Monday, November 14, 2011

Gifts 149-154

I have been filling my facebook statuses (stati??) up this month with things that I am thankful for in honor of the approach of Thanksgiving. You would think that the more you search your brain for things that you have to be thankful for, the more difficult it would become as you exhaust all of the usual topics. In fact, it seems to work just the opposite. The more you open your eyes to blessings all around you, the more you are able to comprehend how truly blessed you are, which causes you to see yet even more blessings. Here are a few more that I have been thankful for this weekend...

149~ a great fellowship with the lovely ladies from my church at a brunch. We exchanged our "favorite things", which leads me to my next blessing...

150~ thank you, thank you thank you Jessica! I am still so very happy and excited to be sporting a new cup that I am thrilled to dump Coke Zero into but am also hoping may help me become a better water-drinker. I LOVE IT so much!

151~ the discovery that there is free music available out there on the web...I have been getting a hold of codes for free downloads of some songs that I would probably not known about otherwise and am really loving. Love new (and free!) music on the Shuffle!

152~ a sudden and temporary boon in cleaning jobs due to the approaching holidays...I am so thankful for the opportunity to earn a little extra Christmas money!

153~ as I hear of more and more people who are becoming unemployed, I am reminded of how the Lord has blessed us with a stable job for Mike. Despite mistakes at work, the worst that he faces is a leave of absence. Thank you Lord for your favor with those who make these decisions!

154~ the sound of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on the pennywhistle as Irene continues to practice

Monday, October 31, 2011

Gifts 136-148

136~ a safe trip to Lookout Mountain, Georgia and back (God provided for all that we needed when I had only $15 in my pocket for the trip up! Thankfully payday came before the trip back home.)

137~ We had such a fun time camping ...the first two days, that is. Rain came the second night and next morning. But most of it was a blast, when I managed to stop gritting my teeth and just enjoy! After hiking all day, I have never tasted anything as good as those hobo packets we made!

138~ Nature walk treasure hunt on a cool fall day

138~Rachel was accepted to Covenant College! Although we have decided after visiting that she will need to wait on the Lord to provide the right opportunities for her and she will not be going to CC right away, we are so excited and proud of her that she worked hard on improving her SAT & ACT scores to the point that they met CC's requirements. This is an accomplishment!

139~ Sound of geese flying overhead as they head south

140~ the scent of cinnamon in the kitchen from the cinnamon broom I smelled in Publix and just couldn't walk past!

141~ A board game from our food co-op that is about Exodus, which we are reading about right now. It makes me so happy that God cares about those details of our life!

142~fun making little "acorns" with Abbie & Irene out of Hershey kisses and Nutter Butter minis. So much fun for them!

143~ this one is old but deserves a belated mention...friends (you know who you are!) who so kindly let me into their homes for a hot shower when I had no hot water!

144~ In the same vein, still more friends (you also know who you are!)who offered their homes for food, showers laundry and you-name-it when our plumbing problem left us temporarily without water...thank you does not say enough.

145~my sister who is so good to me and helped me out of a tight spot...thank you!

146~ This crisp, cool (even cold!) fall weather feels so good!!!!!

147~ 50 cent corndogs at Sonic equals one CHEAP DINNER (it's the little things!)

148~ The Lord answering prayers for a job for Michael (Jr.)...he got the job with CSX. He is very excited, even about the location (Buffalo, NY). As a central N.Y. native, I am not sure he understands what he is in for in Buffalo, but I am so happy for him and know it will be an adventure. Thank you, God, for answering prayers and providing all that we need!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

God Taught Me to Spell...

Courtesy of a blog called "Old Guys" & Charles Spurgeon :

"I have known some that, at first conversion, have not been very clear in the gospel, who have been made evangelical by their discoveries of their own need of mercy. They could not spell the word ‘grace.’ They began with a G, but they very soon went on with an F, till it spelt very like ‘freewill’ before they had done with it.

But after they have learned their weakness, after they have fallen into serious fault, and God has restored them, or after they have passed through deep depression of mind, they have sung a new song. In the school of repentance they have learned to spell. They began to write the word ‘free,’ but they went on from free, not to ‘will’ but to ‘grace.’ And there it stood in capitals, ‘FREE GRACE’. . . . They became clearer in their divinity, and truer in their faith than ever they were before."

~Charles Spurgeon~

Monday, October 10, 2011

Gifts 129-135

129~ Abigail Hope turns six (that's a whole 'nuther post!)

130~ coming to the Lord's table for a meal that lasts

131~ the learning of new things about my children all the time...even the hard things, so that I can pray for them and know how to help and guide them.

132~ a drive through a beautiful forest as we went to an afternoon class with a very gifted teacher

133~ bumping into a friend unexpectedly and getting a hug

134~ water, even if it's cold. electricity. indoor plumbing. modern medicine. television, computers, phones, ovens. Lord help me use these things as blessings, but not make them into my idols.

135~ the smell of coffee brewing in the morning. Most friends & family know I was a bit of a coffee addict. What you may not know is that I have not been able to drink it since my pregnancy. As always when I am pregnant, my stomach turned at the idea of coffee when I was pregnant. Although my baby is no longer with me, what has not gone away is the aversion to coffee. I have tried to like it again, so that I might feel a little more like the "regular me". I can't. I still make it sometimes in the morning, hoping that I will want it, and even though I never end up drinking it, I like that is the familiar and the comforting. It breaks me down to think of the ways we are changed by the hurts of this life...Lord, I give my brokenness back to You...please use it for Your glory.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

a couple more read aloud books...

A couple more books that we read a while ago and loved...

Little Britches, by Ralph Moody

The true recollections of his boyhood, moving out west with his family and beginning a life of ranching, I thought surely this book would be a great fit for Matthew. I read it aloud to everyone and to my surprise, Irene was the one who loved it the most. Despite some dated and politically incorrect names for horses, this book was a great story...full of adventures of childhood in a much more free and simple time. We loved it that the author was not shy about bringing his family's faith into the story. Very good book, and there are more in the series, which we have not read yet.

Heaven, for Randy Alcorn

Irene asks regularly if we can read this book again. I think that kids hold an eternal perspective and fascination for thinking on what Heaven will be like that we lose as we get more entrenched in the ways of this world as adults. They are not so attached to all the trappings that we cling to, and they love hearing about what Heaven may be like. I learned SO MUCH from this book about what the Bible has to say about Heaven that I will definitely be looking for the grown-up version, which I have heard great things about from Dan Camp at Veritas Classical Schools. And, as a bonus, we were reading this at the same time we were reading the Narnia books, and Alcorn uses quote after quote from many of the C.S. Lewis books. It made it fun because most of the time it would be a quote that we could place from something we had read recently. This book made me cry in several places, which is admittedly easy to do, but is one I am sure we will read again in a few years.

Gifts 122-128

It is not Monday, but that is just how this week is going...behind on everything! Thank God for new mercies each morning!

122~ a very unexpected card in the mail from my "long-lost" brother. His note brought me to tears and reminded me that we should never, ever, ever give up on people and relationships. There is always hope and we can't give up the fight, ever. Even with the crazy ones.

123~ modern dental hygiene and gum-numbing drugs. I love Anne of Greene Gables, Little House on the Prairie, and Pride & Prejudice, and I tend to daydream that I should have lived in that time, BUT... there's a lot I really like about 2011, too.

124~ our church youth group starting back up for the year...the energy , excitement and enthusiasm is good for my dry, dreary bones!

125~ finally feelings some results from our trips to the track. I have been sore for about two weeks but I can finally (don't laugh!) run a half a lap around the track. I know that is pathetic but it is a huge goal met for me, because previously I couldn't even run to the mailbox. My next goal is a full lap.

126~ the time I get to zone out with just me, God and my iPod shuffle on above mentioned trips to the track. Even if I do have to take one headphone out every fifteen or twenty steps so I can listen to the "cheers" Irene & Abbie made up for me while standing on the bleachers. They are so sweet, they cheer each time I go around and they run up to me with the water bottle!

127~ Mike finally being through with the long, drawn-out & expensive legal issues we were facing...OVER !!!!!! YAY!!!!

128~ So excited to head to discipleship group tomorrow night, oh how I have missed the girls!! Thank you Lord for such amazing Christian women to share my life with.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Gifts 113-121

As always, so much to be thankful for:

113~ beautiful, round, gold harvest moon rising up as we ran around outside, laughing

114~ getting in a water bottle fight at the track with my 3 youngest. With as moody as 13 year old boys can be, it felt so good to cut loose and laugh and be silly, and watch him laugh too...what a great reminder that they love and need our attention so much, no matter how much they act like they don't.

115~listening to squeals (okay, maybe more like screeches) of little girls as they play hide and seek in the dark (in the living room!) at 10:00 at night

116~ safe travels of my daughter-in-law and granddaughter back to the east coast, with Michael soon to follow

117~ finally getting to the dentist after 20 years without a cleaning. I am sure nobody will be getting close to me to chat after that little tidbit of information, but rest easy, they have now been cleaned!

118~ my mom being healthy & happy at 80 years of age

119~ 21 years of marriage...the ups and downs, ins and outs, the good, bad and the ugly...all a blessing and all to God's glory.

120~ cool weather, and the hint that fall is around the bend (even though the weather has turned hot again)

121~ It may sound strange, but I am so thankful that I have become painfully aware of how quickly our family is exiting the "baby years"... it has made me acutely aware of the speed at which the years with my sweet babies are speeding by, and to grab hold of all of the todays I can and store them up in my heart, knowing that all too quickly I will be in a different season and life will move on. Very bittersweet but I am thankful for God making me aware of it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Chronicles of Narnia, and ROAR devotional

It has been a long time since I posted anything about what we are reading. Mostly just for the sake of our own memories, I think I will spend a few posts remembering what we have read in the past year. By far, the most memorable was reading aloud the entire Chronicles of Narnia series, by, of course, C.S. Lewis.

I will not even attempt to "review" the Narnia series, there are a multitude of reasons why this is classic literature. Many times I had to continue reading through a lump in my throat as the symbolism of the kingdom of Narnia (symbolically God's Kingdom) and Aslan as it's ruler (Christ the King) had it's effect on me. It is not only fun, funny and entertaining, but deeply moving as well. It is full of gorgeous and inspiring imagery and I am certain we will return to it many times!
We used as a companion to the series a book that I picked up on a whim, called "ROAR! A Christian Family's Guide to the Chronicles of Narnia", by Heather and David Kopp.

There is a two page spread about each chapter of every Narnia book. We really loved this book. I loved that the authors were able to articulate thoughts that I had while reading that I meant to bring up after we were through with the chapter, but I would usually forget! The book really helped draw out many of the spiritual parallels that could be easy to skim past if you were not taking mental notes as you read. There were some fun little quizzes and meanings to unusual words, too. We really enjoyed using this. I wouldn't really say it was a devotional but sometimes we really almost used it that way because there were almost always relevant Bible verses to look up. It was a great addition to the books. Let me know if you'd like to borrow it!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Birthday "Gifts" 105-112

I know it comes across as a little self-centered to talk about your own birthday, but I felt so blessed yesterday that to not say how thankful I am would really be more selfish (that's what I decided in my head anyways!). The highlights of my day:

(More of the 1000 Gifts, even though it's not a Monday!)

105~Having three awesome, wonderful friends sing happy birthday to me, when all I did is show up in my sweats to pick up our food co-op goodies!

106~ cam home to so many sweet, thoughtful birthday wishes on facebook.

107~a phone call from my mom, who also sang "Happy Birthday" to me, followed by such a great, long chat!

108~ my kids calling me Queen, for the day!

109~ a long overdue date, dinner at Cracker Barrel with Mike, and he didn't even rush me while I looked in the gift shop afterward.

110~When I came home, I actually had presents, cake, balloons and streamers. I know you may be thinking that this would be normal, but alas, it hasn't happened in many, many years. Mike is usually gone, and the kids are, well, broke and can't drive! They really put so much effort in and I feel so blessed by their willingness to go all out to make me feel special.

111~When tucking Irene & Abbie into bed, I told them I was a little sad that tomorrow would be a no-birthday day. Irene said, "Oh Mommy, you'll ALWAYS be my birthday girl!" Love that girl!!!

112~ Thank you Lord, for another year with my family & friends...another year of imperfect but sweet memories. I may not have gotten anything into the scrapbooks, but we lived it !

Monday, August 29, 2011

Gifts 104-109

Thankful for :

104~ reminder at a visit to a friend's church on Sunday...the pastor said that psychologists had found that it was impossible to feel depression while feeling thankfulness. Remind me, Holy Spirit, to be thankful!

105~ being a witness to the baptism of about 30 people of all shapes, sizes and ages, among loud cheers...just beautiful!

106~ brand new pack of pretty cards...I want to write more personal "old-fashioned" letters to family & friends.

107~ "Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe...sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow!"

108~ that we live in an age where there is a plethora of books that help me teach the Gospel to my children (some "Bookshelf" reviews are coming soon!)

109~ Hearing Irene say in the morning "Where's my good morning hug?"

Monday, August 22, 2011

Gifts 94-103

So many things to be thankful for, that I can only scratch the surface...

94~ new jobs, new homes, new starts for friends!

95~ meeting with the elders of my church, who let me spill my guts and still did not look at me like I was crazy. Thank you, God, for men who are still willing to serve the church and all of the crazy people in it.

96~ half-price root beer floats on Tuesday night...stopped and had some with the kiddos for no reason at all.

97~ a few minutes of total stillness, silence and solitude in the sanctuary. (I stopped in to drop something off and it was so peaceful I had to sit a minute).

98~ the good friends that God has put in my children's lives. Praying for one good friend her age for Irene right now.

99~ Matthew's successful 13th birthday party, complete with some of those good friends.

100~ a visit to the dentist that didn't turn out as bad as I dreamed last night, and people were actually friendly!

101~ maybe one of the last visits to the pool with friends for the season, and their good conversation. (Thank you Jess and Jess !)

102~ a morning out with Irene, who went to the dentist with me before we wandered around Target for a while.

103~ Classical Conversations starting tomorrow, looking forward to a new year of homeschooling!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Gifts 86-93

86~ the sound of the dryer running...doing work while I am not.

87~ the cooler temperatures today that made it feel like fall may still be coming after all.

88~ provision, just in time.

89~ actually making progress in small bits, getting my paperwork monster organized. Thanks to Jessica, I'm setting up a very handy notebook that she calls an HMG (not sure what that stands for) but I call a TLILMMBMTWHN ("Too Late, I've Lost My Mind, But Maybe This Will Help" Notebook)

90~ my snug little home.

91~ outrageously big and weird looking moths that we keep seeing everywhere, and keep getting a good laugh from. (It does not take much to entertain this crew.) Has anyone else seen strange looking moth / butterflies around? They look normal at first until you look closer and see their bodies are built like a Mack truck. Crazy. And funny when you're bored.

92~ my sweet daughter-in-law who sends me pictures of the cutest baby in the world to brighten up my day! Love you, Abby!

93~ answers to prayers. Including the answers that are still on the way. I can't wait to see what you'll do, God!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Gifts 76-85

76~ Abbie beginning her prayer with "God, You are my Father"... I don't know; something about hearing your child say those words makes a parent more thankful than really anything else I can think of.

77~ A day in the sunshine. (An impromptu "let's go do something" remark led to my first day out in the sunshine in at least a week.) Watched the kids splash and play at Indian Springs state park and was overwhelmed once again with the recognition of all that I have.

78~ Remembering tonight that 21 years ago tomorrow I was a 17 year old girl, holding my first baby boy in my arms. I was completely oblivious to how the world worked, and how life would toss us around. I could not have imagined what the Lord had in store for my life or his, but I am so thankful that He knows all of our yesterdays and tomorrows. Happy Birthday, Mick !

79~ so fun watching Irene going wild for scrapbooking...I am happy one of us has time to do it!!

80~ a church meeting this weekend that reaffirmed to me how important it is that we BE the church. How important it is that the Gospel is the artery running through anything else we do.

81~ Electricity on ! (The power was out when we came home from Indian Springs).

82~ It needs saying again...can't be said enough. Friends. Who help you through the bad days. Friends that God sends, that love Him so much that they want to serve Him by loving is so humbling.

83~ sisters who color pictures and mail them to your kids :) Thank you, Karen.

84~ my old quilt from Grandma Moore that is the coziest ever to curl up beneath, and remind me of when I was curled up beneath the very same one when I was 10, at her house.

85~ "To know and follow hard after You, To grow as Your disciple in Your truth. The world is empty pale and poor, Compared to knowing You my Lord, Lead me on, and I will run after You."

Monday, August 1, 2011

Gifts 69-75

I need to thank God today, in everything give thanks...

69~ For friends who are literally the hands and feet of Jesus in their kindness and ministering to me.

70~ That my children are homeschooled...this for many reasons but specifically, how they were there (they were just THERE) to snuggle with me today.

71~ for Abbie and Irene telling me that Rachel gathered them all together while I was gone to pray for me.

72~ for my hubby doing almost all of the laundry today (which is quite a feat!)

73~ background chatter of happy voices playing superheroes (Irene: "Help, help !" Abbie: "What's that? Do I hear someone in need of help???" with their beachtowel capes on.)

74~ The words of a hymn stumbled upon today, by Mathew Smith:

All Must Be Well

Through the love of God our Savior, All will be well
Free and changeless is His favor, All is well
Precious is the blood that healed us
Perfect is the grace that sealed us
Strong the hand stretched forth to shield us
All must be well

Though we pass through tribulation, All will be well
Ours is such a full salvation, All is well
Happy still in God confiding
Fruitful if in Christ abiding
Steadfast through the Spirit's guiding
All must be well

We expect a bright tomorrow; All will be well
Faith can sing through days of sorrow, All is well
On our Father's love relying
Jesus every need supplying
Yes in living or in dying
All must be well

75~ For my do so much for me! I love you!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Gifts 61-68

61~ Mike, who turns 40 today but gets no fanfare, because he is out working. Working, working working....although it is hard to have him gone so much, I am deeply thankful for a husband who is willing to give his best to take care of us. Wishing we could give him a bit more celebration today... but he will find this waiting for him when he comes home in the wee hours of the morning:

A few of his favorite things!

62~ finding old, forgotten toys when we clean out the bedrooms that provide an afternoon of occupied kids!

63~ an hour long chat with my mom today, to talk about quilt patterns for a quilt she plans to make for Rachel

64~ new life! The hope and the promise and the joy that it brings. It boggles the mind that God thought up whom He would create before time began, and that we are part of that plan, part of bringing into the world someone that HE decided to create! It is a reminder of what things are eternal, and what will pass so quickly.

65~ Money Makeover class at church, that is reminding me that we need a plan, and encouraging me and inspiring me to get back after that old ugly financial monster. I am thankful for honest and real discussion that points me back in the right direction.

66~ too many books on the shelves, that I need to give some away!

67~ the way the leaves on all of the trees in the back yard swoosh around when the wind blows hard

68~ a little note from Abbie (she had Rachel write it for her) that says "Mommy, I love you SO much. But I love God more. But I still love you a lot!"

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gifts 54-60

It is not hard for me to think of gifts or blessings today. Some days, I confess, I stare at the screen and feel like I have to work hard to "think of" something to be thankful for. I wonder how that makes God feel, when all around me there are blessings...everywhere I look? But the harsh truth is that all around me there is pain and hardship as well. It seems as though the more days I spend on this spinning planet, the more acutely aware I am of the contrast between good and evil, joy and sorrow; but at the same time, the more I also have have become aware of God's overarching Hand that guides it all. Today at least, I can choose to let the darkness show the contrast to the light. I can let the hardships, broken friendships, and other hurts that I see around me be a way to illuminate the blessings that we have in Christ. I feel every day a little more that there is nothing on earth, in this life, that compares to the riches of the love of our Lord. NOTHING. All else falls apart, disintegrates through time. All else ends up as dust, no matter how we try to grasp at it. I don't mean to sound depressing, it is not to just points me in the right direction. My hope will never be here, in McDonough, Georgia, or anywhere else on earth. My hope is only to be found in the Lord, the newness of life that He brings by atoning for every wrong ever done to another, whether by us or to us.
Well I have rambled long enough!

#54- friends to have us over to swim in their pool and be such good company all morning!

#55- a job to keep a paycheck coming in and food on the table.

#56- the steadiness of said job that allows me to stay at home with my kiddos.

#57- Vacation Bible School at church where my kids learn so much more than just what is in the lessons...they learn how to serve others, by watching grown-ups who serve them. They are watching and learning all of the time, and I am so thankful to have a family at church that consistently models serving and loving to my children!

#58- "old lady" bathing suits with little skirts that hide, well, everything!

#59- the fact that I don't have to cook a dinner (except for the days Mike is home because he needs to eat too...) at all this week because we will be eating at church before VBS. That may seem silly but I am SO excited to have a break from planning dinner all week!

#60- that my girls love to paint pictures...I love the color their paintings add to our home!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sorry Grammy's Late, Maddie!

This post is so late that it is shameful ! What kind of Grammy am I, anyways? To tell you the truth, I think I have subconsciously put this off because it is so hard to think about all the things that I am missing in my first granddaughter's life. Her first smiles, babbly noises and laughs, probably soon her first time sitting up, and so much more in between it all. Maddie, if ever you read this some day... Grammy loves you so much and I haven't even met you yet. But I just KNOW that you are one special, amazing, beautiful little girl ! You are specially knitted together by God to be just like you are, so sweet and wonderful !

Our sweet little Madison Renae, born March 5, 2011, at 10:20 am
Weighing 8 pounds, 7 ounces, and 21 inches long....

And here a little older, I think a couple of weeks old:

And a little older:

And a little older:

(NOTE: she has mastered the half-grin on the right side of the face, while her daddy prefers the half-grin on the left... )

And a little older:

And most recently, sunning herself (safely equipped, of course, with protective gear!):

Grammy is looking forward to many, many more pictures to come, and hopefully many of them will have your aunts, uncles, cousins, great grandparents, and well, of course, your grandma in them too! I love you, Madison !

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Thankful Return

It has been quite a long sabbatical I have taken from my blog. In accordance with my New Year's resolution, I will not apologize to myself for this...("I'm not sorry, I'm not sorry, I'm not sorry....".) I will look backwards a bit in coming posts and try to catch up on the important stuff, but, I will just look ahead for the most part and be thankful for all of the good things that were happening while I was not blogging!

I return with a "thankful note" as Irene calls them, what better way to return?!

Gift #44... a new CD with new funky music to accompany me and keep my feet moving around the house. (If you are looking for some new worship music / Christian music, check out "Beautiful Things" by Gungor. It's a bit off the beaten path (which I like!) and although I didn't warm up to it very much on the first listen through, after listening about four or five times the songs have infected my brain. In a good way.)

#45...yummy toasty grilled cheese for dinner. Having to toss a whole batch after burning them reminds me that I still have not mastered this homemaking thing after 20 years, but I am still thankful the for cheesy goodness at the end.

#46...a happy, healthy, and thriving granddaughter and parents to raise her who love her so very much.

#47...two red tomatoes on my tomato plant, my ONLY gardening success to date (yes, EVER!)

#48...I am still enjoying my (sometimes) clean fakewood floors so much. I am not ashamed when someone comes to the door (although with all of the junk laying around, I probably still should be!)

#49... Cars that run! A friend's car trouble this week reminded me of a long stretch of about 6 months that I went without a car, and how thankful I was the first time I got back behind the wheel of my own van. I want to remember that, and be that thankful every day for the transportation I have that gets me to the store, church, Bible study, and all of the various activities the kids are involved in.

#50...air conditioning in this house that we live in. In 98 degree heat, what else needs to be said?

#51... that God sends encouragement through good friends who always point to Him. Always at the right moment, He lifts up my head.

#52... new office supplies. I am such a geek. After getting my first Office Depot Rewards check, I went and used it for magnets to make a chore system on the fridge for the kids. I had extra left on the rewards check so picked up a brand spanking new box of pop-up post it notes for the desk. LOVE Post-Its.

#53...Jesus. I would be lost without You.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rachel's Graduation, part 2


Not only is this one of my my favorite graduation pictures of Rachel, it is one of my favorite pictures; ever. Some pictures capture a single breath in time that is symbolic of much more. I look at this picture and a flood of thoughts rush through my mind.

My Rachel is GRADUATING.
My mom looks so small.
Everything changes.
One day each one of my children will stand in that gown.
Years in this life fly past like seconds.
When she was three, the doctor said she may never talk.
That yellow Honors cord means so much more than Straight A's.

All of those things are true, but none more so than the last statement. I know that pride is a sin. But maybe there is a different kind of pride? Maybe it is better described as joy. But I can't help feeling pride, joy, and love well up in my heart when I look at the expression on Rachel's face, at the demeanor with which she wraps her arm around her Nana's shoulder. It is just so her, through and through. She is tender, caring, gentle, soft and sweet. Kind, generous, thoughtful, loving. She is an "Honors" student, but what means so much more to me is that she is a student of honor. She honors her father and mother. She honors her siblings and friends. I can honestly say that she is a young woman of character, faith, integrity and honor. Not perfect. Just willing for God to change her. Just willing to take up her cross and follow Jesus. I am honored that the Lord saw fit to let her come live and grow with us. Truly, I do not deserve her.
Thank You, Lord, for this one of many blessings.

Isaiah 44:3
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

Rachels' Graduation, part 1

Here is the Veritas Class of 2011!

Rachel, Mike & I (Although you can't see it, I am the one who is blubbering):

With our good friends, the Mitchells:

The whole motley crew of us afterwards:

Rachel with beloved teachers Mrs. Camp & Mrs. Wetmiller:

And beloved friends, Jenna & Anna:

Getting Ready for Graduation...





Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Southern Belle Farms






Posted by Picasa

It was an urgent email. They needed our help. We HAD to go.
Southern Belle Farms was shooting a commercial to go on our local Henry County cable access channel, and they wanted families to come pick FREE strawberries, sample FREE homemade strawberry ice cream and pound cake, and be in their commercial. I don't know if we ever made it into the commercial, but we definitely helped them out on the rest of the list...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Seder Meal

While at the Explorations in Antiquities museum, the main attraction was the Passover meal, or Seder. We participated in one of these several years ago, but would like to do one at least every few years so that as the kids get older, they will remember it. This one was beautifully laid out when we arrived, on a "reclining table"...I learned only recently that these were tables that were low to the ground so that people could lay down while eating. Thankfully, we had benches. (Sidenote: The kids let me know that they felt my previous instruction on the evils of eating in bed must have been very misguided.)

Unfortunately, I didn't get many good pictures here, it was a bit dark in the room. If you are not familiar, the Seder is the traditional Jewish meal celebrated during Passover, which Jesus would Himself have celebrated. The meal is eaten in tiny "courses", each symbolic of some aspect of the Israelites relationship to the Lord. I can't remember them all, but for instance the lamb bone (another thing to be thankful for: we used skewered chicken instead) represents the sacrifice of the lamb, made to put the lamb's blood over the doorposts when the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt. The "bitter herbs" symbolize the bitterness of their slavery. There is a thick fruit salad of apples, cinnamon and raisins that represents the mortar that they used to make the bricks while they were slaves in Egypt. It is very easy to see (especially once the guide explains it, haha) how all of the symbols are just as applicable, in a new way, to our relationship with Christ. The lamb now represents THE Lamb, whose blood was shed on our behalf. The bitter herbs, the sin that so easily get the idea. It was not only very interesting but very solemn (except for the Hollinhead crew), and a very good thing for us all to experience. We will definitely do this again!