Friday, March 26, 2010

Peace

I have a Jehovah's Witness friend who has come to my door periodically for the past 5 years and given me all sorts of pamphlets and invitations. She's a very sweet lady-I'll tell the whole story some time. Several years ago I remember her telling me that when Jesus comes to set up his earthly kingdom, we'll finally have PEACE and won't that be wonderful? I can't remember if I actually asked her this or if I just thought about asking her, but I wondered, "Isn't that peace actually available NOW?"

Yesterday she visited and left me an invitation to a talk on the "anniversary" of Christ's death... which they say falls on Tuesday, March 30 this year. (Not sure how they calculate that, but I know Christ didn't die on a Tuesday). Anyway... there will be an additional talk entitled "Real Peace and Security- When?" and it brought back to my mind that question I had before.

I definitely think we have something to look forward to in the future with God that will be alot better than what we have on earth. I don't believe it will be an earthly kingdom (Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place" John 18:36). I am looking forward to a spiritual, heavenly home with God. And yes, there will be peace and security there.... but what about now...

I don't think you can see it with a general glance around the world we live in... I actually just saw a headline on the internet saying that 10 people (men, women and children) had been killed on I-65 in Kentucky today in a fiery crash between a tractor-trailer and a van (Oh, did I mention my father-in-law was traveling that same route this morning in a van?!!!! Praise God it wasn't HIS van- but he did experience an hour and a half delay). My point is... the world we are living in is not a place of peace. Bad things happen... natural disasters, wars, accidents, relational disasters, shootings at schools, etc. etc. Right now Yahoo is having technical difficulties I can't get my e-mail to load and I'm frustrated!!!

I saw this verse while I was reading this morning.... "For Christ himself has brought peace to us.... now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us". (Eph 2:14 & 17, NLT). Other (more reliable) versions say that Christ himself IS OUR PEACE. If I tried to do a study on peace, it would take longer than I have today. But...I still wanted to share this good news. REAL peace and security is available now- we don't have to wait for it. But it's not in the form of a Jesus-Government-Enforced Security. (As nice as that sounds). It's in the form of a Jesus-Offered-Gift... it's peace inside each individual, no matter what is going on in the world. It's not an elusive thing, although many of (us) followers don't ever really experience it. That includes me too often than I want to admit. And that is a tragedy. Here is what I think:

The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5-7

I'm starting to understand more and more that THANKSGIVING is the thing that ushers peace into our hearts. The more I am thanking and praising God, the more peace I feel. The more I am focused on Brenda and all my problems and what I lack... the less peace I feel.



If you're not feeling peace.... try counting your blessings and thanking God for what he has done. If you can't think of anything, try reading my list of "God's Gracious Goodness" to the right. I am working my way to a list of 1,000 gifts that God has given me. But this list-making has been such a blessing to me, I may never stop.

That's all I have to say. :-) I know it may be hard to take this message seriously from someone as cynical and jaded as ME... but just try it yourself and see.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Number 3


Jacob has joined his sisters... he got baptized at church last night. We couldn't be happier! And I think God is pretty happy, too! :-)

video

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Party in Heaven

"Imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won't she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it you can be sure she'll call her friends and neighbors: 'Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!' Count on it—that's the kind of party God's angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God". Luke 15:8-10 (MSG)

Libby and Sarah giving their lives to Jesus. video

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Jacob

Happy Birthday to Jacob! It just hit me... today my "baby" Jacob turns 9 so I only have one more year with a child in the single digits. (Unless God has a big surprise in store for me!) And unfortunately, I only have a few more months in the 30's myself... so it's just a reminder to ENJOY every day, I guess. But I feel so old.


Last night to celebrate, Tim took Jacob and a couple friends to see "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" and then they came back and spent the night. Here they are eating pizza and cake:

And here is Jacob "blowing" out his candles by fanning them with a book (why? Because he's Jacob).


One last candle refused to be extinguished except by the traditional method.

Jacob opening his Party Popper and spraying confetti all over. (Which I am still cleaning up this morning).

Since today is also the FIRST DAY OF SPRING ... it reminded me that last year on Jacob's birthday I took pictures of him in our Cherry Tree.....



Here is a picture of the tree taken today.... (This is proof, I think, that we've had a bad winter... spring is so confused, it doesn't even know it's supposed to be here today!)


But I can't wait for this tree to bloom! It's a very joyous thing every year!

For Melissa, you specifically told Jacob not to do "The Jacob" on anyone today, but he just couldn't refuse..... (here's poor Libby enduring the pain).



For those who don't know.... "The Jacob" is named for the little rascal who invented it. He invented it on his Aunt Melissa... by coming up behind her and digging his head into her calf. If you've experienced it, you know it hurts.

For mom, here are some more pics of the kids taken today (or recently):

Pretty Libby. Jacob jumped in the picture with a piece of french toast. (Why? Because he's Jacob).
Sarah and Jacob dancing...

Sarah.. prettier every day!


Awwww................

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Sweet Friend

NOTE: The post below was typed over a month ago right after Misty's birthday party and I meant to save it and publish it on her actual birthday, but apparently I forgot because I just found it saved as a draft! Oops! So here you go, a month and a week late:

Here are two of my bestees last night at Bestee-on-the-Right's birthday dinner. They've both put up with more from me than any friend should have to. Of course, it's all fun for Beth. But since it's Misty's birthday....let me just say that she is an awesome friend. We've been friends for like 15 years... had our first babies within a couple months of each other... shared many laughs, many tears, secrets, failings, successes and grown so much spiritually. She is one of the most generous people I know. And she's also really smart. When I first met her, I told Tim, "I like that Misty because she's smart and she's not afraid to act like it, even though she's Southern". :-) Love you, Misty! Happy Birthday!!



Below (as a bonus) is Auntie Misty's favorite 2 year old posing for a picture with Auntie Brenda in our fabby shirts. For the record, I hate beer, but I do like Rock a little bit. :-) And I like Sam a lot bit!!! I was so happy he came to the party.



Thursday, March 11, 2010

Last Hockey Tourney of the Season

Jacob's "All-Star" team won their third (and final) tournament of the season last weekend... this time in Nashville. The girls and I were only able to drive up for the last game because of other commitments. It was an exciting game! Here he is with the team trophy and also receiving his individual trophy.







Here's my pant leg after he skated over to me so I could take his picture and did that thing where they turn their skate sideways to stop and sprayed ice all over me! Such a darling!















Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Home Again

If you didn't know this already.... after being employed for nine months, I'm at home again. This is not exactly by choice and if you want the whole story, I'd be happy to tell you by email... but let's just leave it at this for blogging purposes (feel free to take note of this).. I am choosy about who I let in my personal space without an invitation. It's okay... I liked the job, but I am liking being at home, too. I am currently exploring my options, as I have to have something to keep me busy and I liked the money.

But, in the mean time, I am getting lots of housework done, as I had fallen behind on lots of things as a working mother. And yesterdayI got to go on a field trip with Jacob's class to see a play. Before I worked, I went on field trips out of a sense of duty and never really enjoyed myself. But yesterday it seemed like a luxury and I really liked getting to spend time with my little guy. Perspective is a funny thing.

So... pray for me as I figure out what to do next, if anything.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bathroom Makeover

Here's a picture of the border I put around the tub in the bathroom. This isn't the greatest picture, I know. You can click on it to see it up close, I think. Now I just need curtains for that big window and I will feel that "nook" of the house is complete. :-)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Extreme Kitchen Makeover

BEFORE:


"Extreme" probably isn't the word. But I did a little impromtu kitchen makeover this morning that I am very pleased with.... bringing back into style the WALLPAPER BORDER!! Woo hoo! (I personally never stopped liking them).
AFTER:



















I did have a trivet hanging where this picture now is... but I moved the trivet to another location and hung up this picture that Tim took a couple years ago and we had enlarged... I found the frame for 50 cents at the thrift store. :-)



And this is how the oven area turned out. I only had the one small strip left and so I used it to cover the holes above the stove that were left there when we got our new oven and it went up higher in the back than the previous oven.... so I had to remove the trivets I used to have hanging there, leaving holes.... then I hung the trivets that used to hang above the old stove to the sides:














This actually started because I found a border I thought would look good around my tub (the paint is peeling off the wall and I don't want to repaint) in the clearance bin at Wal-mart. So then I thought of the holes in the kitchen wall and looked for something for the kitchen. I hope to have pictures of the bathroom soon!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Love Notes and Apostrophes Revisited

Lewis,
Lives are made
of stories. I have
so many great
stories in my life
that include you!
I hold them
precious always.

Happy Birthday!!
All my love,

Laura

I was browsing the library bookstore today and found a copy of "Chicken Soup for the Soul". I have read alot of the Chicken Soup books, but never the original. It was $1. I picked it up and opened the cover and found this sweet little note to someone named Lewis from someone named Laura. It makes you wonder... what happened to Lewis and Laura that this book ended up in the library bookstore? (Well, anyway, it makes ME wonder). What is the STORY of Lewis and Laura? Did Lewis die in a freak accident at the nuclear power plant and all of his books were donated to the library? Did Lewis find someone new and go on to make new stories, leaving Laura with only a sad story to tell? Did Laura find someone new and go on to make new stories, leaving Lewis to donate everything she had ever given him to the library? Are Lewis and Laura happily married with two children and a dog and just needed to clean out the spare room for the new baby they just found out they are unexpectedly expecting?

I don't know. I may never know. :-)

On a completely unrelated topic, however, I was at the main library today and saw a sign someone made on the computer that said, "NON-FICTION VIDEO'S". I don't blog every time I see a mistake of this nature, (because if I did, it would be like every day) but this one seemed particularly agregious considering it was at the LIBRARY. So as a refresher, people, a plural word such as VIDEOS does not require an apostrophe.

A while later I was at a branch of the library and saw this....
"DVD S". In the case of initials, it is okay (and sometimes advisable) to put an apostrophe just for clarification. Not necessary, but okay. An example would be something like, "Kristy got all A's in her classes this semester". There is no grammatical reason for the apostrophe, but it just sort-of looks better that way and is officially okay to use. But in the case of "DVD S", I think the person who made these signs was just unsure of what to do, so they just left a space between DVD and "S". It shows me they were thinking, which is a positive thing. But they messed up, too. In this case, they should have either gone with "DVD'S" or "DVDs".

You can thank me for the lesson in apostrophe usage!

Hugs,

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March... in like a Polar Bear

Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. Romans 15:2 (ESV)


It's March 2 in Alabama. Not Michigan or Alaska, mind you. This is Jacob walking to the bus this morning. We're usually in shorts by this time of year.
But back to the subject of pleasing our neighbor to build him up... the man a couple houses down from us lost his wife last fall/summer to cancer. All he has now is a grown daughter and his dog. Last night, Sarah and I were out for a walk/jog after dark and we saw him walking his dog and I decided to alter our intended route so that we wouldn't pass him. Seriously, I was mostly just not wanting anyone to see me jogging. But as we jogged on, Sarah commented, "You know mom, we should have caught up to Mr. B and walked with him a while. He's probably lonely and could have used someone to talk to".

Ouch. Hate it when my kids are more wise and thoughtful than me. I went to bed thinking I am going to be more mindful of people around me and how I can meet their needs instead of worrying about how I look or my own agenda. When I took the picture of the calendar this morning, I wasn't surprised by the reminder. :-) And I think Mr. B could use some homemade cookies and a visit later today... so I've added it to my "list".

Who could use some cookies and a visit today from you? :-)