Friday, May 30, 2008

Why I have been absent:

*Sign made by Superman, don't miss the "Cross Monster" to the left :0).

JOYfully in Him,
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008


There are a mixture of emotions floating around here this morning as we pack and rush off to Louisiana. Yesterday afternoon while discussing some youth ideas for our internship at our church Expresso recieved a call, a call that would change our plans and our hearts, his Ma Maw, 93 years of age passed away early that morning. It was a strange moment... a moment of emotional confusion, JOY and sadness intermingling. She was a woman of the faith, an inspiration in her convictions and we know that she is finally home and we also know that she was ready to go home. She was confined to her home and not able to do much for herself.

This morning we prepare our car and suitcases for the trip and our minds and our hearts for the rush of emotions that will swarm us as we pull into to her driveway and enter her home. Pray for us if you don't mind, for the presence of a strong beautiful women of the Lord is now absent from us... we will miss her deeply, she has made a lasting impression on our hearts and our lives but we are overflowing with joy that she is at peace with her Father.

Kai and BeBe in her pretty pink kitchen where many memories were made with bacon and eggs.
Amaris and Bebe enjoying a precious moment together on her chair.

Eli and Bebe an inseperable pair. I am so glad that he will always have memories of her to carry with him.

JOYfully in Him,
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sally Clarkson on Self Government

"The idea behind self-government is that all of us have a power and authority over life that comes from within that can help us to master problems, obstacles, and can use our self-will to achieve great things. It is not about gutting out life in the flesh without the power of God, but it is the idea that we have a moral character that can be strengthened and under girded by our will and by practice. He who has cultivated this kind of strong character is useful and productive in almost all areas of life. It is what helps a believer to exercise faith and courage and perseverance in the midst of trials. It is what helps a pianist to practice long hours, an athlete to exercise rigorously in order to become a champion, a missionary to master a language and remain faithful in a foreign country until there is a multiplying ministry; a wife to bear up with grace when married to an immature husband; a mother who continues over and over to practice patience with a sick or rebellious child–governing life by mature, faith-based choices, not by feelings."

I found her complete thoughts very encouraging and self convicting. Enjoy some time as you visit I take Joy this afternoon as I always do, swimming in her thoughts.

JOYfully in Him,
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Monday, May 19, 2008

Continue to BeLieVe!

Visit Becky and Ben today, the parents of sweet baby Ethan. I can not fathom their loss, their pain. I am comforted that they have a FAITH that can not be shaken, be encouraged... and let us continue to pray and BeLieVe with these 2 amazing people in this fight against cancer.

JOYfully in Him,
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Friday, May 16, 2008

Love Joy

Love: Is it a feeling or just a choice? or ist it more than that even?

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:2-8

I hear the common definition of love from people all the time that love is not a feeling it is a choice. Where I agree with that to a certain degree I don't agree that Love in and of itself is a choice. I would say it is more of an effect of a choice. I have noticed that there is another emotion that goes hand in hand with love. Something that you have first before you can truly love something or someone. Sometimes it comes naturally and sometimes you must make the decision to. I am talking about finding joy. Think about the things you "love" and what feeling are you overwhelmed with? For me a feeling of enjoyment a delight in that person, object, food or circumstance. When we enjoy, we love. I enjoy double creamy chocolate cake drizzled in chocolate syrup with whipped cream all around it and I in turn say "I Love it!". The same with my husband, when I am enjoying his presence I love him but when I choose not to enjoy his presence I don't feel the love and this goes for everyone that surrounds me. The same goes for my kiddos, my mil, my grandma, and my friends. Maybe this is why it feels like love comes and goes, but it does not come and go it is your joy that does that is, if you let it. Joy, in some cases, is a choice. You can hold on tight to your joy or you can have a half opened grip on it letting it slip in and out ever so often. Sometimes though we don't have to hold on so tight because it comes naturally and uncontrollably. Like chocolate for me. I didn't choose to like it I just do. I can't remember ever not liking it. But there are somethings and some people that you must decide find joy in so you can love them. We all have people in our lives that we enjoy being around without any effort on our part but then we all have those other people that drain us because we have to search and try to find enjoyment in them. And even though it is hard it is not impossible. For nothing is impossible with who? Christ!!!

"Happiness depends on happenings; joy depends on Christ." Anonymous

Joy depends on Christ! It might be hard but if you have Christ it will be easier. There will be times when it feels down right impossible but that is a lie don't fall for it for it is not and never will be with Christ. You can have it, joy, in the times and in people that you don't naturally love because of Christ. Does Christ dwell in you? Then, if he does, you will beable to find joy in any situation.

Joy and Love are one. Do you love the Lord? Can you say I have no joy in Him but I love Him all the same. No, if you say you love the Lord then you must have joy in Him. You can not have one without the other. In our relationship with God I do not think we choose to find joy in Him I think it is an overwhelming feeling that is given by His overpowering majesty and glory. Let me point something out though that was just revealed to me by His word. His love comes first to us so that we might have joy.

Listen to this and be filled with Joy.

Psalm 90:14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Did you hear that!? God so amazingly bestows on us his power of love which overflows in us and our soul is filled with joy. We have joy in the Lord because he first loved us. He first loved us, He first found joy in us. If you don't feel that joy right now read this with a broken heart ready and willing to let joy seep in and consume you.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3:16-17

Jesus Christ, perished so that you and me could have eternal life. Did you get that, eternal life, not condemnation but salvation through Him! Praise be to our God and Father. Today and everyday, let us turn our eyes to the cross, to the sacrafice, when we feel no joy and be filled, consumed , overpowered by the joy that comes from God's love for us. And remember those people that are hard to find joy in? Remind yourself of God's love, and the joy you have in Christ and share that glory with them. Reveal to them Christ that dwells in you.

So is love a feeling or a choice. I would say it is a direct feeling from a conciouse decision to find joy. Love is Joys shadow, it follows it everywhere. When you find joy you will see it's shadow of love right behind it. Find it.

Be blessed and filled.

JOYfully in Him,

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

~Thankful Thursday: JOY~

Rejoice always, pray with out ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I am grateful that we are given JOY in Christ! Praise the Lord for His continual blessing of JOY even though He must remind me often of it's presence. I have found that it is a daily decision that I need to recognize and make and so today:

~I Choose JOY~

"A joyful heart makes a cheerful face."
(Proverbs 15:13)

We are not troubled by the things that happen to us, but by our opinion of the things that happen to us.

JOYfully in Him,
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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Riding the Waves

Daily I wake up with a goal that I desire to accomplish. Lately it has been the same goal, and maybe you can relate, to control my tone and my tendancy to errupt when circumstances become overwhelming. More simply put controlling my temper and being more quiet and loving with my children. Sometimes I feel like my children see me as more of a drill sergent than their loving mother. I have yet to accomplish or master this goal of suppressing the driller that lives within.

I found this to be inspiring:

"I endeavor to quietly......and calmly.....and determinedly.......endure life's challenges as they roll in and out with the regularity of the oceans's surf

You see my goal my prayer is always that I will not give in, give up, or quit. Instead of becoming incapacitated by emotions, I want to be that soldier who is beautiful in God's eyes....." (Elizabeth George in her book Beautiful in God's eyes.)

I read this the other night and how perfectly it described my desire in my goal for each day! Daily there are challenges or waves rolling in and out and I want to quietly, calmly, and determinedly paddle on my board of endurance through those to catch the big wave way out there and ride it in. Today, as I go about my routine of cooking, cleaning, disciplining, homeschooling, and talking I am going to reflect on this:

*speak less often (Proverbs 10:19)
*speak only after I have thought about what I am going to say ( Proverbs 15:28)
*speak only what is sweet and pleasant(Proverbs 16:21;24)
*speak only what is wise and kind (Proverbs 31:26)
(Elizabeth George/Beautiful in God's eyes)

There are also many waves that roll with in me that I allow to crash over me tumbling me into destructive reactions and today I just want to catch them and ride them in for His glory as He allows me to gently teach, train and admonish my children and my husband.

*Pulled out of my archives from 2006 on my other blog.

JOYfully in Him,
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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Servants Heart

And Mary said,

"Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."

Luke 1:38

JOYfully in Him,
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Saturday, May 10, 2008

It's Quiet

It's to quiet. Last night was my first night spent away from my baby Butterfly. My little home is empty. I enjoyed sleeping in for the first time in my own bed after almost 14 months especially after the terrifying dream I had. I am going to be heading off here is just a minute to attend a homeschool bookfair that I have been looking forward to for months. I have to admit, I am a little lonely this morning, like I said: It's just to quiet here this morning and I miss all the noise.

But, don't worry... I will enjoy some of the quietness here and there. :0) Have a great day and a blessed Mother's Day weekend if I don't talk to you tomorrow!

JOYfully in Him,
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Thursday, May 8, 2008

~Thankful Thursday~ Never and New

Rejoice always, pray with out ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."
Lamentations 3:22-24

I have been given another blessed day to serve Him with my hands, my mind, my heart in love and I am deeply grateful in it for His abundant NEVER ENDING, NEW EVERY MORNING steadfast love and mercies. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness to His unfaithful servant who so often gets lost in her own little world. I stood outside my front door this morning and with a heavy heart and as I sighed it was as if the cool breeze swiftly took all of my burdens away and filled my soul with Him. I pray that you will be emptied of your burdens, your hearts sighs and be filled with His mercies.

JOYfully in Him,

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Before I open my mouth...

In the middle of my emotions I don't always react well in high elevated situations. Lately I have been struggling with a certain amount of irritability and anger when handling things. Today before I open my mouth I vow to....

pause... in the moment

examine... self

assess.... the situation

respond... with grace

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her togue.
Proverbs 31:26

Oh Lord, may every word I speak today be as if it were my last.

JOYfully in Him,
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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Celebrating Life

I am more convinced now than ever that even in the midst of the mundane, burdensome, and oftentimes frustrating tasks of life allotted to me as a other, God wants me to find his joy. He wants every single day of my life to be a celebration of his blessings, whether they are large or small. He wants me to celebrate life...the life he has given to me.

~Seasons of a Mothers Heart, Sally Clarkson

Chapter 1 in Sally Clarksons book speaks so personally to my heart as a mother. She speaks about the reality of celebrating life in the midst of our daily realities. It is so encouraging because she has been there and she speaks from experience. She talks about it being a decision something I realized awhile back. Everyday I must actively choose joy, everyday should be a journy of joy. I am ready with my sword and my sheild to fight ruthlessly through the struggles of my calling to choose JOY!

JOYfully in Him,
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Monday, May 5, 2008

"The CRAZY Way We Met"

Okay, so we were both in college, our first year and upon entering we both joined a fraternity and sorority. Not the best idea, I realize now, it is better to go into college and know no one except your books, your room and the library. I had noticed this guy in a certain fraternity around campus, he drove a 66 or 64, I can never remember, yellow mustang. I didn't know anything about him other than my occasional sightings of him. I still remember the first time we both made eye contact. It was like one of those movie scenes where the the slow motion begins... he grabbed a glass from the green crate by the soda machines and glanced up for a moment catching my gaze. Time stood still as our eyes met and then the moment passed into eternity. So anyway, the CRAZY way we met, well my sorority was having an auction where 3 girls would fill up a basket and display it among a massive group of males. (Yes I realize how repulsive this all is but stay with me) All of the baskets were anonymous so the bidders didn't know who were the owners of them, they just bid on the contents. So I was a little bit of a stalker because I sat in the back of the room and watched him and his group of friends bid and hoped that out of some miracle they would bid on ours. Providentially they bid and won ours, I was so excited and terrified at the same time. I have only seen and exchanged glances with him and now I was going to have to exchange words. Here is what he had to say about the first time he met me..."I thought you were a snob." :0) Thats me alright. He later realized that I was just extremely self centered, I mean shy. So the winner of the baskets were required to have a "date" with whatever was in the baskets. Our basket was a movie night and so we had a movie night.... and well from there the rest really is history. We were completely inseperable after we actually started officially dating.

I love telling the story of "the crazy way we met" because for me I can see the hand of God everywhere with in the begining of our existence as a couple. Even though neither of us knew God during our dating experience or in the begining of our marriage we both know that God was bringing about His purposes through it all.

It is Marriage Monday so wont you join us and tell the story of "the crazy way YOU met".

JOYfully in Him,
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Sunday, May 4, 2008

New Clothes and a Quick Reminder

I am completely overJOYed with my new clothes! What an amazing blessing that Jo-Lyn from DCR Designs picked me for her bloggy-giveaway hosted by Rocks in my Dryer last month. Didn't she do an AMAZING job dressing me, my thoughts eternal dwelling place? I really feel that our clothes or our blog designs have the power to express us, the writer, giving the lone words on the page more personality and giving the reader a much better understanding of who the writer is, you/me. ( I am not saying you have to have fancy clothes on to express yourself, I am able to see a little piece of each of my friends through their beautiful dwelling place) I don't know, maybe it is superficial but I think of it as our daily clothes or our home decorations, they all say something about us. I really wanted my personal home here, where I share the many depths of my heart with you to be more expressive of me like that of my written journals, think about it we do not pick up journals that we are not attracted to or express us a little. Hey, you "hear" my heart weap and leap and you deserve to "see" a part of me that is somewhat left out through my daily wardrobe here at Embracing the Journey.


Also, as a side note tomorrow is Marriage Monday! I encourage you to participate and share with your friends "The Crazy Way We Met."

JOYfully in Him,
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*Cool sig huh? it actually makes my little name look elegantly pretty :0).

A Sunday Quote

Experience has taught me that the Shepherd is far more willing to show His sheep the path than the sheep are to follow. He is endlessly merciful, patient, tender, and loving. If we, His stupid and wayward sheep, really want to be led, we will without fail be led. Of that I am sure.

Elisabeth Elliot

Saturday, May 3, 2008

I am Glad I am a Mom!

I am glad I am a mom, repeat. I am glad I am a mom, again. I am glad I am a mom, good. Okay so after pondering this statement and repeating it several times praying that it would soak in and consume my heart I fear it just wandered back out of hostile territory. Let's talk. I have 3 beautiful busy slightly wild "ego ecentric maniacs" in the words of Marq my preacher from the pulpit one Sunday morning. Now if you know me then you will realize simply that an "ego ecentric maniacial" mother will not mesh well with 3 "ego ecentric maniacial" children. I have those die to self motherhood days when I am able to throw myself in front of a speeding truck, figuratively speaking of course to completely give all of myself to them and then there are those other days, the days that I can't get "me" off my back so that I can be free to play and be glad to be a mom. I am also so, to much intune with the extreme responsibility of being a mother of His children that it makes me a little nauseous sometimes. Sometimes I wonder and ask God, what were you thinking giving me these amazing little creatures to raise up in Your righteousness Oh, Lord, me! Okay, so this is not everyday but there are the moments, let me explain a little more...

I grew up with a mother that ignored and avoided her daughter. I was never taught nor exposed to an example of a self sacraficing loving mother and then God kind of placed motherhood in my lap, litterally when I was 19. I still remember that little creature and those moments of strangely extreme joy even though I didn't have a CLUE in the world as to what I was doing, thank the Lord for His grace. Now after 7 almost 8 years I am the mother of 3 and still have no CLUE as to what I am doing ;0). This motherhood thing has never come naturally to me, as some would have us believe it is natural to all of us women. Motherhood came into a struggling mind and heart with me and I find it hard to embrace the I am glad to be a mother because of all the personal struggles that I fight on the inside everyday. When I push past all of my sinfulness and hangups I truly can feel the joy of being a mom and they really are more often than I make them out to be. I am a lot harder on myself than I should be, it only brings me down and I realize that it is a deception tool used by satan to sufficate the joy out of this amazing experience of motherhood that God has given me. And it is amazing! and I do love it and I am GLAD to be the mother of 3, 3 absolutely astonishing children.

I have a lot of moments of suffication but not as much as he would like for me to believe and when I loosen his grip from my life and when I remember who I am in Christ, the grace that He continually pours on me and that I am not held captive to any of the inner battles that I fight as a mother my heart overflows with JOY saying "I am glad to be a Mom!"

Friday, May 2, 2008

My Lonely Heart...

Love reckons hours for months, and days for years; And every little absence is an age.
--John Dryden

Days of absence, sad and dreary, Clothed in sorrow's dark array,
Days of absence, I am weary; She (He) I love is far away.
--Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Our hours in love have wings; in absence, crutches.
--Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

I feel like this seperation will never end, there is not gleam of light at the end of each day, just me and my bed and a few "friends" to drown out the absence of my beloved. I am relying on prayer and His presence to get me through this short but long moment in time. I really feel like I am missing something as severe as my right arm, I still have 2 1/2 more days! In all reality a piece of me truly is missing...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

~Thankful Thursday~

At 8:55 this morning my amazing husband left on a jet plane (well I don't know if it was a jet plane but it sounds better than just a regular plane) out to Washington D.C. to attend a Ravi Zacharias conference with one of his closes friends and incidently today was the day I decided to begin a fresh start in the Husband Encouragement Challenge. I considered waiting until he returned but thought about ways I could encourage him from home and considered it a further challenge.

I find it very difficult to be home alone and I haven't been alone this long since 3 years ago when he went on a trip to San Fransisco for a week. It was easier then having only one child and having closer friends near us. Expresso left this morning at 6:25 and when I woke up at 7:41 I prayed hard through my depressed feelings to God that He was going to have to be near me today or I wasn't going to make it. 5 minutes later the electricity went out leaving us with out power for a while but I realized it was a good thing forcing me to do things around the house I might have avoided otherwise and the kids played peacefully, as peacefully as 3 boys can (we have an extra). We faced some other life obstacles but now as I sit on my bed in a quiet house I praise God for many things...

1. That He heard my prayer this morning and 2. gave my husband a safe trip to D.C. as well as a window seat that he wasn't suppose to have and 3. stayed near me all through out my day and just blessed me with a beautiful day.

4. Peace given through out the day 5. joy within the struggles and 6. love in the midst of discipline. 7. Busy boys taking moments through out to pause and excite the imagination. 8. A wonderful husband I know I can trust miles away. 9. Energy to keep up with my house and my children. 10. For a friend visiting for a few days brightening the days for my littles while their daddy is gone. 11. A comfortable bed to retreat to after a long beautiful day.

I didn't start this post as a Thankful Thursday post but it just sort of went into thanksgiving for God is good and blesses His children beyond measure, thanks Iris for the encouragement to reflect on His goodness in our lives.