Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of. ~Charles Spurgeon

Friday, December 31, 2010

Peter Pan

We get net flix streamed through our TV and my daughter Grace has found the Broadway Musical Peter Pan.  She has been watching it over and over and over again.  You should see her little eyes GLUED to the TV.  I've never seen her like this.   She said "mom, it looks so real.  Are they real people?"... "Yes honey those are real people who act on a stage.  We can go to a show like that and see it in person"... "Really!  Can I get on stage and do what they are doing?"... "Well, you would have to learn how to act first and then you could"..."Oh Please mom can I do that!" 

I always knew she had an artistic side to her.  She LOVES music.  Music reaches her.  I've always said, if I could teach this girl life through music she would learn well.  It's hard to get her to concentrate on her school work but if you put a tune to it she listens.  The problem is...I can't carry a tune to save my life!  

I am excited to see what the Lord does with all of this.  It is so fun to see you child's interests come out. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Story the Facebook Version

Before watching this your gonna have to pause my video below...the John Piper one.  Sorry, it automatically starts.



Just in case you can't view the video... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sghwe4TYY18

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Life at the Pond

My girls got these DVD's for Christmas and I LOVE THEM!  Each video has a great lesson like... loving thy neighbor, idols, being a good steward and more.  Even though they are children videos I love the fact that they use big words that I use with my children. 


Thanks Mom and Dad, the girls love them!!!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Blogs are great!  Especially the ones that challenge and encourage.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Construction...Electrical, Roof, Demo, Doors and Windows

The past 4 or so weeks have been CRRRAAAAZZZZYYYY!  A good crazy though.  We have done electrical, roofing (done by my amazing stud of a husband and an angel we found on Craigs list), demolition of the existing wall that stood between us and the new room, and installation of our new doors and windows.  Next up...AC unit, dry wall, stucco, and sealing my new concrete flooring and then.....WE MOVE IN!!!  YEA!!!!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Olivia Anastasia (Ann)...Happy 6th



 



Olivia, I am so grateful for all the blessings of growth God has worked in me through you these past years.  You keep me turning back to the Lord time and time again.  When I look at you I see an amazing girl who loves to learn, has a zeal for life, and a desire to love the Lord.  It is a privilege each and every day to be your mother.   I love you and look forward to the many years of love and learning.


All my love Olivia Ann....Happy 6th

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sovereignty is so comforting




It makes sense.  He is the Creator of all.  He created us, knit every detail in our mothers womb, created the way our brains would think, what and how things would influence us, what and when things would be revealed to us.  It places a desire in me to pray for wisdom even more.

Father, open my eyes.  Show me where I lack in understanding.  Increase my discernment.  Do not allow me to lean on my own understanding.  I realize I have a responsibility and that is to linger long and deep with You daily.  It is not natural for me to think like You.  And Lord, I pray that Your Word would not just be information to me but a love affair that would change my heart daily.



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ambassadors for Christ

In Church the other day I was reminded of my title in the family of God...An Ambassador for Christ.  It's a reminder Christians need to hear often.  I'm thinking we should have alarm clocks that wake us up saying...Remember, you are an ambassador for Christ today.   I speak for myself when I say this... we get so caught up in our titles weather it be a business owner, manager, employee, husband, father, brother, wife, sister, daughter, friend...you name it we all have our God given titles.  We forget these so called titles are vehicles, privileges He gave us so that we could do His good work and bring Him glory.  When we loose sight, our vehicles become vain and we begin to seek honor and glory for what our hands are doing.  Some of us let our titles go to our heads or we abuse our titles.  We desire to be noticed for what we are doing and how great we think we are doing it.   We begin to live under our own understanding and forget it is His yoke we carry and not our own.  "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:30 

Such a privilege that God would see fit that my vehicle (so far) would be a daughter, wife, mother, sister, auntie, and friend.  I can tell when I start to take those vehicles into my own hands, the burden becomes so heavy and  I am no longer content in life. When the burden becomes heavy I  loose sight of His victory and I feel distraught, frustrated, discouraged, prideful, and MY expectations in life fail and leave me feeling hungry sometimes starving.  And if I am hungry most likely the ones around me are hungry since my focus has been on myself and not letting God use me for His purposes.  

I am so grateful for our pastor.  I am grateful for where he causes my mind to go most importantly where my heart goes.  








Wednesday, December 1, 2010

An Early New Years Resolution

I mentioned before that I am going through an Isaiah study...Well yesterday while I was at my study the lecturer said something that convicted me.  


God's victories are not partial, they are gloriously complete...yet a lot of us Christians live a partial victory...we walk around feeling depressed, defeated, over-whelmed, or discouraged.  It kind of  makes me think of the over dramatic type of person.


It was convicting for me being a mother and wife.  Often times, in my heart, I feel defeated trying to keep this small house organized, with little room to do it.  Not to mention I am not an organized person!!!!  I too feel discouraged at times raising toddlers.  It requires a lot of repeating, discipline and encouragement and they STILL DON'T GET IT!  Just trying to keep up with life feels overwhelming to me at times 


Funny cause one of my favorite songs is Victory in Jesus.  


Going to try to live more victoriously in Jesus.  It's a good new years resolution, don't you think!


Makes me think of this verse:

These things I have spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A verse to add to my favorites

I am doing a study right now in the book of Isaiah and man oh man is it AWESOME!!!  Not even half way through the book and I have a greater appreciation for my salvation!!  Today, while doing my homework I came across this verse...

O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.  Isaiah 25:1

I think back to the hardships I have already endured and I am reminded of His perfect faithfulness.  I also think about the future hardships ahead of me, knowing they will come and I am once again encouraged by His sovereignty!!!  "Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness!!!!!" 


"Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness!!!!!"  Father forgive me that I still doubt, question, worry, make up excuses, and justify my plans.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Of all the things I am thankful for, it all comes back to this! 
I am so thankful it all remains in His sovereign hands.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Construction...Framing

We were busy framing last week and we will finish up this Wednesday.  I love that family has gotten to be apart of this project.  In the first picture you will see my father in law helping with the framing and then four pics down you will see my hubby and my father doing work.  Of course if it weren't for my fathers God given talents we would probably not be doing this project.  He is the architect. 






The end of this week we will start the electrical, roofing and then the demolition of the wall that stands between us and this room.  Praising God for all the ones He has brought in our path to help with this new addition.  It has been our prayer that this room would bring Him glory from start to finish.  Already there have been some great connections I will tell of in future posts.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

You've heard of mothers eating their young...well I just might!!!

video
This was great...She was sitting on the couch and I was able to get her singing "Oh victory in Jesus."  She kept singing it over and over. 



video 
Every night at bed time she asks daddy to sing this song to her.  It's her favorite out of all the songs she sings.



video
This one will definitely be played at her wedding!!!  She was walking up and down the hallway singing "Here comes the bride"

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Cherish the gift of all those perfectly ordinary days."

I heard that saying a while ago and I loved it.  These precious days do go by fast and the proof is in the pictures!  It amazes me to see how much my babies have grown. 

Today was a chore day and I loooove chore days!  My girls have come so far.  Where once I was doing all the cleaning, now my almost six year old is mopping and my 5 year old is begging to mop.  I love their eagerness in wanting to help mommy.  My almost six year old honestly thinks she is ready to marry her prince now that she can mop.  Seriously!!  Can you believe that!?!?  

While doing chores you will always find us rocking out to our praise and worship music and it never fails a great conversation is always around the corner which starts with a sweet question or comment.  I think it just depends on what the girls are hearing around them that causes their little brain to think which then leads to a comment or question.   Today's topic was adoption.  I love that my children call my uterus my womb.  My middle child was dusting picture frames and while doing so she was admiring the pictures in them which led to... "mom, maybe God will open your womb again or maybe not?  Maybe it will be closed and we can adopt another baby who needs to come home.  Maybe he or she will be born in a hospital close to us or maybe a hospital that is far from us."  I love love love that they are thinking about this, talking about it, and praying about it.  I am so blessed by their sweet innocent questions and comments. 


I treasure these conversations, I live for these conversations, I couldn't imagine missing out on these conversations, I would be so sad if these conversations were with someone else. 


This to me is true education!

____________________________________________

I wrote that post yesterday, so last night when I was updating hubby on our daughters sweet comment we were both wondering if her comment would have been the same if all our daughter heard when people asked us if we were done with children "oh gosh yes!  We are so done!  No more kids for us!!"  

Yesterday we were at the gym and I ran into my old spin instructor as I was walking out with my children.  She said "oh I didn't realize you had 3!  I bet you are so done!"  I could tell you she was not expecting to hear what I had to say after that.  It was so great because we ended up talking for 15 minutes longer.  She asked questions and I got to share a bit of our story.  My instructor asked where I found my faith?  She said she was wowed by my faith and asked if it was something I found within myself (HA! if only she knew how depraved I was!) or if it came from something else?  So amazing that I got to share all of this in front of my children.  They got to hear me share a bit of the gospel along with the fact that my children are such a blessing and that we would be honored to have more if God saw fit.


We may all believe that children are a blessing but, what are we as Christians communicating to the world...More importantly, what are we communicating to our children?   "Oh gosh no, we are soooo done; I think I would go crazy if I had more; The children I have is already too much;  I am already going crazy, why would I want to add to that." And on and on. 








Encouraging words I read this morning

Faith is believing that He heals, faith is also believing that He sustains us in whatever circumstances He has called us to.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm Just Saying...

I don't do well with pouting and I don't do well with needy people (and I am not talking about the poor and needy mentioned in the bible).  I am not that needy (most of the time) and when I choose to pout (remember, pouting is a choice!)  I try to do it in private.  So when I am dealing with a needy pouter who expects me to read minds...I REALLY DON'T DO WELL!

I need prayer!  Please.

I need to get over myself!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Our Pastor Read This Article Today. Thought It was Great!!

The other day someone at a store in our town read that
Methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in
the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical
question. 'Why didn’t we have a drug problem when you and
I were growing up?’
I replied, I had a drug problem when I was young: I was
drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for
weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and
community social’s no matter the weather.
I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults,
was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents,
told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak
with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher or
if I didn’t put forth my best effort in everything that
was asked of me.
I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out
with soap if I uttered a profanity. I was drug out to pick
weeds in mom’s garden and flowerbeds and cockle burs out of
dad's fields. I was drug to the homes of family, friends
and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to
mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some
firewood, and. if my mother had ever known that I took a
single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have
drug me back to the woodshed.
Those drugs are still in my veins and they affect my
behavior in every-thing I do, say or think. They are
stronger than cocaine, crack or heroin: and, if today’s
children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a
better place.
God bless the parents who drugged us.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Construction...A Foundation

YEA!!!  Our foundation was poured today.  This has been a busy but fun week.  We have been talking about this project for so long and this week we actually got to see some transformation.  Our patio will be poured tomorrow.


Next week...framing and trusses.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Are You Sure


Just in case the video does not show up...click here


So, How Can You Be Sure...Click Here ...it got me thinking!  Not doubting my salvation, not judging others salvation...but thinking for sure.






Saturday, November 6, 2010

Delight, Commit and then Trust

Such a beautiful post.  She states that her desires need to bow to God's will.  That puts such a beautiful picture in my head.

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring [it] to pass.  Psalm 37: 4 & 5


It is a beautiful picture of a heart desperately trying to align it's own desires with Gods.  It's a patient heart willing to wait on Him and not act on it's own.  It's a teachable heart humbling itself, knowing He is the one who knows best and it's a hopeful heart, knowing He is faithful to the end!

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Message Everyone Should Listen To!!! Soooo Good!

If you know someone whose adopted, if you know someone who has adopted, if you have ever considered adoption..Listen, Listen, Listen.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Sinner rebuking a sinner

Parenting is so humbling!!!!  So much of the time when I am disciplining my children I find myself saying "are you kidding me God?"  While admonishing them I am reminded of how guilty I am.  I guess that's the point.   Like I am one to tell them to obey?!?  Hey kids come here and let me discipline you for giving into your selfish ways, forget that mommy just did the same thing 2 seconds ago.


I will discipline them because I love them and because I am called to discipline.  Basically what I am saying is... OUCH!  The speck and the log picture has never been so clear!


Train up a child in the way he should go - but be sure you go that way yourself. ~Charles Spurgeon




Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What a Dissapointment

 So I am watching this video with a smile on my face thinking, oh what a sweet man, what a good message, I love it.  The message is great and it drew me in...UP UNTIL THE LAST FEW SECONDS!!!!  Very sad to say it is not the Spirit of God that He is in tune with. 


Just in case the video does not come up...click here


“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.”  Matthew 7: 15




Tuesday, November 2, 2010

People of Conviction

Be a person of conviction- "Right is right even if NO ONE is doing it; wrong is wrong even if EVERYONE is doing it"

 

That encourages my heart for so many reasons. 

 

 You can hear the sermon here


Busy Weekend

My baby turned 5...





Hubby got baptized...
thanks Dawn for the pic





And, my daughter rode her bike without training wheels for the first time...


Blessed blessed blessed beyond words!!!




Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Gracie Boo



Our sweet Grace.  Sweet is the perfect word to explain you.  There is not a day that you don't make us laugh, smile, or feel loved by your tender heart.  The other day you said to me "mom"... "yes honey"..."oh nothing, I'm just glad you are my mom."  You are a pure joy and a blessing we are not worthy of.  When I look at you sweetie, I am reminded of God's goodness and faithfulness.  Happy Birthday 5th Birthday!!!  We love you!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

5 Years ago today, I got a phone call...

"You need to sit down" is what she said.  "Oookay" totally perplexed??  And then she said  "Are you sitting down?"  With a giggle I replied "Yes, I am sitting down" wondering why the heck she would want me to sit down, I mean, if she was going to tell me that the birth mom chose us I would be really excited and do a little dance but to sit down was dramatizing it a bit.  She continued on with, "well, the birth mom chose you"  of course I said, "Great!"  and then...there it was, the reason she had me sit down..."and the birth mom is having contractions...you are going to be a mom anytime now."  Jaw on the floor, eyes staring into space, completely confused?????  She continued on to tell me that the adoptive parents they planned on going with fell through, the reasons why the birth mom chose us, and all the details about the birth mom which took a few minutes.  Of course my eyes were still big as saucers, my mouth was still catching flies and I must have looked like a deer in head lights....THEN she said it... the question and response I will never forget to this day, the question that caused me to blink, close my mouth and come back to reality... "do you want to know what you are having?"  Well of course after going through a 7 year journey of infertility filled with many many MANY tears, and pleading with the Lord for children,  I really didn't care if she said I was going to have a frog!!  She said..."Jeni, you are going to have a baby girl"  Phone drop to the floor, knees drop to the floor...uncontrollable tears of joy and praise flooding my face. I will never forget that day, the day a simple phone call changed our lives forever!


Hebrews 11:1



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

S'mores Anyone??

I frequent this blog often and most of the time I agree.  This time I have to say I am not in complete agreement.  I like his idea about keeping the light on but as far as the child dressing up like a ghost I would have to disagree.  For the past two years we as a family have trick or treated but this year we have decided to opt out.

The other night we had our first talk with the girls about halloween.  It was great, real and an honest talk.  We discussed witches, ghosts, and all the creepy things we see out there.  Of course they were shocked to find out there are real witches and ghosts, which I can understand because we are always telling them the things they see on TV is just pretend or the person dressed up is just pretend.  One thing I don't want for my children, is to be ignorant or desensitized to the very real evil that is out there. Proverbs 8:13  We also told them that we need to make sure we are glorifying God in all that we do including the things that we put on our body.  So for our family spooky costumes are out.  Contrast to all things spooky, we were able to share with our girls how mighty and strong our God is and that He is the light that cast out darkness.  It's always their sweet innocent questions and comments that are my favorite.


Soooo having said all that... this year we have decided to not only stay home and keep the light on, we are going to sit out front and let the Lord bring our neighbors to us.  The one time of year, they come to us.  We are praying conversations will start and future gatherings will come out of this.  We are going to get the fire pit out and make s'mores and maybe if we are lucky a neighbor will join us.  We are brain storming as to what we will hand out to all the cute little trick or treaters.  Who knows, maybe this will become a tradition and each year our neighbors will know our family will be sitting out in front waiting to share our s'mores.  






Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sweet Conversations

Tonight at bed time my husband and I found ourselves in a sweet sweet conversation with our girls.  One question led to the next.  Before we knew it, we were talking about halloween.  God was not kidding when He said that children are a blessing from the Lord.  It is such a privilege to raise these girls.  Education (and I am not just talking about academics) is a passion of mine.  I loooooooove these kinds of questions, I live for these kinds of conversations.  I also found myself being completely blessed by what my husband was saying to the girls.  I have to admit I had a bit of pride in my heart, as if what I was going to say was going to be better.  I didn't fully trust in what daddy was going to say because we had not fully discussed the topic yet so I assumed something else.  In other words...I did not think the best of him.  I was humbled and so grateful that God let the night go the way it did.  If you could have heard their little prayers tonight.  My heart is full.  The Lord has encouraged me tonight.  I needed that, and He knew it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Construction...A Pineapple Palm Tree

We are getting ready to add on to our house and I am so excited I can hardly wait.  We moved into this small house (but big back yard) almost 3 years ago with intentions of adding on and now we finally get to start the1st phase...a new family room.  I am excited to journal it all and look back to see what we went through.

First thing first, remove a big huge pineapple palm tree.  We listed it on Craigs list: tree for free as long as you dig it up and haul it off.  Pineapple palms are not cheep so we were pretty sure someone would grab it and grab it they did!!  You should have seen this thing that extracted it from the ground; It looked like it was going to dig a hole to China. It consists of 4 huge shovel like things that wrap around the tree, dig deep into the ground, rock the tree back and forth and then pull it up.  Here is a video of the extraction as well as a before and after pic.  (You've seen enough after the first 30 secs)
video



















My dad, the retired architect, has drawn up the plans, we submitted them and received our permits.  I am very excited because Dad and I are going to head up this project since hubby is really busy.  I of course will be passing everything through hubby to get the okay.  I love stuff like this and look forward to all the construction wisdom I will be receiving. Next post will be pouring of the foundation which we have already met with the concrete guy so this should be done in the next couple of weeks YAY!




Monday, October 18, 2010

A Burdened Heart

"A casual relationship does not produce life change."

Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.  For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.  For not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.  Romans 10:1-3


“If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” 
~ Charles Spurgeon




Thanks Dawn....Pause Music Player



Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Daughters Solution...

Do you have those kinds of kids who, when you pull out your camera it practically takes making a complete fool of yourself to get them to smile???  I do!  Well my oldest daughter came up with a solution!  I was laughing so hard.  She came running out of her room saying..."look mama, look mama.  You don't have to ask me to smile anymore for pictures"  Oh my, she cracks me up!!!!  Of course the rest of them thought it was pretty cool too.  It would make for a funny family picture if we all had one.


Gives a new meaning to a "fake smile."  Yeah, our kids have those too.


Thank you Mr. Potato Head!

       
                  I am thinking I would miss this smile too much.  Especially the gap in the teeth, it's my fav!!!