Sunday, June 29, 2008


Lord, I am no longer my own, but Yours. Put me to what You will, rank me with whom You will. Let be employed by You or laid aside for You, exalted for You or brought low by You. Let me have all things, let me have nothing, I freely and heartily yield all things to Your pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, You are mine and I am Yours. So be it. Amen.

John Wesley

JOYfully in Him,
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Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Musical Thought

I still remember the first time I began listening to christian music, I was in my car and decided to check out the christian radio station and I have to say that I wasn't all that impressed by what I heard. Not sure why, probably because I wasn't sure what to expect and I may have expected to much. Music has always played a huge part in my life reflecting my emotions and stirring them with in me and it wasn't and hasn't always been a good thing. There was music I listened to when anger was stirred up with in me and the music only made it grow deeper. I have learned since then to not feed my anger in those moments with music but to counter act it with a message to redirect my emotions.

Last night we had a chance to experience some music live from a few bands we enjoy at Celebrate Freedom in Frisco Texas, we had an awesome time. It was a free event that we thought we would take advantage of but of course as with all things... NOTHING is free! It was free to get in but not free to park, drink water, eat and play on the GIANT bounce houses and slides that you can see from the road. In all we spent close to 100 to enjoy our freedom, :0). It was a blast and well worth it to see the bands and talk to one of them and to see our littles have a blast with all of the activities.

I was personally siked about listening to Tenth Avenue North who I just recently have become familiar with, they are very encouraging. After we listened to them we ran into the autograph table and asked them if they were going to be there and sure enough in 10 minutes, so we waited. It was very cool when they arrived. Now I have to kind of remind myself that these guys are just normal people who God has placed in the industry of music to spread the gospel and encourage His flock. Rick and I were able to snatch a moment or two with Mike the lead singer and Scott the bass guitarist. They were so laid back and very personable. At the end that humored us by allowing us to grab a memory shot of our meeting.

Later in the evening we were able to listen to Shane and Shane and The David Crowder Band which was such a blessing. I loved being in the presence of the Lord worshiping Him with my family and with so many other beleivers and non believers, I prayed that God would send His Spirit on those who didn't know Him last night.

I love music and around here the radio is usually on. I find it encouraging and very motivating as I go about my calling as a homekeeper and mother.

The boys waiting anxiously in line.
Jason the drummer.

Mike the lead singer.

Jeff the electric guitarist.

The family with Tenth Avenue North.

The fun "monster slide" that they did at least 10 times in a row!!
Superman on his first rock climbing experience.

Shane and...


Butterfly enjoying a little bounce house with a friend that she later poked in the eye upsetting her mother, I apologized 4 time.

The coolest and biggest slide ever!! Or so they said :0)

The amazing David Crowder Band.

Tenth Avenue North gave a little message before their Love is Here song that I found very encouraging and relative in the moment as we were extremely dehydrated and so thirsty! It made me think about how we become so spiritually thirsty when we deny it the Living Water.

JOYfully in Him,
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Friday, June 27, 2008

The Quieter Disciplines of the Christian Life

I have been convicted through a bible study I am doing with the youth girls at our church. I told them that even though the title of the book we are going through is A Young Woman after God's Heart it doesn't mean that I am exempt from the Holy Spirit's piercing sword, that I would be in this study along side them as their "leader". Last week we looked at Martha and Mary and how Mary had a heart that was devoted, set apart for God and it is assumed that she might enjoy the quieter disciplines of the Christian life and then this week was A Heart that Love's God's Word where we went into these quiet disciplines. I admit that I am not in a place in my life where I have a disciplined Christian life as to having a devoted time each day to be hidden away from the distractions of the world to be with God, sad but true. I have always been one to understand the importance of being alone with God every day but lately I have found sleep to be more entertaining or been fooled into this idea. My heart's desire is to find a place to retreat to each morning just to be in His presence, in His word and in prayer. I know what I must do and it is as simple as just doing it throwing out all of the excuses that I find under my pillow each morning! This morning I opened and closed my eyes to the sound of my alarm 4 times... yes 4 times I reset my alarm from 5:15 to 7:00!! Disgraceful. My biggest sacrafice at this time is the pleasure of sleep and the pain of sleep you see because I do not like to go to bed early (anything earlier than 10:30) and getting up any earlier than 8:00 right now. I use to be so disciplined that I got up each morning between 4:30 and 5:00 for my quiet time with the Lord, where did my discipline go I wonder. I am working on getting it back and am saying with Joshua each day... Choose this day whom you will serve... in my case God or sleep?

Have a wonderful day and reflect on these verses:

Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the Lord. (Genesis 19:27)

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice, in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. (Psalm 5:3)

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)

JOYfully in Him,
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Thursday, June 26, 2008

To Know Him

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith-that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the ressurection from the dead.

Philippians 3:8-11
My husband spoke to the youth last night about believing with the heart. Thoughts filled my mind and heart of what exactly that means and what it has meant for so many in the past in the present. I realized that to believe with the heart is for Christ to become such a reality in your life that He consumes your every thought and directs your every step, decision and word with out compromise and with out any limitations. When your heart believes in Christ, the gospel, it overflows and spills out thorugh our hands, our feet, our eyes, our tongue and we are incapable of living in other way. My thought is why am I not so consumed to the point that I am incapable of living such a radical life for Christ? Some of my family would say I am but when I compare my faith with others such as Paul and others who have litterally died for Christ or suffered persecution I find that I lack severely in my persevering as a saint just in the simple life as a mother, wife and homekeeper. I realize that my calling has a lot of sacrafices and that my faith my believing from the heart is being used tremendously or can be used tremendously in the lives of my children. One of the questions that my husband asked last night was what is your number one concern right now, I said my children. They are, my concern for them is that they will have a faith so strong that Christ is so real to them that it transforms their life in all areas and that they have no choice but to serve Him, love Him with all of ther heart, mind, soul and strength.

This morning while I was taking a bath I reflected on all of these truths and it occured to me as I prayed that I can not produce such belief, belief that is willing to sacrafice my time, my energy, my every word and action so radically as to exhaust me or lead me directly to death, only God could give this faith to me. I look out my window at the earth and all it's glory and ask myself: Why am I here walking day to day on this green canvas of life? Why am I given breath each morning? Able to speak? What are these hands for? These feet? My thoughts... why do they exist?

Listen to a song that has been keeping my thoughts company for the past few day.

Jars of Clay with scenes from the Passion...

JOYfully in Him,
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Monday, June 16, 2008

A Creepy Crawly Splash Party!

Saturday afternoon T-Rex had his 4th Birthday Party. It was an All Things Creepy and Crawly party. We envited all of our friends and set up 2 big kid pools, 3 baby pools, 1 slip and slide and a sand table in the backyard for a splashin good time. We ate hotdogs and chips for dinner and just enjoyed watching our little man have an awesome time playing with all his friends in the water and in the sand. I made a Bug Mountain cake that was super simply and super fun for the kids! He loved it and had to add a few more creepy crawlers to it for me. Before the party he had the whole place to himself and he just enjoyed all the pools, slide and sand before they were all invaded, I so enjoyed watching him :0). Here are some pics from his party (they appear backwards from the end of the party to the beginning because blogger doesn't want to allow me to drag them to any other place):

We went to the front yard for the finale: a Lightning McQueen pinata

Here is the birthday boy surrounded by his friends singing the birthday song to him!

The birthday boy with his friend from down the street playing in the sand.

Daddy showing them all "how it's done"

Before the party started just enjoying it all to himself.

Him racing down to the slip in slide while I catch a pic of the baby area.

Adding a crucial bug to his Bug Mountain cake :0)

The finished product: the 4th Birthday Cake for my T-Rex, All Things Creepy and Crawly lover.

It was a lot of work, but it was ALL worth it and I would do it all again just to see the joy on his face. God has blessed me with a beautiful child that I have been given the amazing privilege of being his mother, thank you Lord. Tomorrow is his actual birthday and it, if I have my way, will be special! I have plans for the entire day, full of fun activities for us to do to honor our birthday boy.

JOYfully in Him,

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Stop... and...

"Be still and know that I am God."
Psalm 46:10

JOYfully in Him,
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Love is Here

I love this song by Tenth Avenue North, I always turn it up when it comes on the radio and I like the video of how they are on top of this building singing hope down to the people below who are forced to lift their eyes up and to be distracted from their rush of life, their consuming thoughts, their dispair, their hopelessness, their selves for a moment :

JOYfully in Him,
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Sunday, June 8, 2008

How do you schedule?

I have not participated in the Heart of the Matter meme in a while. I really like them because they challenge me to think about our homeschool and encourage me to make improvements and enjoy this homeschool journey. Here is Friday's meme...

We want to know how you schedule your lessons and your day to day activities. How do you decide what to teach each day. Are you a morning or afternoon schooler, or does school in your house span the entire day? Please share your methods.

We started out this 2007/2008 year fairly structured with a good schedule and we followed it better than I had expected. I am not by nature a very organized person nor am I one to "follow" any real daily schedules though I thouroughly enjoy the idea of them and especially making them. As of right now we do not have any laid out daily schedules and where a part of me likes this (the lazy part of me :0) there is that other part of me that knows I really need to lay some sort of daily plans down. Last year I planed everything out and left our the dates that we knew we would be out of town but being in the ministry it has been difficult to stay in line with our schedule and I know that this is how it goes and that it is one of the huge benifits of homeschooling, tweaking and rearranging. I planned out 42 weeks in all studies minus all of the weeks off, which were rather sporatic at times. This year is going to be different. We are not going to be taking as many weeks of family/holiday mini vacations because of our current position with our church. So instead we will do a 3 weeks structured and more formal and 1 week relaxed, hands on, field trip learning to make the last 3 weeks really come to life in their little minds and my own :0).

Considering how I decide what to teach each day I am always sure to include math, history and reading in our daily schedule. Science always, whether planned or not, gets it's time in our day so I don't worry about it plus we love science so there is no need to. We also enjoy spelling and copywork is not something that we really ever fret over so it is usually simply done. Grammar is something I started this year but ended up dropping it half way through but will begin again this coming year but again it is never a struggle. I tell you, my Superman enjoys all subjects to a certain degree, the only thing that he struggles with is the not being able to spend the time he is wasting on these subjects playing with his toys and outside.

We have typically been morning schoolers but we are going to transition to an all day schoolers with less formal education and more living education aka Charlotte Mason philosophy. We are currently in the begining of our summer and since we were not able to finish some of our studies we are going to continue casually with them until August. HERE is our year at a glance for 2007/2008 and one of our daily schedules HERE, these were our in the year schedules and here is our little Summer Schedule (not charted out) that we will begin to loosely follow this Monday:

6:00 (I am going to work down to 6:00 by 15 minute increments, starting with 7:00am) This is my block of Morning Quiet Time where I will first get dressed, wash face and apply make up and then start coffee but begin with water as I spend some time in prayer and in the word.
6:45 Turn on the radio and grab a cup of coffee, check email, bank account, bills and other things and if time allows enjoy a few pages of a current book and then begin a quick straighten up along with laundry.
7:30 While laundry is going begin breakfast for soon to be awaking family.
8:00 Instruct/train boys to make bed, get dressed and find themselves ready to serve and eat. then they will take turns washing dishes and clearing table every other day with some assistance.
9:00 Finish up laundry and then have a little family Devotional
9:15 Outside nature walk/study time.
10:00 Play a math game Outside if not to hot or windy other wise at the table.
10:30 Spelling time with words taken from current reading books and other while T-Rex has a 15 minute sit still training time (and this will vary according to his current struggles)
12:00 Lunch, clean up and discussion on our memory verse
1:00 Music time and family play time!!
2:00 Rest hour... while Butterfly and T-Rex rest/nap Superman and I will quietly read, create and just enjoy some alone time. :0)
3:00 Superman will enjoy some time to do puzzles and various other kinds of quiet play(Tuesday and Thursday 45 minutes of video game time) while I learn Latin from Memoria Press and do other needed activities.
4:00 Book read aloud time with small snack
4:15 Everyone is up and given a special 30 minute video time while I start dinner
4:45 A special clean up time to prepare for Daddy to arrive home from studying, this includes faces, hands and feet cleaned up along with a nice and tidy house with joyful attitudes.
5:00 Family dinner and table prepping time (all littles will be envolved) while daddy is given 30 minutes to just enjoy being home without any expectations!
5:30 Dinner and Discussion and then family clean up.
6:15 Desert and History with Daddy! and then family free time!
7:30 Bath, pjs, clean up and family worship.
8:00 Bedtime for all littles!! Special clean up time for Momma.
9:00 Creative and Planning Time for me! Hopefully I will make good use of this time to make special fun things along with important things and plan out things for the next day or week!
10:00 Night time routine and then some scripture reading and prayer with Expresso before I call it lights out!

I am excited to get started with our new homeschool schedule. I pray it fits our little family but of course there will be a lot of exceptions as life comes in and rearranges our pretty blocks of time :0).

Thursday, June 5, 2008


"Go forth today, by the help of God's Spirit, vowing and declaring that in life----come poverty, come wealth, in death---come pain or come what may, you are and ever must be the Lord's. For this is written on your heart, 'We love Him because He first loved us.'"
Charles Spurgeon

Each day in our personal lives we face many different obstacles that have the tendancy to cloud our Christ centered vision. For me it is mostly the small things that build upon eachother that tend to be my darkest clouds provoking my unfaithfulness, barricadeing my love for Him and suffocating the breath of His glory from my heart and lips. The Lord has been continually good to me and my family, He has never given us anything that we couldn't handle and trusting in His promise He never will. i will say that some things in our life have been seemingly unbearable but He has stayed close by us all the way. I fear for my faith in a life altering circumstance. I have faced many life altering circumstances such as the death of my mother when I was 11, my adoption when I was 12, my first borns conception and birth along with my marriage and so many others, even before Christ in my life He has always been with me, otherwise I do not know how I could have made it through some of my inner struggles. Now, as I am aware of His presence in my life and as I give Him recognition for my paths I wonder and I guess in a deeper way... fear where my actual faith is knowing that we come face to face with it in the deepest pains that He ordains into our lives. I say and breath that He is my Lord and that I would die for Him but I wonder what the reality of this is. I know that I will never know until I stand before it in battle with my faith. When thinking about where my faith is right now I find myself unsure. I don't think that my faith is as strong as it was in the begining of this ministry journey 2 years ago.

I understand and have accepted that God is in complete control of my life, which means of everything that comes into my life whether... poverty, illness and even death. Everything that has happened in my life, I trust that God has meant it for good. Everything I have experienced has brought about a deeper faith in my own life causing me to lean on Him ever more. When thinking of the future I pray that He will give me the grace and faith to endure what is coming for I can not see His plan folded out but must trust in His unseen will.

I say all of this for a reason that I will reveal later, I would ask that you would please say a special prayer for me and my family today for I am feeling a lot of pressure from a certain uncertaintity that is amongst us.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bible Reading

When I read my bible, I have always paid close attention to the subtitiles of each section along with the way the chapters are seperated, lately though it has been called to my attention that these can be very hindering to the fullness of scripture. Really? Really! I tried it, I read right past the subs and the chapter numbers ignoring their presence completely and it made a huge difference for me. I didn't disconnect the passage because of the chapter # and I didn't assume what the message was from the subtitle, I was able to allow the word speak directly and unfluentially to me. The reality of each book is that it is a letter, imagine how you would read a letter written to you and how it would be formatted, that is how I think the bible should be read. Man has come in and seperated each book in the way he imagines it should be and has added his little titles to help us commoners navigate the text, but for me I think that these are not advancements but actually quite possibly hinderances in understanding the complete context of the written word. I guess I don't fully understand why these are needed. I would love to see a bible in my favorite version (ESV) written in the format of a letter.

I am not saying that they are not in some ways of use maybe for some advancements or helpers with making the process of reading the written word a little lighter, easier. I do think that there is a point when we should read it how it was actually written without all of the preservatives and additives! Look at the difference in reading this text:

Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be
to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do
evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing
good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people
who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as
servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the
Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect,
not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious
thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For
what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if
when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the
sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for
you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He
committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was
reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but
continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our
sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to
righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like
sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some
do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their
wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your
adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or
the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart
with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight
is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn
themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham,
calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear
anything that is frightening.

This text in 1 Peter 2:13-3:6 is usually seperated and for years I never saw the connected between these 2 chapters because in my mind the Chapter seperation disconnected them. Now when i read it as connected I can see that I am called to be submissive to my husband as Christ was submissive, that is my example. Maybe you connected these texts but I didn't and I just wonder how many others I have missed in my reading of the word.

It was just a thought.

JOYfully in Him,
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