Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Misphah and Shen. He named it Ebenezar, saying , "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Strange. Life, that is.

Today a young friend died in a car accident.

He was 21.

I just saw him on Sunday at church.

I'm not really sure what emotions I'm feeling. Kind of a numbness, a shock, a sense of this is not real. See a parent shouldn't have to outlive their child, yet this is what this mom is now doing. He was a believer in Christ, so his fate was not a terrible one, see he, like all of us, are just visiting this planet. He had made a choice for Christ so now he rests in his real home, in heaven. That still doesn't change things for us here on earth. My hearts cries for his mother, his father, his siblings.

I think of my own children. As parents we want the best for our kids, we want to protect them from sadness, from harm, from death; but is that our job? Is that really something we have control over? I don't even want to answer those questions because ultimately God has our days counted, He has my children's days counted just like He had this young man's days counted.

Today I will enjoy my children. I will be thankful that I have them on loan for these short 18 years under my roof. I will laugh with them, I will cry with them, I will feed them and feed them and feed them. I'll listen to the silly jokes I don't get and I'll watch the TV show I don't care for. I'll videotape their silly movies and hug them. Yes, I'll hug them lots, and kisses, who can forget the kisses. I'll enjoy today with them, I'll enjoy this minute because it's where we're at, it's what we have.

So my heart goes out to this young man's family, to his friends, and he had many. He was a young man a mother could be proud of. He was a US Marine, he was kind, he was polite, he approached people with love and a caring spirit, he was a brother in Christ. I had the opportunity to watch him grow up from a scraggly teenager to a young man. Perfect, no, but a wonderful creation of God. His presence will surely be missed.

So to Matt I say goodbye.

Goodbye for now- see you in heaven.

Do you know if you were to die today if you'd go to heaven?
If you are unsure e-mail me or check out this website and click on Looking For Peace With God?

Friday, January 26, 2007

I Survived This Week!

So it's been one of those weeks!

Let's see, to set the stage my in-laws are in town and my mother-in-laws parents! Not that this is a bad thing, I actually like them and even enjoy spending time with them; however it stills adds stress to my life. Not really sure why, it just does. The it was approaching "that time' of the month and since I hit 30 29 my body has become unpredictable. Then hubby's partners wife was out of town which menas extra duty for me.

OK so Monday rolls around, the orthodontist calls and informs us that Early Birds fixing of his broken brackets will now cost us $25 each time he needs a repair! He's had braces for 4 months and lost 11 brackets! This after I've already paid way to much for this whole procedure anyway! I express my frustration before letting poor Kelly the receptionist know "Dad will be handling this from now on", which in my head I know really means "Dad will be in for one appointment, then it's back on my plate again." Monday afternoon I say yes to a last minute babysitting favor to a friend and then proceed to entertain, feed and pack up 5 kids ages 8 mo, 5, 8, 10, and 13, to head out AWANA. Did I mention hubby decided to take his step dad out shrimping that night? I was flying solo.

Tuesday we woke up to no water. Our water pump just didn't have it in her to keep up with us. When I went out to check it and "flip the switch", obviously losing water is not a new thing at the Span Ranch, only this time the switch didn't need "flipping", it needed a drink or something because it was smoking and smelling like something I'd never smelt before. Anyway, hubby was called and quickly left to come home and fix this problem- praise the Lord after a full day of work we got hooked up to city water! Anyone living with FL well water knows why this excites me! Although as he's hooking the water up and digging the ditch in my front yard I'm praying that the smell in the boys bathroom that I've been blaming on the well water is in fact the well water and not urine stained tile and grout in hidden areas that will only be removed by a renovating of the bathroom. Although a renovating of the bathroom wouldn't be bad, wait no we're not ready for another project, plus I'm holding out on that one until after the boys move out!

Anyway, Tuesday afternoon I am surprised with the lovely duty of picking up and tending to hubby's partner's kids while they all go shrimping again, this time with the hopes of actually catching some shrimp. What was it that the Bible says about putting others needs above your own? being submissive to ones husband? I pressed on that day, even when my dryer decided to not dry my clothes in 40, 50 or 60 minutes anymore instead, especially if jeans are involved, it takes much to long for me to even recall.

Wednesday arrives and my vacuum decided it would take a vacation, a brief one and then it took another one. I love my vacuum although it's a hand me down from my mother and I cannot remember a vacuum before this one, so that dates it at about the age of the flood, or the battle of Jericho, but hey who's counting age here! By Wednesday night I'm beat, my mind is fried, dog hair has nicely coated the floor so it looks like carpet and the thought of talking to, listening or being around children/adults or animals is enough to make me want to barf, so instead I send my family off to Cub Scouts and Youth Group without me. The silence of the evening was like a little taste of heaven. I listened to some praise music, danced enough to freak my dog out and actually felt good enough to fold some laundry and happily greet my family when they arrived home!

By Thursday I just didn't have it in me to make the trek to my in-laws condo so I bowed out and sent hubby down there for lunch as my peace offering - they were thrilled! Early Bird went in to the ortho to have his braces removed, oh yeah, dad made the ortho appointment on Monday and it was decided that the braces would come off, we'd be given a retainer and then surprise, we'd get half our money back! Yes after only 4 months and stopping treatment 18 months early Early Bird has straight teeth and a retainer to boot, hmmm what were the other 18 months for?! After dinner out with the fam, massive amounts of errands, including a house call with my mom (a notary- God bless her) to get a permission slip notarized so one of my youth girls can go on a youth conference trip this weekend, I came home and cheated at Uno with my husband's grandfather. I gotta tell you it was a blast! We got caught and had to be separated and take like a gazillion cards as punishment, but it made me laugh and that's what I needed.

So today came, my hot water was out, my dryer still acting funky and I began to give praise. I've been reading a book called 31 Days of Praise and it has really pulled me through this week. When we offer up Praise to our Lord it changes things. It changes things here in my world, helps put a new perspective in my ear, it helps calm my heart and mind; perhaps the greatest thing it does is put praise into the spiritual realms. See all these events could have been used to put a bad taste in my mouth for God. I tend to lean toward a "why me" attitude, toward feelings of "bad things always happen to me", towards feelings/thoughts and emotions that are not of God; instead when we give our praise to God it frustrates Satan, it reminds him that God is still supreme in spite of all his evil efforts. Couple that with scripture and it rocks!

So I'll go into this weekend letting you know things have a way of working themselves out. My bathroom smell is gone, my dryer still drys, my vacuum works, my hot water miraculously returned, I have a son with straight teeth and bonus money in God's checking account he's allowing me to use. One of the greatest thing I learned this week is that inner peace comes not from trusting who I am but instead from trusting who I'm not- taken from a Ginny Owens song. May you too look at your situations from a God perspective.

Well, off I go to a weekend with the youth!

Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their mind"
Psalm 149:6

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Everything's Gonna Be Alright

So my youngest son, Night Owl, came home from Scouts last night, well actually I picked him up, his Papou (Greek for grandfather) took him, and he had had a rough night. It's so hard for me when Night Owl has a rough night. Life has been a little tougher for him. I'm not sure if he "is" anything, but he seems to share "symptoms" with other children who are autistic - very slightly mind you - but still these "things" make life a little more challenging for him. Well last night was memorization questions, getting ready to move on to Boy Scouts, Night Owl was questioned last night on his Scout Oath and Law; they played games to remember the points and were given a bunch of information what he'd need to wear, do and bring for his crossover ceremony. Well just one of these elements, the games, translated to him competition, and the list of "to do's" would have been enough of an overload, but throwing both at him, and the fact that mom and dad weren't there - sent his little mind into a tailspin.

My first reaction was to feel bad for him. My baby. It hurts when your child struggles like this, heck it hurts when your child struggles in general; there's something that cuts deep in me when it comes to Night Owl and his trouble handling things the others take with ease. Hubs words ring in my ears, "Don't feel sorry for him, don't feel sorry for him!" So next the feelings of failure on my part sneak in. "I've failed at home school", "I should have been there for him", "Dad should have been there", "Dad never helps out around the house", "No one helps out", "I'm a failure, I do a bad job at parenting", blah, blah, blah, whine , whine, whine! I became a wreck, my mind went from Night Owl struggling and my inability to make it better to how bad I have it! Are you kidding me, my life is great! God has blessed me with a wonderful family who helps out and who I enjoy, not that we don't have our fair share of dysfunction. Mind you I expressed some of these thoughts to my boys as we are driving home. Then it hits me like a ton of bricks, "You're believing lies again! Stop, you are fearfully and wonderfully made, Night Owl is fearfully and wonderfully made. Stop with the negativity and do something!Stop believing the lies!"

So I did, I gave glory to God, I rejected Satan and the boys and I had a nice little big lesson last night. I began to give praise that Night Owl is homeschooled and I can help him look to God when times are tough, I can use what abilities God gave me as his mother to equip him to survive in a world that doesn't quite make sense to him. We came up with a plan to have him better prepared for Scouts, we gave glory to God for all His goodness.

See the reality of the situation is Night Owl is perfect in how he was made, sinful yes, but his thought process, his ability to adjust or not, his height, his eye color, his everything was made by a perfect God, a God who didn't just throw together a mess of a kid, but a God who knit each and every part of Night Owl together; God has a plan for Night Owl, a plan that is far beyond anything I can imagine, that plan requires Night Owl to react and act and BE just the way he is. So next time when he struggles and the other kids are handling things "fine" I may freak out again on the inside, and that freak out may overflow to the outside, although I pray it doesn't, I'll remember that God "created my (Night Owl's) inmost being" and since God doesn't make mistakes I'll rest assured that every thing's gonna be alright.

*On a side note. When I have a freak out session God has blessed me with great kids. They sit back and listen, quietly, until I either come around or til one of them speaks up and says we should pray or remind me that I am not believing God. Praise God! I figure not only am I teaching them to look to God but also what life with a women is like! I do let them know that women are all this way - we can be an emotional wreck - but how awesome that God loves us and gave men patience to deal with us!!

Just making better husbands, thankyouverymuch!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #4

Thirteen Things I'll miss about MY OMI who passed away on
January 10, 2007

1. I'll miss having tea with her each Tuesday after drum lessons

2. I'll miss hearing about how we Americans are nothing like the Germans

3. I'll miss her telling me how beautiful I am

4. I'll miss the smell of her burnt German food

5. Sadly I'll miss choking down that food

6. I'll miss doing her hair and applying her sunless tanning lotion

7. I'll miss her strength in persevering on through hard times

8. I'll miss getting yelled at for wearing jeans to Thanksgiving Dinner

9. I'll miss seeing my boys helping her out by cleaning the car or carrying heavy things

10. I'll miss her huge purse and costume jewelry

11. I'll miss her hugs

12. I'll miss her listening ear when I just want to carry on about something stupid

13. I'll miss her.

May you rest in the peace of our Lord, Omi, you are missed.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Just another day

Just another day...
So today we came close to wrapping up the boys room. It was a week ago that we carefully packed everything into boxes and cleared out the room for new flooring. The boys had been living with bare cement floors for like almost 2 years and they were accustomed to it and fought the change tooth and nail. We have nicknamed V our little hampster because of his desire for things to remain the same. Well since he's like 13 and I'm like Napoleon THE MOM we moved everything out, with a good attitude I might say, and the new flooring went down on Fri/Sat of last week.
Then came the hard part, putting it back together - yuck! We are great project starters at this house and not so great finishers. Yesterday I loaded what and where I desired for things to go an dthen looked at the other like 50 boxes sitting around my living room and office and realized it wasn't all going to fit. So I cleared out 2 drawers in the war zone family room and explained that the boys needed to go through their stuff, if it didn't fit on the shelves in their bedroom or in the drawer they have in the family room then it had to go! Well so far V has done some clearing out and I think J is just now learning about what it is I said to do with the stuff (he's reading this currently).
So I really should be running, still have dinner to cook and I'm determined to get this whole bedroom thing cleared up before I rest tonight, or early tomorrow morning. Jump over to my friend Lisa's blog and read what she has to say about life in her household, I think you'll find it funny and realized just how special each of our homes are.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Feeling Blessed!

My church is awesome! I just returned from a small group leader meeting and I am so excited about the direction of our church. Since we are growing in size on Sunday mornings we are really encouraging and pushing for small groups! My group even got together for fellowship today! I love this opportunity to get to know one another, to serve one another and the community as the hands and feet of the body of Christ!

I am looking forward to the upcoming months, to meeting new people who are coming into my group, and to growing and seeing others grow closer to God.

I grew up in a smaller size church and really shyed away from larger ones in our various moves, but I gotta tell you I love my church- in all it's largeness! Just another gift of grace from my Savior! Thank You Lord!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Exterior House Help!

Help I need some outside decorating help! Due to recent renovations my house is changing appearance and I need help, can anyone offer some.

First of all I live in a brick stucco house, that means my house looks like it's made of brick when in fact it is stucco cut to look like brick. Since we've added a few new outside walls, a color change is neccesary. Now I can restain my stucco, which will take a while, a long while we've been told, but I would have a brick looking house. Another option is to paint my "brick", seams and all. What do you all think of painted brick? What's a girl to do?

Here are some photos to help you out.

Here's a great photo showing the new and old brick color (thank God I will be getting away from the pink brick):

Here's another showing the new front door, please excuse the mess in landscaping and such.

Also hubby bought these exterior lights, should I have him take them back?
Do they go with a brick house?
Thansk you all.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

My First Real Goal

I have a goal. I mean a real life goal. Not a I wanna loose weight or eat better goal more like a long time goal; one that will take months, years, sacrifice and perseverance coupled with patience. After seeing the movie Blood Diamond, which hurt my heart bytheway, I was confirmed that my desire to serve for Christ in an African or South American country has more to it than I have been thinking. I have lots to say about that movie, but that will have to be later.

OK so I've had a heart for missions since, like birth. I was raised in a Christian and Missionary Alliance church, so duh? missionary, it's in the name; this was supplemented by Word of Life International, again, international... missions, throw in the most important thing: a natural, God-given heart for missions. So as you see the desire, the heart has always been there.

So that's when my life "gets in the way", I spent so much of my younger years living for myself rather than God that I found myself in a place where missions work is hard if not impossible (yes of course, nothing is impossible with God- this could explain my hubby's recent missions trip to Africa.); anyway due to 1. a large sum of money owed to Sallie Mae and her college loan friends, and 2. two kids, who we had when we were just kids and are eating their way through the checkbook, we're broke! Here we sit waiting patiently until the time comes when, if this is God's will, we will be able to serve God elsewhere.

So here's where my goal comes in. We've actually had this goal for a year now, I just have a new sense of purpose toward this goal. The goal: to become debt-free in 10-13 years! I believe with God this is possible and I am excited to travel down this path toward a real life goal! In this past year we whittled down our debt so I know we have it in us, with God's help, to reach our goal!

I lift this goal up to the Lord as well as our new business venture. May He be first in our lives, in our business and in our heart and mind. May we love Him with all our heart, soul and strength.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #3

Thirteen Things about I HOPE TO DO DIFFERENT THIS YEAR (is this another way of saying New Years resolutionss?)

1. Pray more, ideally I'd like to spend time every afternoon in prayer, perhaps instead of watching Days of Our Lives

2. Be dilegent about my laundry, washing, folding AND putting away

3. Eat better, less fast food

4. Walk more, since I live 1 mile from the local shopping/banks etc. I plan to walk my errands at least twice a month

5. Read 6 books, one down already!

6. Make it to the beach more often, it's only 3 miles away

7. Go on a family camping/canoe trip

8. Write more snail mail letters to family/friends near and afar

9. Be more consistent in homeschool with my 5th grader- we get sidetracked easily together

10. did I say spend more time in prayer

11. Use my gift certificates that I've had since Christmas 2005- good thing they don't expire!

12. Go on more dates with my hubbie!

13. Be more bold about my witness for Christ

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I'm joining in on a walk across America!
Wanna join me and many other bloggers? Check out Nancy's site for more info and to commit to keep movin' in 2007!

I started walking back on December 5th and there's nothing like starting out your day with a nice walk. The fresh air and movement is a great way to kick start my day and now a great way to walk off some of the Greek food hanging around in the lower regions after the holidays!

Hope to meet up with on our walk. Drop me a note if you're participating, meanwhile I need to finish up the last of the tiramisu!

Monday, January 01, 2007

J keeps referring to our New Years Commitments.

Sounds better than a resolution doesn't it?
Ephesians 4

This is our family on the tram to Disney, all 15 of us!

"As a prisoner for the Lord, then I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit - just as you were called to one hope when you were called - one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."
Ephesians 4:1-6

As the last of our family holiday activities wraps up today I am reminded of these verses the Lord gave to me over this season of lots of time with family! The track record of our Greek family get-togethers hasn't always been peaceful, humble and gentle but this year has been different - we've all been doing our part, well most of us, and it's made a difference.

5 things stand out to me and I give each area up to the Lord as I head into this last day. "Be completly humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love."

Humble: how I seek to serve others... do I seek to serve or do I seek to win?
Gentle: how I express myself... do I express myself in a Christ-like manner?
Patient: hang in there!... do I hang in there when another is struggling in action or deed?
Bearing: how I "do unto others"... do I do unto others nicely, what's my heart motivation?
Love: how I chose to think about others... what is my heart toward certain people?

Funny how some of these are easier with one person over another, for instance I am very patient with some people as they learn to grow and make better, wiser decisions while other people I have no patience for there growth at all. Love, I find it easier to love a sister-in-law I have more in common with than I do one I struggle to find common ground. Humble, I seek to serve some people while still others I desire to win or prove I'm better than them.

My hearts desire is to live "the calling you(I) have received." to live as a "prisoner for the Lord."

Hmmm... prisoner? for the Lord.
That's a lot. Strongs defines prisoner as an adjective meaning: to be "bound, in bonds, a captive, a prisoner" Make me think how tightly am I bound to the Lord, are my hands and feet shackled to Him, my Savior, or am I being held capitive my my selfish thoughts and ways?

Then there's the word for, not prisoner of the Lord but prisoner for the Lord. Here's how Webster defines the word for:

1 a -- used as a function word to indicate purpose b -- used as a function word to indicate an intended goal c -- used as a function word to indicate the object or recipient of a perception, desire, or activity

Am I prisoner for the Lord? Is my purpose to serve the Lord in all I do and think? What is my intended goal? What about my desires and activities, are they of the Lord? Am I living as a prisoner for the Lord? Am I living a life worthy of the calling I've received?

I fail so often at this; however I press on and I ask the Lord for humilty, gentleness, patience, strength to bear with one another and most of all I desire love. The love of Christ to be embedded in my heart for all God's people. After all we are all of one God, one Love and one people!

Wishing you the best this new year!


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