Wandering in the Desert

Have you ever felt like the Israelites wandering in the desert?  You know what you are supposed to do and where you are supposed to go, but you can’t figure out how to make it work.  Once we realize we can’t do it on our own, and let God do the work He wants to do in our lives, then the wandering stops miraculously and with all glory to God!

There have been some changes in our house this summer, and I knew what God was telling me, but it wasn’t working…so I did my “human back up plan” and wandered around the desert.  Thankfully, and by God’s grace, I didn’t choose one of the back up plan options, and He didn’t let me wander too long before revealing the plan He told me from the start.

I am currently reading a book called “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson.  It is an amazing read.  It teaches us to be confident in our prayers and the answers we are hearing. Do not get me wrong, it does not teach us, and we certainly should not, use God to get what we want.  If we are following Christ, studying His Word and in alignment with Him, He will put His desires in our hearts.  Then we can rest assured knowing that our prayers are what He wants and we are simply praying for His will to be done.  “Thy will be done,’ in every situation, good or bad, hard or easy, God’s will is always the best way.

Yes, it is easier said than done, and no, most of us are not perfect at it.  But thankfully God is!  He is our Rock, our Savior, our unchanging and perfect God!  Praise to Him!

‘Twas the night before Christmas…

And all through the house, not a creature was stirring…except the puking youngest child… *sigh*

And so came crashing down the plans for our yearly Christmas brunch…*sigh*

We had great plans, which we hope to piece together throughout the week once all are strong and healthy again.  🙂  The kids had a skit about The Legend of the Candy Cane, we had brunch planned including such yummy things as quiche, she crab soup, crab cakes monkey bread, meatballs, champagne, desserts and other delectibles.  We had a new fireplace to share the “warmth” of Christmas.  😉  Not to mention gifts galore.

You know what though?… my kids (and myself, as well) were most disappointed about not getting together with the people!  We love being with our extended family!  We have been talking all month about how Christmas isn’t about all the frills and gifts, but solely the rejoicing of Christ’s birth.  The birth of our Savior!  Without this glorious day we would have no hope and no future.  And so, tomorrow, we will focus on that even more with our quiet and subdued day warding off illness.  I will miss seeing my family and serving them brunch and giving them gifts…but that will come soon enough.  Tomorrow we will just huddle together as a family and rejoice our king!  And if the kids are well enough, we will spoil them a bit with all the feast foods that are left to be eaten by someone…  😉  Oh yes and there will be presents of course.

Speaking of glorious, we just had an amazing Christmas Eve service at our church that was truly glorious.  Seriously, I would have paid money to see the worship team…their performance was amazing!  And the hope of Christ was clearly stated throughout the evening.

The hope of Christ gives such peace and joy!  I see it in my kids constantly.  They have such a wonderful perspective on things.  When we go to visit Joshua, it is a place of good memories for them.  The cemetery is just another playground where they are able to visit Joshua’s place, decorate it and throw in a game of tag.

I am going to repeat the quote I posted last time, because it is just meaningful to me.  Life changes, love remains…No matter what life throws at us…from a sick kid to a horrible loss…love remains.  Love is the most important thing we can give and receive.  Love from one another is an amazing thing.  Love from Christ, our King and Savior, trumps everything.

snowflakes and time

Can I just say that the snowflakes on the page are kinda cool on the woods picture?  haha!

So, its been 10 years since we said goodbye to our little guy.  Crazy how the memories are still as fresh as yesterday.  My amazing hubby gave me a card today that said life changes, love stays…so fitting.  So sweet that he still takes extra care of me on this day…probably because he is the only one who truly knows how this day feels.  Many relate, sympathize and empathize and have always been great support, but he was there for all of it.  It is also crazy how you can miss someone so much for so long that was here so briefly.  Just goes to show how special each life is, no matter how short.

On a happier note…I am so blessed to have known my little guy, to hold him, to have his wonderful siblings here safe and healthy, to have my family (immediate and extended), friends, and great anticipation for Christmas to celebrate our Savior’s birth.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas a little early in case time flies too quickly before I get back on here.

10.17.14

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

Acts 9:5-6

I found this today and wanted to include it in my notes about “Prodigal God.”  Paul, a follower of Christ, a servant of the Lord, a man whom many have great respect, was once a persecutor and a murderer of Christians.  Here is the perfect example of a man changing completely for the Lord…completely!  We will meet many Pauls in our lives.  We may know some in their Saul stage, we may know the rest after the conversion  Irregardless, when we feel self righteous or judgmental about people in this world who have done horrific things…we need to remember God may use them to do great things in the future.  We need to pray for the lost, no matter how lost they are.  

Taking things for granted

**Warning…this post may seem to jump from topic to topic, but all pieces are connected**

This is the first fall in a long time that isn’t giving me a feeling of dread.  Usually I get a little weary with the approach of the frigid temps, no matter how beautiful the snow may be.  The older I get, the more I dread the cold.  This year I am embracing fall and hope to embrace the winter as well…cold and all.  It could be because, though the summer flew by, we did a lot as a family.  We accomplished a lot, enjoyed a lot and gave thanks for a lot of things that went the right way.  Was it perfect?  Well, we have the ups and downs everyone else has…watching friends and loved ones go through various levels of struggle, and experiencing our own life stresses.  However, in the grand scheme of the world and what we truly deserve (which is nothing good) we were extraordinarily blessed this summer and I plan to appreciate each moment that is flying by at a very quick pace.  My kids are growing at the speed of light, and the family gatherings and friend outings are amazing, but are gone in an instant.  I know this is why I am obsessed with the camera.  I want to hold on to life’s treasures.  I am determined to look toward the future without wishing today away and not forgetting the precious memories from the past.

There are so many things we take for granted each day.  In our daily conversation if we make any mention of a mother, father, brother, sister, spouse or child, we have made mention of an amazing gift.  And in the extreme situations where they may not seem like a gift, or truly may not be, hopefully the relationship can be healed in one way or another and both parties can become closer to their Lord and Savior.  If we make mention of a home, bed, food, etc, we have been given so much more than so many others, and more than we deserve.

While talking about the gifts we have been given…let’s just go right into keeping those gifts safe and protected.  Let’s take a moment and think of their future.  Let’s stop and think what the future may hold for them if we don’t vote the right way in November…

I will be the first to admit that there is not a perfect candidate…we are all human and each human has faults.  However, there is one candidate that is more concerned with our children and their future.  In a society that is all about me, in a society that is all about what can you give me for free, in a society of entitlement, let’s just imagine the future.  I want a world for my children where they do not need to carry the burden of the country’s debt that is worsening by the second.  I want a world where my children can stand up for the country in which they live without having to apologize for it.  I want a world where my children can stand up for their faith without having to apologize for it.  I want a world where my children care more about others than themselves.  I want a world where my children will help those in need, but that those people may also want to help themselves.  I want a world where there is accountability for actions.  I want a world where people think before they act.  I want a world where people think period.  I want a world where people may not think it okay for their daughters and sons to sleep with anyone at anytime just because it would make them happy for a couple minutes, days or weeks.  I want a world where all children, born or unborn, are sacred.  I want a world with leaders that think more about their people than themselves.  I want I want I want…words I usually correct my children for saying.  I am continuously telling them to be happy with what that have and thank God for it.  I am happy with being free, I am happy to be a Christian and I do thank God for the blessings in my life…I pray that my children may be able to have a stable future in this country.  Please, this election, vote for a change…a real change…a change that will better the lives of our children, a change that will give them hope for the future.  Even if there are things you don’t like about Romney, he is concerned about the American people.  He may not give you everything you want for free.  He may not make you feel good when you mess up.  But he wants a stable country for the future.  He wants the country to be a better place for all of us.  Vote, vote, vote and  vote for values.

Okay, so jumping way back up to the top and appreciating life, I wanted to add this song by Nichole Nordeman…appreciate today, thank God for today, and have a blessed day!

Every Season by Nichole Nordeman

Every evening sky, an invitation
To trace the patterned stars
And early in July, a celebration
For freedom that is ours
And I notice You
In children’s games
In those who watch them from the shade
Every drop of sun is full of fun and wonder
You are summer

And even when the trees have just surrendered
To the harvest time
Forfeiting their leaves in late September
And sending us inside
Still I notice You when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and was to come
You are autumn

And everything in time and under heaven
Finally falls asleep
Wrapped in blankets white, all creation
Shivers underneath
And still I notice you
When branches crack
And in my breath on frosted glass
Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter
You are winter

And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring

200

Welcome to my 200th post!  I had taken a little break from the daily blogging to spend some quality time with family and such.  But now I am back for my 200th post (plus a couple extras a snuck in right before adding this one).  And so that being said here are some things that I have learned since blogging, not because of my blog, but just because God is allowing me to learn and I am blessed by Him!

* God is more than enough!  Of course I have known this for awhile, but He continues to remind me gently, and yes boldly sometimes, that He is the center of everything and I only need Him, His approval, His blessings, His gifts.

* Family is everything (after God).  Again, something I have known, but as each day passes I cherish more and more the moments with my family…immediate and extended.  These are the people that live life with you and the people that share the best memories with you (along with the hardest struggles)… and the people I hope to spend eternity with someday.

* Some of my friends are as close as family and so all that I wrote in the previous paragraph applies.

* Stuff is burdensome.  Again, already known, again, each day I realize more and more.  I want to instill in my kids right now how silly stuff can be…but they are so young.  I loved my family when I was their age, just like they love theirs, but they do love their prize possessions as well.  I hope they learn (and really know) earlier than later that their most prized possessions are Our Lord and Savior and the people He put in our lives.

* My body is what it is and if it changes, it doesn’t change what is inside.  This is an enormous lesson learned…and still being learned.  I am not a big person, but I have my areas of complaint physically.  I have gone down and back up 20 pounds in the last 3 years, but I was ok before losing the weight.  Now that I am back up, even though I know I am ok, I still struggle with wanting to be less.  I am battling the fact that I can eat almost anything I want and stay at the size I am at now, which is not a bad size, but may not be the healthiest choice in the world.  OR I can eat a lot less and go down a size, but I would look a little better and be a lot healthier.  Being an active person tempts me to want to just stay at my size, so that is my daily struggle.  Wow…see you can tell I am still learning, but at the end of the day I know my husband loves me either way, I am pretty healthy either way, and I should be working more on changing the inside of me.

* It is just as hard to change the inside of a person as it is to change the outside and it is SO MUCH more important to focus on the inside.  Old habits die hard and are not easy to forego.

* Only the red ICE drinks explode when you open them…the others don’t…why is that?  (I had to throw something light in my life lessons rambling…but it is true).

🙂

Decisions

So there are some decisions on my horizon…minor ones.  Lifestyle decisions, not life or death decisions.

I looked in the mirror today and was not pleased…I weighed myself today and was even more greatly displeased!  I have been playing around with the Primal/Paleo way of eating for awhile now.  Every time I start, I miss my sugars too much and then I fail…badly.  I am a fan of carbs…fruits, potatoes, breads, DESSERTS.  It is tough for me to cut them out all together…or even a little bit.  But sugar is pretty much the one thing all the “experts” can agree on as being horrible for you.  You can find studies for or against red meat, for or against whole grains, for or against salt, even for or against fruit…but sugar never passes the test.  Why does it have to taste so good?

Being realistic I know that I cannot go cold turkey in cutting out sugars completely.  I am thinking of trying to do so 6 days a week to start.  I am hoping to get my family on board as well, because it is hard to have the stuff you can’t eat in the house.  My husband wants to be healthy, too, we just both realize it is a BIG change.  It will be difficult for the kids, but how great to teach them to be healthy while they are young so they don’t have to struggle with breaking bad habits when they are older!  The Primal/Paleo lifestyle also incorporates fitness and that will give us some nice family time…make it fun and keep moving being the key…not timing or forcing or treating them like army recruits.

I want to be careful not to make fitness and health more important than our time in prayer and Bible study.  Being healthy is important…yes!  Being spiritually healthy and doing our best to follow Jesus is most important!

Another decision I will have to make is how important running is to me.  In training I have found that my body was not built for running.  My knee issues are manageable…the arthritis and the runner’s knee are common and only pose a problem with a flare up.  The foot is another story.  It continues to swell every time I run.  The tendonitis will go away, but never completely, becasue the bone issue is a contributor to the tendonitis and the plantar fascia.  I hope I spelled that right.  😉  There is another half in October that I would like to run…training would start in July…I have a bit of time to make the decision.  I wouldn’t mind replacing running with some other activity like judo or spinning or even boxing…all those sound high energy and lots of fun!

So these are the silly and small decisions that I will be making soon…they are surely better to debate than the serious decisions that I won’t be blogging about. ..at least not yet.

🙂