Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Heart for God

Give me, O Lord, a steadfast heart which no unworthy thought can drag downwards; an unconquered heart which no tribulation can wear out; an upright heart which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon me also, O Lord my God, understanding to know you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace you; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Thomas Aquinas

Friday, February 22, 2008

LORD... me, for I am often lukewarm and chill;
unbelief mars my confidence,
sin makes me forget Thee.
Let the weeds that grow in my sould be cut at their roots;
Grant me to know that I truly live only when I live to Thee,
that all else is trifling.
Thy presence alone can make me holy, devout, strong and happy.
Abide in me, gracious God.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Truth about reality

True spirituality covers all of reality. There are things the Bible tells us as absolutes which are sinful-which do not conform to the character of God. But aside from these the Lordship of Christ covers all of life and all of life equally. In this sense there is nothing concerning reality that is not spiritual.

Related to this, it seems to me, is the fact that many Christians do not mean what I mean when I say Christianity is true, or Truth. They are Christians and they believe in, let us say, the truth of creation, the truth of the virgin birth, the truth of Christ's miracles, Christ's substitutionary death, and His coming again. But they stop there with these and other individual truths.

When I wasy Christianity is true I mean it is true to total reality-the total of what is, beginning with the central reality, the objective existence of the personal infinite God. Christianity is not just a series of truths but Truth-Truth about all of reality. And the holding of that Truth intellectually-and then in some poor way living upon the truth, the Truth of what is-brings forth not only certain personal results, but also governmental and legal results.

Francis A. Shaeffer, A Christian Manifesto, pp. 19, 20.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Releasing Thoughts to Roam...

I have been emotionally and spiritually confused about Embracing the Journey. For me this place is a constant weight in my mind leaving little space for anything else. It holds all my thoughts captive and consumes all my spare time, yes this is my own sinfulness, I agree. I have thought of all other possibilities but I know that the temptation will proove to strong for my self control. The temptation to scratch, to release, to dwell, to search and enjoy is all to much for me... I have been lead inwardly to let go, to be silent with my thoughts... silent but not absence, to still allow my heart a small piece of it's desire in expression but not through my own thought out words but through others. The idea is to release my thoughts to roam elswhere for awhile.

In life we must examine the things that are consuming of our precious time and whether they are worthy to take up the our space in this journey, I have found it, this place where my thoughts live to be to high on my list of priorities. My heart, mind and time have been taken advantage of and consumed.... and now I feel driven to disperse them where they rightly belong... my children, my husband, my home, my education, my children's education, my devotion to God, my life in general. I have not been rightly dividing my time among these. My thoughts need room, need space to be free to think creatively towards these important areas of my life.

From this moment on I will begin to share my heart mainly through the ideas, thoughts and hearts of others in quotes, music and art. Scripture will fill most of the spaces in here as it is the nearest to the expression of my heart. My desire as always is to encourage, inspire and uplift other like minded women in their calling of motherhood, marriage, homekeeper and in their continual walk with Christ.

My thoughts will be free to roam and express as they commune with my brain and heart in my continual growth as a teacher over at Growing Minds of Wisdom in an attempt to understand the knowledge I am obtaining and trying to retain and how I am applying it to my children's minds and experience in education.

JOYfully in Him,

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines Day with Pictures

What an amazing day! Some of my plans didn't work out but made some substitutions and everything turned out perfect. I enjoyed myself very much, showering my family with Love.

'O Lord, Seek Us'

O Lord, seek us, O Lord, find us
In they patient care;
By thy love before, behind us,
Round us everywhere;
Lest the god of this world blind us,
Lest he speak us fair,
Lest he forge a chain to bind us,
Lest he bait a snare.
Turn not from us, call to mind us,
Find embrace us, bear;
Be thy love before, behind us,
Round us, everywhere.

Christina Rossetti

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

How To Say I love You?

Okay in my last post I excluded any thoughts on how to celebrate Valentines day with my everyly amazing husband, Expresso. The truth is I wasn't sure how to on our budget but with a little imagination and the internet I have come up with an inexpensive idea:

I will make him a Heart Book Pendant of my love and appreciation. For the most part the day will go as normal for him except that he will hopefully if I do it right, uncover through out the day little notes hidden for him along with a little kiss. After the littles have all gone to sleep we will bask in the past 8 years of our love through our old love notes to eachother while in college and then watch Amazing Grace.

V-Day Prep and Ideas

Today is going to be sorta rough. I fell ill yesterday after I thought I was over it, thank goodness Expresso was home. He is so quick to take care of me. I am going to be relying on the repulsive Day-Quil to keep my on my feet and off the couch shivering.

Valentines is just around the corner of this evening, once again it has snuck up right behind me. So today along side of our school subjects we will be preparing for Valentines day.

One project to do together today is a String of Hearts, simply and very cute. A Lesson, a coloring page and sharing thoughts about what it means to love while reflecting on many verses in the bible.

I have some ideas up my sleeves for the boys. Here is what I have planned:

Early Morning:

Trail of Kisses... I did this last year and it was a huge hit with my boys! Simply leave a trail of Hershey kisses onthe floor leading to the place of destination. I lead them to our kitchen table full of Valentines Day suprises. The loved it! I did just simply red plastic cups last year but I think I will do little red cones made out of construction paper instead decorated with their names on them.

Homemade Cards by Momma:

T-Rex... Your Dino Mite card, perfect for my little beastly boy who is obsessed with Dinosaurs.

Superman... V-alien-tine card, perfect for my little Astronomer.

Also at the table they will find these... Checks, along with these... coupons and for a breakfast some Red Heart-y pancakes topped with whipped cream and strawberries and bananas served with pink milk.

Devotional with activities: God First Loved You!

Games: Guess how much I love you! Fill a jar with little hearts and have family guess how many are in it early in the morning and then at the end of the day reveal the winner and their prize, a special candy and coupon of free time!

Lunch: We will have heart sandwiches with a pink smoothie of some kind.

Afternoon snack: Sweet Heart Crispy Treats, with hot chocolate, a good book and a Valentine coloring page.

Game: Valentine Cup Cake Walk

Dinner: Taquitos, oh so good! We all love these except T-Rex who doesn't like a whole lot other than PB and Honey :0). After dinner we reveal our winner, enjoy some family time and go out for an ice cream cone at Micky D's. End the day with lots of kisses and hugs.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Who will you serve today?

Are you ready to serve today? Did you wake up on a mission to serve? I hope so because you will be serving the question is not whether you will or if you are even ready because it is inevitable that you will serve, the question is who will you serve today? Obviously we will be serving physically with our hands as we walk in our calling but don't forget that there is a spiritual serving going on as well with in us, with our decisions, with the desires of our heart.

...choose this day whom you will serve...

Joshua 24:15

We are so susceptable to forget that we are in a daily battle and I fear that this is my greatest down fall in my daily walk. I end up stumbling along the path of the day the experiences of my time unkowingly serving not Him but the other by my neautrality of serving no one, it is subtle, and that is how the serpent of darkness works, subtly. Almost going unnoticed but, look a little closer, dig a little deeper, and there, there he is... him who you serve. Joshua reminds me that I must choose this day whom it will be that I serve. The darkness or the light? The illusion or the truth? The feeling or the reality? for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Joshua 24:15

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Yard Pass: Permission Denied

Do you remember the hall pass you were given in school when you needed to use the restroom or go to your locker? It was meant for a good purpose to see who was given permission to be out of class, if you were caught with out one you were sent to the office where you faced your consequences.

Now many years later in the marriage classroom we have something else that around here is oftened referred to as the "yard pass". Let me explain. The "yard pass" is the ticket to freedom given by the wife to the husband for whatever the reason of freedom might be. It is known around here by the husbands as a kind of permission slip for a field trip, there is no signing on the bottom line but there might as well be. I have been known to take pride in this holding of the "yard pass" over my husband for quite some time now. Holding the "yard pass" has given me POWER over my husband in many instances and it has felt good to possess it, until another power opened my heart to it's deception. No where else have I held any POWER nor should I. Genesis 3:16 reminds me that my desire because of Eve's (and Adam's) disobedience will always be against my husband. We have always laughed at the "yard pass" and taken it lightly but disobedience is never a laughing matter to be taken lightly. Ephesians 5:6. The truth is... God has given me NO POWER over my husband. 1 Corinthians 11:3. Just saying that sometimes makes my flesh cringe, I am to be in subjection to my husband the rightful leader and head of the home, not to be misunderstood as a doormat of course. Submission is simply gentleness in great strength. When I remember God's design for marriage I am liberated and encouraged.

The "yard pass" had it's time in our home with no authority and now my hands hold it no longer as the deception of it's power has been revealed to me and I have choosen to put it down and instead hold the POWER given to me by the cross in my marriage.

Amy, thanks for your example!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Living Intentionally ~ February

My thoughts are on Living Intentionally this morning. We are taking the day off of school to just enjoy life, living, being alive together!

So with these "thoughts" of Living Intentionally what exactly does that mean to me? After much meditation on it this morning here is what I found:

It is a mission, a mission to live with intent, with purpose, with determination, with a thought out plan, not just living like a chicken with my head cut off, pointlessly and aimlessly. But more specifically here is what it means to me: To live, be awake to the experience of the gift of time, time here on earth as I sojourn this ground, in my daily circumstances with the continual view of eternity in front of me, intentionally, with prupose, with determination, with a thought out plan not to check off a list of to dos to make life happier and more fullfilling but ultimately and much more satisfying... to glorify God, the creator of and giver of living.

Let me tell you about my journey so far in my mission of Living Intentionally in 2008, it has been interesting as God has been near me with His gentle guidance. I am really suprised at how He has been working in my life lately...

1. I want to KNOW God, I want Him to be an extreme reality in my life, in my thoughts and deep in my heart. I want His reality to be with me everywhere, I don't just want to continue to walk through each day with an inconsistent and unrealistic and distorted view on God, I want to walk radically in love and in the knowledge of the One who made the universe and breathed life into Adam and me. This will be conceived through a disciplined and consistent time with Him each morning, I am devoting my early mornings to the Lord... completely giving Him my first hour in each new day to dwell with Him in the word, through prayer and in adoration and praise. My first steps will be taken with Him, this is not negotiable...

My mornings have been less than perfect... they have been rough. My alarm often times found me dead to sound and in a very bad mood. I decided that my first alarm just had a bad attitude and so found a new one. In an attempt to lighten the mood when I wake up I brought in a real alarm that I could set to my own cd, Shannon Wexelberg. What a difference! Instead of a drill sergent in my ear at 5:00 the sweet sounds of an angel fill my mind better preparing me for my quiet time with the Lord.

2. To crucify my fleshly desire to be over my husband and to disrepect him when we disagree or clash in thoughts. To grow with him, to daily find ways to encourage him, support him, show him undivided attention and affection, to love him more than myself and give all of my energy to him.

The Lord has been guiding me to commit to a 30 day husband encouragement challenge but I have been resisting. I have found some self control when responding in a disagreement and especially in the training of our children. I have also handed over the Yard Pass, Amy.

3. Oh to be a fun loving mother! I just want to play with them more... and enjoy them where they are. Set up 1 day each week for me to have some alone time with them seperately.

Mission... in progress. I have found myself on the floor in grossed in a game of memory several times and in a game of monster. Dancing has made a comeback around here too :0).

4. Make it a consistent habit of sending cards to family to let them know that we are thinking of them and that we love them even though we live miles away.

Better! Yes, I have been sending little notes to loved ones but I still have a lot of room for improvement.

5. Set up a childrens bible study for our neighborhood kids at our house every week or every 2 weeks.

It is set up and ready to begin next Monday! The Littles and I just have to walk the neighboorhood and pass out our invitations.

6. Surrender to the Spirit's leading in showing hospitality and being in peoples lives through prayer and daily thoughts and actions.

I am amazed at the way the Lord is leading me in this one. I can feel myself fighting hard against him though because it is going to cause me to step way outside my comfort zone. This is a daily leading that I feel... surrender near, where is my white flag?

7. To prayer for God to lead me in earning a little extra income.

I have been in prayer about this and I believe He has anwsered my pleas. I
now just have to make the moves in the direction He has lead me.

8. Find a daily cleaning and exercise routine that will work for me and my family and to drink more water with my coffee.

I have made the routines! Not to follow through. I have been doing some exercises and can feel the pain! I went for a 25 minute walk/run the other day and it felt so good, I LOVE to run! As for drinking more water.... working on it. I just kind of forget but have been doing better.

I pray that the Lord will continue to be near me as I walk on this mission and that He continues to guide, convict and remind me of my intentions. Visit Extravagant Grace for more on Living Intentionally in 2008!!

Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.
Proverbs 16:3

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Leave the Heart in Valentine's Day

Love is an amazing word, an amazing feeling, an amazing act. Search the scriptures and bathe in this expression of the heart. I have been provoked to think upon Valentines Day, a day of love. At one time this day was not an expression of love but rather evil lust, it has since been taken over and transformed into a celebration of love, a remeberence of a saint named Valentine. The Catholic church took this pagan day and turned it to revolve around Christ, they turned our eyes away from the evil, the darkness and set them on the light. They redeemed it for His glory. I truly believe that we can celebrate this day in love for Christ, overcome the evil in this holiday for good, and bring Him the glory with in it. For most the origin of this holiday is irrelevant and unknown, they just enjoy the lust of candy, flowers, cards, poems, little red hearts and anything that will cover up the true identity of LOVE. They don't see it this way of course but that is what it is, it is a boastful, puffing up kind of love that has no real meaning other than "look at me" aren't I wonderful. Now I am not saying this for everyone of course but theis is the truth for many out there including myself at times, i am not excluded I have been found guilty. But here are my thought of Valentines day and the love that follows close behind.

I love the chance or opportunity that Valentines Day seems to give me to fully express my unconditional love living with in me for those dear to me. I feel like VD gives me permission to go all out, the extra mile, to be extravagant and radical with my love. This day has the power to cultivate and draw it out of it's slumber. VD is an exellent reminder of how to live out 1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. If we truly understood the meaning and origin of love then every day would be an outward expression of its identity.

Love is self sacraficing. In order for us to truly love one another we must be willing to hang ourselves... to crucify our flesh, otherwise our attempts to walk in love (Eph. 5:2) will proove to be in vain. Think about Eph. 3:19... how amazing is that? The "love of Christ" it is to deep, to immeasurable, that it surpasses the knowledge of our minds. We can not truly grasp or wrap our fingers around the heart of it, the self sacraficing, steadfast love of Jesus Christ. Can you imagine being controlled by this love, the love of Christ? What would happen to us? Could we possible stay the same? If we were to hand the controls of our heart over to Him we would be living a radically different life of love, completely self sacraficing.

The heart of love is often left behind in all of our attempts on Valentines Day and nothing but selfish gratification is shown disguised as something that looks, smells, and even tastes like love. We buy, we express, we show only because we are told to not because we want to and if we don't then we have failed. This day should not be all that different, when the heart of the matter is concerned, than any other day. Don't you agree?...Okay, just incase you heard this: "I hate Valentines Day, think it is a joke and completely self gratifying and stupid" let me clarify my statement as simply this: "I love Valentines Day but do feel that it has a tendency to draw out a superficial unrealistic expression rather than a true radical selfless expression of the heart, where the heart is no longer the source of motivation but the gift and praise that takes it place."

Thank LaughaDaisy for my Valentines Day ramblings today and for her generosity to give away a blog design by Summer at Designs by Summer!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Weekly Cleaning Schedules

Superman and T-Rex's Weekly Cleaning Schedule:

Room Focus: Children’s Room and Office Day: trash duty, straightening and wall wiping
Laundry: Help fold and put away their laundry and towells
15 minute Project: write letter, color a picture or draw a picture to friend
Room Focus: Bathroom and Hall Closet: trash duty
Laundry: none
15 minute Project: color picture for FMW
Room Focus: Master Bedroom: trash duty
Laundry: none
15 Minute Project: make something for FMW
Room Focus: Kitchen: trash duty, wall swiping and toy collecting from under appliances
Laundry: none
15 Minute Project: write a get well, thinking of you or praying for you card to someone
Room Focus: Living Room and Play Room: organize 3 boxes of toys each and straighten desks
Laundry: fold and put away
15 Minute Project: Simple craft for FMW
Room Focus: Outside and Cars: clean up toys in yard
Laundry: none
15 Minute Project: Package up FMW art and address envelope with stamp

**Laundry to be started early and done early.
***family member of the week

Momma’s Weekly Cleaning Schedule:

Room Focus: Children’s Room and Office Day
Laundry: Superman and T-Rex's along with Towells
15 minute Project
Room Focus: Bathroom and Hall Closet
Laundry: Butterfly and Expresso
15 minute Project
Room Focus: Master Bedroom
Laundry: Expresso and Momma
15 Minute Project
Room Focus: Kitchen
Laundry: Butterfly and Momma
15 Minute Project
Room Focus: Living Room and Play Room
Laundry: Superman, T-Rex and Towells
15 Minute Project
Room Focus: Outside and Cars
Laundry: Butterfly and Expresso
15 Minute Project

**Laundry to be started early and done early.

I just made and printed these cleaning schedules out to put in my much neglected homemanagement binder and I thought I would share them, I love seeing how others manage their home, enjoy! I left my projects empty so I could pick what was most demanding of my attention at that time.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27

Memory Verse with thoughts

Romans 11:34-36

"For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?" "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?" For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

I read through Romans yesterday and it was such an amazing journey for me. I think it was the first time that I have read through a book so quickly, sad but true. I found it to be very benificial. Instead of just taking bits and pieces of the letter and applying it to my life I read it as it was, in complete context, a letter to the Roman church from Paul. The concern and love that Paul poured into this letter just soaked through the words. The letter still very much applied to me but I was able for once to see the whole picture... from beginning to the end. His concern was for Gentiles and Jew alike to understand God's plan of salvation, that righteousness comes from God through Jesus Christ, not by works but by grace.

Our memory verse for this week makes me stand in awe of our Mighty God, overflow with gratitude for His gift and brings me to praise! To Him be the glory forever! Amen.

Visit Sarah today for more encouragement in memorizing His word.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What's in your cup?

"My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." Matthew 26:39

What has the Lord filled your cup with today or this year? Are you struggling to embrace it and let go of your own preconceived ideas of how things were suppose to go according to the powerful you? Let me share this about myself: I hate and struggle against change. When I realize that all of my easy, delightful well thought out perfect plans have been divinely changed I go into deep battles with in to stay composed and obedient to my faith. What I fail to remember in these moments of inconvenient change is that His will is far larger and profoundly more important than my petty self absorbed will.

We are given the opportunity to embrace His will for our life, our day our every moment. His perfect will is being played out in every detail of our life, don't underestimate the little things in life to be insignificant in His overall will for our life. I know that we all have our own cups that we pray God would take away from us or change but maybe it is time to simply or at least get ready to embrace and find the blessings in it and focus on the glory that can be brought forth from it to Him.

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Sick/Work Day

It is a rather blustery day outside and inside today. I had a lot of ambishous plans for this Monday, ready to conquer the math drills, spelling tests, reading alouds, training, and nurturing but today's plans have been detoured. Last night Superman and T-Rex struggled for their rest between the continual cough attacks. I tried to drown them out but couldn't and ended up trying sleep with one little to help soothe him back to sleep. This morning I found one of them to be a real sickling. I have taken him under my wing encouraging wellness and comfort. Right now he is bunked in his bed with books, magazines and his Pirates of the Carribean cd player. I know he doesn't feel good when he forfeits all rights to play and when I see his painful red rimmed eyes.

So, today I will be nursing my little sickling back to good health and taking a work day for myself while I tackle the play demands of a child left behind and a baby in desperate need of all my attention!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

And the Winner is....

Katie from By His Good Grace!!

Congratulations my friend, email me with your address and I will send these out to you asap so that you can begin enjoying them. :0)