways, that I don't really feel like I can keep them together. I'll continue to post things about our personal life, or random things I might be thinking of over here, but the more practical tips and ideas that will help you celebrate everyday life, will be going over there.

It's all lonely over there, though, so come visit me! I'm not always the best about change, and you guys are so fun to have around!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda Weekend

shoulda caught up on the laundry,
coulda sorted through the spring clothes,
woulda been ready for monday,
but a yard saleing i chose to go.

shoulda gone out and done yard work,
coulda planted that new bed,
woulda made it all pretty,
but rested my head instead.

shoulda done more spring cleaning,
coulda washed and scrubbed the floor,
woulda even done some dusting,
but i blogged a little bit more.

shoulda gone out and got groceries,
coulda had the fridge looking a lot less stark,
woulda been set for the week,
but the kids and i went to the park.

shoulda finished my checklists,
coulda started some new projects, too.
woulda felt all productive,
but hung out with friends and ate good food.

Friday, April 09, 2010

My Path to Life is Free

One of my favorite things to do in the morning, is to sit by my front window, sip my coffee while I watch the birds and squirrels, and for a few quiet minutes before the rush of the day begins, take the time to be still. I'd like to say this happens every morning without fail, but alas, I cannot. Many mornings, I like to begin by reading a hymn. Especially, this month, I have been loving this routine.

Last night, I was reminded of how though our circumstances may not change, or may change for the worse, still our joy and our strength is found only in Christ. That His grace is sufficient...not just for those people somewhere out there, having a really hard time, but for me, in my everyday difficulties and hardships. Those times when I think to myself, "if only________would change, I could be more happy or more at peace or a better friend/wife/whatever." Or when the enemy would like to convince me that, "I can't do this anymore", that instead, my focus would be that of the servant Paul, that in all things, I could say...

"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Phil. 4:12-13

We're not supposed to be able to handle this life, or the hardships it brings. We're not supposed to be able to grin and bear it. We need Him to give us the strength. And only in those difficult places are we able to see how much we need Him. I thought it fitting that today's hymn that I read said it so eloquently...

In heavenly love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?

Wherever He may guide me,
No want shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me,
And nothing can I lack.
His wisdom ever waketh,
His sight is never dim;
He knows the way He taketh,
And I will walk with Him.

Green pastures are before me,
Which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o'er me,
Where darkest clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure,
My path to life is free;
My Saviour has my treasure,
And He will walk with me.


hymn by James W. Elliott

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A Lesson from the Birds

With it being National Poetry Month, I once again, have gotten excited about poetry. My friend who always inspires me to read more, is doing a fun thing over at her blog at the end of this month, which I definitely plan to participate in. However, throughout this month, I hope to bring some cheer with poems or songs that have stuck out to me.

Last night we went to our library to hear Mother Goose (who was completely awesome) read several of her rhymes, and do some crafts, and have a little party. I love that my kids as young as they are, are learning to read and understand poetry. I've pulled out my Mother Goose and A Child's Garden of Verses, and I'm sure, I'll be learning quite a lot this month myself. This lesson is from the birds.

"Nest Eggs" by Robert Louis Stevenson

Birds all the sunny day
Flutter and quarrel
Here in the arbour-like
Tent of the laurel.

Here in the fork
The brown nest is seated;
Four little blue eggs
The mother keeps heated.

While we stand watching her,
Staring like gabies,
Safe in each egg are the
Bird's little babies.

Soon the frail eggs they shall
Chip, and upspringing,
Make all the April woods
Merry with singing.

Younger than we are,
O children, and frailer,
Soon in blue air they'll be,
Singer and sailor.

We, so much older,
Taller and stronger,
We shall look down on the
Birdies no longer.

They shall go flying
With musical speeches
High overhead in the
Tops of the beeches.

In spite of our wisdom
And sensible talking,
We on our feet must go
Plodding and walking.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

He is Risen Indeed

It was a beautiful day, in so many ways. Easter has always been my favorite holiday. When asked as a child which holiday was my favorite, I always said, "EASTER!" while other kids looked at me like I was crazy for not saying Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, but there's always been something more for me at Easter.

I think part of it started when my mom always held to celebrating it in a simple, yet pure of heart way...she would find a Sunrise service, anywhere she could, and we would wake up as early as possible, quickly get dressed with one eye open, and then quietly and reverently celebrate our risen Lord. Then, usually we would come home, and search furiously for our Easter baskets, which were hidden in trickier spots each year. Then with our goodies in our bellies, and our hearts feeling full, we would enjoy a peaceful day together.

There weren't many days like that throughout my early years, where I knew what to expect. But I always knew what to expect with Easter. I could expect celebration and love. Rejoicing and sometimes even a few tears.

Today was a day like that. We didn't make it to a sunrise service, but we did sit on our bed as the sun rose, and read the Easter story. Then, we came in for a simple breakfast of fruit and banana bread before hurrying to find baskets filled with fun goodies and surprises. We played for a few minutes with our new things before getting in our spring time attire for the special day ahead of us. As we worshipped our risen Lord together, I remembered how beautiful a season we are in, where the old can become new, the lost can be found, and the blind, can now see. How amazing this grace is that the Father has lavished on us.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Good Things in March

So, maybe I won't get to do these every month, but after totally missing Feb. I wanted to keep better track of March!

Mar. 1 - took the little ones to the accomplishment, I promise.
Mar. 2 - last minute dinner at my house with my dad, my sister and nephews
Mar. 3 - had fun playdate with blair and millie
Mar. 4 - on our way to the beach, my sister got pulled...not the good thing...but she didn't get a ticket...definitely A GOOD THING!
Mar. 5 - beach, Seafood Hut, and Calabash Creamery...need I say more?!?
Mar. 6 - a gorgeous day on the beach with family that i love...and a really good walk with my big sister
Mar. 7 - good trip home, and got to enjoy the oscars
Mar. 8 - got to share with some college kids the reason why we live in the neighborhood we live in
Mar. 9 - 70 degrees, had the first picnic of the year at the park with the kids! glorious!
Mar. 10 - My grandaddy's birthday...92 and still as cute as ever!
Mar. 11 - Asher fell asleep in the car running first I felt like it was a waste of time, but then I realized the gift of sitting in silence in the car for an hour, and it was a really good thing.
Mar. 12 - Pizza at Mellow fun!
Mar. 13 - Hit one consignment sale, and was expecting to be disappointed since I waited til Sat. for 1/2 off sale...however was excited to find armfulls of good finds, and the kids were happy about fun "new" spring clothes!
Mar. 14 - had a fun Sunday lunch with friends after church.
Mar. 15 - Got to have an improptu coffee date with my stepmom for her birthday, and then had a great birthday dinner with the rest of our family. Also, was blessed by spending time with a beautiful girl from our neighborhood.
Mar. 16 - Randy and I had our laundry date night.
Mar. 17 - Enjoyed going for an early morning FREE chicken biscuit with River before school. Just us girls!
Mar. 18 - Went to the park afterschool and enjoyed the beautiful springtime weather
Mar. 19 - Went on our annual Women's Retreat!
Mar. 20 - Window shopped around Black Mtn, and got to go into Montreat for a bit. So good for my soul.
Mar. 21 - Loved being back home with my kids and hubby...and had fun dancing in the kitchen with them.
Mar. 22 - Felt good about getting back home and getting things back in order (a.k.a. lots of laundry and straightening was done!)
Mar. 23 - Had a great night hanging with two of my favorite people. Her and her. And laughed a lot.
Mar. 24 - Made it to storytime with the three little ones!
Mar. 25 - Had a great lesson at Bible Study.
Mar. 26 - Our first annual Hallelujah Party for the kids. Very fun to celebrate the true meaning of Easter with lots of little ones.
Mar. 27 - Stayed in bed and enjoyed our lazy Sat. morning. Then had a great day with kids ending with fun playtime at park at sunset.
Mar. 28 - Celebrated Easter early with DiDi and Pop Pop and had delicious brunch at Green Valley Grill.
Mar. 29 - Stayed home all day!
Mar. 30 - took my kids and my sister and nephews to Feeney's Frozen Yogurt for the first time...yum!
Mar. 31 - had a great morning with kids at storytime and park and then came home and took a nap! It was great.