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

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 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)

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!!!

“Well-behaved women rarely make history.” What???

Have you seen these bumper stickers or signs around?  At first I chuckled and then my chuckle turned into a "whatever!!!" (insert attitude).  I know this is just more feminist culture stuff...the funny thing is, I wouldn't categorized myself as well behaved.  Maybe to the person (who is of the world) who made up this saying, would consider me "well-behaved" LOL!!!  (seriously funny...well-behaved and me in the same sentence.  I've just never seen it before.  I know my family is laughing right now.)

Well regardless of whether I am well behaved or not, I begged a differ on the history part.  Each morning I wake up, I am making history.  If I am to raise up godly children to send out into the world, I would like to think that counts for making history. Whatever is taught here in my home will forever be imprinted upon their little hearts to affect the world with either good or evil. 

We have all seen generations destroyed due to some pretty bad choices.  We have also seen amazing generations rise up due to some "well-behaved" behavior.  The spiritual tone you set does make a difference.

Either way will make history.

A wise woman builds her home, But the foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.  Prov. 14:1

As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.  Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.  Psalms 127:4&5

BTW...I was wondering who wrote this and this is what I found...

Writing an article about little-studied Puritan funeral services, Ulrich included the phrase "well-behaved women seldom make history." The phrase was picked up and soon was widely quoted and printed across the country.  Laurel Thatcher Ulrich self-identifies as an active Feminist and Mormon, and has written with great insight about her experiences.

Monday, October 11, 2010

And I'll End Today With What's On My Heart...

Disappointed lately..

For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.  Romans 7:15   (Thank you Paul for your honesty and transparency)

You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.   
John 15:16

Encouraged but soooo not worthy.  I want to sulk in the so not worthy part right now.  Trying to focus on the chosen part.  Despite my failings to attempt to do what is right, but end up wrong...He still chose me. 

My Father, if Thy mercy had bounds, where would be my refuge from just wrath? But thy love in Christ is without measure. Thus, I present myself to Thee with sins of commission and omission, against Thee, my Father, against Thee, adorable redeemer, against Thee and Thy strivings, 0 Holy Spirit, against the dictates of my conscience, against the precepts of Thy Word, against my neighbors and myself. Enter not into judgment with me, for I plead no righteousness of my own, and have no cloak for iniquity. Pardon my day dark with evil.
This night I renew my penitence. Every morning I vow to love Thee more fervently, to serve Thee more sincerely, to be more devoted in my life, to be wholly Thine; Yet I soon stumble, backslide, and have to confess my weakness, misery and sin. But I bless Thee that the finished work of Jesus needs no addition from my doings, that His oblation is sufficient satisfaction for my sins.
If future days be mine, help me to amend my life, to hate and abhor evil, to flee the sins I confess. Make me more resolute, more watchful, more prayerful. Let no evil fruit spring from evil seeds my hands have sown; Let no neighbor be hardened in vanity and folly by my want of circumspection. If this day I have been ashamed of Christ and His Word, or have shown unkindness, malice, envy, lack of love, unadvised speech, hasty temper, let it be no stumbling block to others, or dishonor to Thy name. 0 help me to set an upright example that will ever rebuke vice, allure to goodness, and evidence that lovely are the ways of Christ.
~Puritan Prayer

Sunday, October 10, 2010

If You've Ever Wondered What Age is a Good Age to Start Catechism?

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I would say age two is a great age :)

There are many Catechisms out there.  We like this one the best.  We were doing our catechism a while back and for some reason got busy doing something else.  We finally picked it up again and it's fun because my 2 yr old can now join in.  We learn one question and answer a night and then read the scriptures that support the Q&A.  Catechism is great because it develops a fundamental understanding of God, sin, salvation, prayer, the Bible, the church, Heaven and Hell.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

God's good sense of humor.

So if you know my oldest you all know that she is the talking queen!!  We are constantly having her mouth take a time out.  She will make your ears bleed if you let her...which we don't.  Today she got to have some special big girl time and go to a baby shower with mama.  Hubby and I try to have a kid with us wherever we go so they can learn from us how to socialize and as you know, education is lurking around every corner.  Her and I spoke before hand on having good manners, remaining know all that parenting blah blah blah talk.

So we arrived at the shower and we were instantly greeted by a girl I know through a friend.  I don't know her real well nor do I see her often, but can I just tell you, I have never, on this face of this earth, EVER met someone who can talk like her.  Seriously from the time she greeted us, until the shower was over, no exaggeration....she never stopped talking.

Sooooo, here's the greatest part of it all.  We got in the car and my VERY TALKATIVE daughter said, "that girl talked a lot."  Of course I busted out laughing!!! Thank you Lord!!  While we were at the shower I have to confess, my heart was grumbling a bit because I missed all the cute things people were saying all around us and I missed the special things people were sharing with the new mother to be.  But, God knew what He was doing.  Education IS everywhere!  My daughter and I got to share a wonderful conversation about being self centered vs. being focused on others.  We also talked about constantly bringing attention to our self and being a good listener.'re good you!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Do I Sense Some Discernment in this Child

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So the other day while doing our chores we were listening to our worship music and this was the song that stuck in my daughters head.  The only thing was she kept singing "Oh the wonderful God."  So I corrected her and told her the song was the wonderful cross.   She said "oh okay" and that was the end of that.  Later that day we were walking into the store and she said..."Mom, why does the song say the wonderful cross?  Jesus is not on the cross anymore, He got off...So why wouldn't we sing "Oh the wonderful God?"  I told her I loved her heart and her thinking.  Of course I understand the song and she knows that He died for her on the cross but in her little head she is thinking, why are we singing about a piece of wood and not the person.

She has gone back to singing Oh the wonderful God and that's fine with me.  It's her heart attitude that floored me!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Wish I Had a Hole To Climb Into Today

It is true...Doing what you want to do does leave you unsatisfied and frustrated.

Trying to turn my selfish day around.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.  Matthew 5:6

Seeking Counsel

Again I was reading this guys blog as I usually do and this is how he started his reply letter to a pastor.

"Preliminarily, I should address an antecedent issue. Although I will express my opinion, you of course have to come to your own conclusions. Having a good conscience about the text doesn’t require agreement with others; it requires being faithful to pursue truth at all costs to the best of your abilities. To be sure, you want to seek the counsel and input of various experts. But when the day is done, you have to stand before God and tell him how you see your views as in harmony with Holy Writ. In other words, I never want you to feel any kind of intimidation or pressure from me or anyone else about your handling of the text. I do of course want you to feel a great duty (as you always have) to the Lord in the handling of his word. At bottom, all of us have to give an account of ourselves to the Lord, and any human loyalties will have no standing before him."

Humility and such a wise response!  Such a great reminder to me as I am constantly learning from man.  It is my responsibility to seek much counsel and most importantly what Gods word says.

I recently had a conversation with a friend about, you know, those difficult topics no one wants to talk about.  I was telling her it amazes me that most people don't like to be in those uncomfortable conversations.  You are practically shunned if you dare go there.  I  did say though in defense to those who don't want to go there..."I think sometimes people don't have enough knowledge regarding those uncomfortable topics and it may make them feel insecure.  opps, My bad.

And this is why I love her.  She said to me..."it's just as sinful to be unknowing"  

I shamefully admit that in my past my attitude was... If it worked for them, it will work for me. Hey, at least I was following godly people, right?  So it must be a good decision.  Unfortunately, I rarely sought God's counsel.  I was unknowing in my own decisions.  I trusted the decisions of others.  Not that I would have made a different choice but the root issue was I was lacking and lazy in my own knowledge.

 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.  Proverbs 12:15

Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.  Proverbs 15:22

Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. Proverbs 19:20

21 There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.  Proverbs 24:6

Show me the areas foul to your word Lord.