Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

I am not one for resolutions simply because it is a new year. I do believe in evaluating our lives occasionally and making changes as they are warranted. Life truly is seasonal and this is a season of change for me.
I haven't posted in a while because life has been, as i stated in my last post, a luge race. Every time I think I am on the last turn I seem to be instead wedged up against the wall of the course.
There are just times in our lives when we need to be broken, times when we must be willing to be broken, this has been one of those times for me. I didn't want to be the broken lamb that needed to be carried on the shoulders of the Savior but that is exactly where I found myself, riding on the neck of my LORD. I thought I was stronger, able to ramble after my Lord but that was not the case. God has broken down every wall I had been hiding behind. He exposed a gentle and vulnerable heart I didn't know existed. He stripped away years of hurt and abandonment and gave me a heart that could trust again. Then he tested that new heart.
Those of you that cook you know the crushing of certain spices brings out their fragrance. When you take an aromatic spice such as rosemary or oregano between your fingers then crush and roll them their pungent, musky smell wafts through the air. Cinnamon and cloves are spicy and sweet. At times in our walk with the Lord we need to know what is really in our hearts. These testings crush us and reveal the true fragrance of our character. It is an aroma pleasing to the Lord.
God is far more interested in my character, God is far more interested in the divine calling He has placed on my life than he is in my feelings. I know this opposes the bent of humanism that has infiltrated the church. This common misconception that God wants us to be happy. Happiness is a fleeting and abstract feeling, illusive to capture and keep.
God loves us and does not get pleasure from our pain. He does not toy with the affections of His children. He is a kind and loving Father and as such He wants us to be men and women of character and discipline. Lets face it developing discipline and character is very rarely fun but there is a joy and contentedness that comes from obedience. Does God want us happy? God offers us peace and contentment in our obedience not the happiness of the world that leaves us empty in the end. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
I am learning to run to God and my desire through all of this is that God will glorified and I will be able to walk as a woman of integrity, Seeking Diligence in all my ways!
Peace for the NewYear throught Christ Jesus!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Course of Life

Blessings Dear Friends and Readers,
Life has been rather like an Olympic luge race for me lately. I am on a course at break neck speed. I am thankful God has laid out the course before me; but it's taking all of my stamina to lean into the turns. My thinking is that for now is this blog needs to be very much on the back burner at least for this season of my life -as long as that may may be.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Learning Videos

As a homeschooling mom I have learned something about myself something that escaped me in school...I like to learn. I am dominantly a visual learner so I am jazzed about the whole idea of learning videos on the web.
I like to knit but am limited in my ability to knit. I have always wanted to knit socks, more specifically Christmas stockings, so I went on a hunt for a video to teach me how to knit socks. It was great! I found step by step lessons. I can't wait to drag my needles in here and get started. Guess what you're getting for Christmas? ;D
I thought I would look into a few other areas of learning. Here are just a few I thought were interesting. A word of warning when searching for videos~check out all videos first before you let you kiddos watch them the Internet can be a frightening place.
How to knit~ basic knitting instruction.
How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets.
How to Dissect a Frog.
Math Videos
Fast math tricks, this one was fun. I didn't do well :(
Auto Math
MIT Videos
Happy Surfing!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes.

What a difference a day can make. What a difference even a few hours can make sometimes.
This morning I woke early and had convinced myself that the only way to right my upside down world was to crawl back in bed and start over.
About that time my phone rang. My friend called me to let me know her brother had died. Her brother had been very ill for a long time, to hear he had died would not have been shocking, the fact that he took his own life was.
I am so deeply sorry for his family. This brother knew and loved the Lord but I fear his ongoing illness drug him down in to a pit of despair. In his right mind he would have done anything to protect his family from the pain of this type of loss causes.
Chronic and terminal illnesses are so hard on families and often they become cut of from church fellowship and friendships. They can easily become the "forgotten". Please pray for this family and if you know of someone that is going through a difficult time, get off the computer right now and give them a call, send them a card, or better yet VISIT! It will only take a minute of your time but will bless them more than you will ever know! You may be the lifeline they need.

Friday, August 29, 2008

More Free Time Please! has come a long way! They're telling us kids need more free time...duh! I guess the black eye I got playing baseball in the street with my brothers means my mom was on to something. Thanks Mom!
See the MSN video here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Preachin' to the Choir

As I was sorting through files and trying to get ready for school (we begin on Tuesday) I ran across a teaching I had done a couple of summers ago.
I had been asked to be part of a panel discussion at our church. Each of the four panel members was given a question to address that had been previously collected from the congregation.
The question I got was in reference to knowing when to give up on something or to keep believing in faith. I am using part of that teaching here today because I need to be reminded of these things myself so I suppose in this post ( really in all of my posts) I’m just preachin’ to the choir!
If you have determined that the situation is within the scope of God’s will for your life ( By this time I had gone through how to determine if you are in God’s will.) then scripture is clear, you need to persevere in prayer and in faith until God releases you! When God reveals His will we need to be faithful to obey.
Here are a few more things to remember. God will at times allow a desire or dream to die within us so He can bring new life to it. God wants to be first above all else! He’ll settle for nothing less than our whole heart! Have you completely surrendered this situation to God?
Difficult situation and difficult people are the refining fire that God uses to burn up the impurities in our character. Are you willing to let God change you and not the situation?
God is never late! Remember, God sees all of the player all of the time, and loves us all equally. His timing is always the best timing for all of his children at any given time.
Knowing these things, offer God the sacrifice of praise, thank Him for this situation He has allowed into your life, trusting that no matter what happens God is on His throne, He is in control, and He has a plan for your life!

Friday, August 22, 2008


These days my life seems to change daily as God hones and shapes me into
the woman he wants me to be. One area God has been actively working on for years is my prayer life and I would like to share more of my heart on that here as time allows.
Prayer for our children is one area we need to be especially diligent in! The enemy of their souls does not rest and neither can we. If praying for your children is new to you this prayer calendar might be a good place to start. It has a prayer for each day of the month! I also found the writings of E.M. Bounds online!

More Places to visit

I was blog surfing today and stopped by the sweetest blog. I didn't read a word but got lost in the pictures that reminded me of a bygone time.
Take a vacation and visit eyes of wonder.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Places to Visit

If you or someone you know is struggling in their marriage, if your marriage has been affected by the devastating effects of pornography or an affair; if you work with or mentor women then head over to Cindy Bealls website for a healthy dose of encouragement and hope.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

UCLA Medical Center

I was at UCLA medical center last Friday. I had never been before. A dear friend of mine was having cancer surgery. As his family and I waited to go up to recovery to see him I was able to witness first hand the drama of a teaching hospital waiting room.
I am not sure how many similar waiting areas there are at UCLA's Ronald Regan Center. The waiting area we were in had seating for about 75 waiting family members - each family with a story of lives interrupted by illness or injury.
Families waited anxiously to speak with surgeons about the outcome of delicate heart surgeries or transplants. One family had a nine year old daughter with brain tumors and one anxious young couple distractedly pushed around an empty stroller waiting for their baby to come out of surgery.
One young woman commented to me that last week her biggest concern had been where her five year old would attend school next year. Now she was here at UCLA, waiting to hear how her mother's bypass had gone!
This busy waiting area is where I met Vivian, a woman with huge ocean water green eyes and wavy,
golden brown hair . She sat down next to me, we smiled politely at each other but for a time we said nothing. Her fourteen year old son sat to her right and looked up from his hand held game occasionally to cast a protective glance her way. She seemed so lost and vulnerable I could easily understand his concern. With soft spoken
words and lilting Egyptian accent Vivian shared about her life, her family, and her husband’s long illness.
As we waited we did what I suppose people do in waiting rooms all over, we talked, and shared, we prayed, and tried to comfort each other. Within moments God forged a bridge of friendship between us. A bridge built upon the common ground two strangers share in a place like this…waiting.
There is lots of waiting, waiting to find out the outcome of a surgery. Then you wait some more until you can actually go into a room and see that person you care so much about. You wait to gently touch their hand or hug them or say something loving and reassuring.
I went up to see my friend. How hard it is to see someone you care about hurting. You want to do something, anything within your power to take their pain away…but you can’t…I couldn't... it is a helpless feeling! And yet at the same time I had this rush of emotion I didn't expect. It was so similar to the feeling I had when I held my babies and counted their fingers and toes for the first time. It was an overwhelming flood of relief that welled up inside of me. I expelled in a long breath and muttered “Thank You God, for watching over him, he is going to be alright!”
Vivian and I saw each other again outside the recovery area and we hugged like old friends. We caught up on each other’s “patients” and promised to pray for each other and then said good bye for the last time.

Where ever you are Vivian and George, I am praying for you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Skate Night

Eight of Eight handles skating (like everything else he does) on his own terms!
At the Awana skate night a few weeks ago! Thank you Jeri Ellis for sharing the picture! Blessings,

Monday, July 14, 2008

That New Car Smell?

Don’t you just love that new car smell? Well my little van is not new but I do try to take care of it and like it to look nice. Unfortunately being exposed to the elements has taken its toll and the black vinyl especially on the back bumper which was looking very chalky and gray. I tried several products, such as Armor All, (which my van drank up like a parched man drinks water) but none of them took away the gray. My van was really beginning to look old and tired.
I went online to do a product search with the intent to find a magic (and probably expensive) potion or spray to make my car look new automotive fountain of youth if you will. What I found was one of those Yahoo answer pages where peanut butter was recommended. Peanut butter!?! Well, I am a mom, I have peanut butter! It took me a few days to warm up to the idea mostly because I didn’t want to look like the crazy neighbor that tried to turn her car into a food group! You know the ones that show up on the eleven o'clock news :) So on Saturday morning early, (before the neighbors got up) I went out to the driveway with a large blob of super food, a roll of paper towels and I slathered peanut butter on the bumper of my van, I rubbed it in, buffed off the excess and tada, it looks great and cost practically nothing! And now I have that new car smell…and that smell is peanut butter :D


Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Star of Bethlehem

We watched the most AMAZING video tonight. It is a must see for any believer. The movie was such a boost to my faith I wanted to share it with others. I can't recommend it heartily enough!
make sure you look around the site.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I am overwhelmed with all God is doing in my life. To me miracles are unfolding and long prayed prayers are being answered. I thought I'd share this thought provoking quote from C.S. Lewis."Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy! and a Surprise

Busy seems to be the buzz word at my house. As this week gains momentum so does the to-do list! I have tried to cull out the unnecessary and focus an the relational.
Friday we have a funeral for a special family friend. She was 102 years old and maintained a good quality of life up until a few months of passing away. Can you imagine living 102 years? My goodness...
If you knew you were going to be here 102 years would it change anything about the way you live your life? Certainly gives you something to think on.
Mom and Dad are flying in Friday afternoon and more family will be here on Saturday. We will certainly be cozy in our modest home:) As I said in an earlier post Mom and Dad are celebrating their 50TH wedding Anniversary. They have walked through a lot in those years. I am glad to be able to share this celebration with them and to have family gathered around.
The surprise among our business came when we found that One of Eight is on his way home from Afghanistan!!!! I cannot tell you what a relief it is to know he is physically on his way!
We are planning to caravan over to meet his plane...there is more to tell.... but it will have to wait. I hope to have some pictures to post soon.
Blessings, A Proud Air Force Momma

Friday, February 15, 2008

An Engagement!

February has been the month of -Flu 2008. It waltzed into our home for New Years and has been here ever since! Though I don't normally get sick this bug stuck to me like glue for four weeks! I am so glad to be feeling better.
Yikes, am I ready for spring. February brought much more than the flu thankfully. February brought a winter formal, winter camp (twice) and a snow trip which I missed because I stayed home with Six guessed it, had the flu! Not that I minded at all, I am definitely the -I'll watch the hot chocolate and blankets while you all play in the snow kind.

February also brought us an engagement! Four of Eight is now engaged to her boyfriend (fiancĂ©e) Brandon, whom we adore, and wedding plans are in the air. Watching your girls (all my girls, Destiney) get dressed up in wedding gowns is a feeling like no other. All those years of playing dress up all lead up to this! Speaking of weddings, we are also planning my parent’s 5oth wedding anniversary for March. They moved out of the area about six years ago so Basque food is definitely on the menu. For those of you that have never had Basque food you don't know what you are missing! It is filling and the atmosphere lends itself well to family gatherings.

One of ei
ght finally comes home in March for good! This is the real thing. He has been overseas eight times and each holiday has been overshadowed by the impending knowledge that there was a deployment looming somewhere ahead. Not this time! The only thing this man has asked for is a Thanksgiving dinner-which of course he missed being in Afghanistan - so I am putting on the fatted bird with all of the fixings. We will pass around the jar of Indian corn and share what we are thankful for. I am sure many of the answers will be the same. Thank you sweet Lord for bringing our, son, brother, husband, son-in-law, brother-in- law, and friend home!
I truly did try to keep the Christmas tree up for him too but the dog (the afore mentioned Border collie/ yard renovator) chewed through the string of lights. :(
I cannot put into words how thankful I will be to have One home and safe. Just seeing a soldier in uniform at the car wash last week turned me into a puddle. I know this is a homecoming many parents won't experience! My heart goes out to them, their lives will never be the same.

As February morphs into March, cold into warmth, frosty into flowers, I hope to savor each of these special moments and enjoy each one. Even the Flu of 2008 that slowed us down (way down) and helped us focus on serving each other.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Interior Decorating and Hospitality

If you are at all like me you put off the Biblical mandate to be hospitable because your home is not...well...up to standard. A standard you have set for yourself or perhaps the standard you have set is one of other people's perceptions of your home.
I have cleaning to do, rooms to paint, carpet to pull up and a yard recently renovated by a Border Collie that needs a nothing less that a miracle to resemble the yard I had last summer.
A good friend and I were talking recently about the desire we both share to improve in the area of hospitality. My friend is much, much, better in the area of opening her home than I am, so I was surprised when she confided that she struggles with many of the same feelings I do.
There is more to being hospitable than having a clean or well decorated house. I have a friend years ago that never let anyone through her front door because she says her house isn't clean. Another spends an exorbitant amount of time cleaning but she doesn't entertain because -she's cleaning. Most of us fall somewhere in between as far as our housekeeping skills.
To make another comparison I have two friends that model hospitality well. The first had a gorgeous home beautifully decorated the allows groups of jr. high kids to move freely about their home on a regular basis with no concern to their beautiful decor. "It's just stuff" my friend reminds me.
Another friend opens her modest home up regularly. My fondest Christmas memories are spent here, eating or singing Christmas carols, elbow to elbow around tables -that have in the past been sheets of plywood covered with a simple table cloth-with a candle for decoration. Of course having a tidy home is important but hospitality is much more. All of us have been in nice homes that have felt cold and lifeless. Hospitality is about ministering to the spirit of the inhabitants of our home and our guests.
Let me challenge you with this wonderful quote by Edith Schaeffer, "
Interior not just one's artistic efforts, but it is that which you home ( even if it is just a room) is. If you are 'decorating' with clothes draped on every chair, with scratched and broken furniture- it is still your interior decoration! Your home expresses you to other people, and they cannot see or feel your daydreams of what you expect to make in that misty future, when all of the circumstances are what you think they must be before you will find it worthwhile to start. You have started, whether you recognize that fact or not.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Food Prices

You would certainly have to be a hermit not to realize food prices are going up daily. My trip to Sam's Club last night was shocking! I would love to hear how some of you are saving money.Part of my job as CEO and head purchasing agent is to come up with recipes that are fun andnutritious. My personal goal is to make hospitality a ministry. All of these things are going to take more forethought and planning than ever before.I am trying to save money by:1) Reducing the number of trips out. It seems besides the obvious extra gas usage trips out seem to incur additional costs or purchases.2) Eliminate eating out. Besides the rising cost of this "convenience" the nutritional value of take out food is horrendous. It is not wise to train our taste buds to these types of foods.3) Planning a menu and making and itemized grocery list. I have not started a price book but do estimate the cost of each item on my list.4) Use cash. You can spend what you don't have.5) Deal with food as soon as you come home. I cut meat and vacuum seal it before freezing. I find when I do this I usually have "extra" meat to bank in the freezer.6) I don't usually do once a meal cooking anymore but I do "bank' food by fixing large batches or duplicating entree's.7) I try to choose seasonal foods when I can to save money.8) Gardening even if it is one or two items your family particularly likes, such as tomatoes.9) Think outside the box. For example left over steak or tri-tip makes great enchiladas, and cabbage is traditional in some places for tacos. Use what you have. I cannot tell you how many times something has gotten lost in my refrigerator or freezer instead of being used.Here are some fun blogs you might enjoy.Tawra Kellam writes the Living on a Dime newsletter and always has great money saving tips.On her blog you will find a formula for putting together a casserole. Dollar stretcher is the best resource on the web for saving money. if like me you would like to stretch your 'hospitality wings' head over to Sandy's site and be inspired!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Comment on Camp Understatment

I have been meaning to post this comment from an Anomymous poster to my post on Camp Understatment.
Anonymous said...
Quote: I am a seeker. The more I seek the more I am drawn to the truth that has always been there.Well here you go!Camp Faraway is next to the civilian air terminal in Kandahar, Afghanistan. it's also situated on what was an uncleared minefield (the netherland bit technically still is..) it was built early 2006 by 39 engr regiment royal engineers from waterbeach, UK.It was named by 60 hq and sp Sqn (Air Sp) from that regiment.our troop made the sign.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Being the Mom I Want to Be

I am finally becoming the mom I want to be. It has taken me a long, long, time to get here. might wonder where here is, so I'll tell you.
Here is a place where I truly enjoy my kids, and my life... most of the time...nobody is perfect! And- speaking of perfection, not looking for perfection is another huge milestone in parenting for me. I have learned that every criticism I have aimed (even mentally) at another parent or their child has usually come back to bite me on the backside! Grace is such a great equallizer. A critical spirit is like walking around on a hot summer day with gum on your shoe-it gets everywhere.
I am learning to see the world through the eyes of my children instead of always expecting them to see through my eyes. It's nice to visit ten or even twenty again sometimes!
You know those things you think you will remember you don't, at least I don't. I want to experiene my kids, imerse myself in the people they are becoming each day, not just remember them. They are worth the effort.
I have great kids!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

I'll be fifty on my next birthday. I am not sure how I feel about that.
When I look and my daughters, they are so beautiful, their eyes are bright and unlined, their skin smooth and flawless and their smiles radiant. They don't know yet what I known for a while -youth by it's very nature is attractive. Perhaps that is why our culture chases so hard after it and why the enemy of our soul tries to despoil it.
I look at my reflection and realize the face in the mirror will never be nineteen again and that's okay. I like the lady in the mirror...most days. She reminds me of my mother strong and resourceful. Our eyes are the same hers and mine, small and full of fire, but the eyes of the lady in the mirror relfect memories that are mine alone.
The nose is definitelty Dad's, the chin too. I think the chin is from my Scotch-Irish Grandma and traveled across the sea from England with her. It's definitely a family chin-my Aunt Rho has it and so do my uncles. I am sure the "chin" goes back for many generations. There is much about the lady in the mirror that is unique; a merging of differnet cultures and characters, all on my face!
My life has been a good one. Each life have heartaches and sorrows, frustrations and disappointments and mine is no exception to be sure. And there are times-okay I'll admit it-when I wonder what it would be like to be young again. Would I make different choices ? Would the mistakes of the past be repeated? I am grateful to an all wise God that those choices have been kept from me.
I love my children very much but I know the road ahead will have heartaches for them and I am glad not to have to walk the road of my youth again. I do hope to be here for a long time to help them and to comfort them on their walk but the truth is "Life is a hard place to grow up."
To have a life without heartache means you have closed your heart to all the love and hope God has to offer and that is not realy living at all! Life was meant to be so much more!
I pray with my whole heart that my children will make their choices in life carefully because these life-choices will have an eternal impact on their lives and the lives of others. We truly do not live in a bubble.
I am excited for my children, they each have so many firsts still ahead of them and I pray that they will learn to listen to that still small voice that will willingly lead them if they will listen, He says in His word that HE wants to guide us with His eye. I am convinced there are GREAT things God wants to do in each of their lives. A unique work of God that without their obedience may not be completed.
Friday morning thoughts...