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, September 28, 2010

Life Is Messy- Encourage it Up!

I wish I could say life has been going smooth, that the transition from a 4 person household to a 5 was easy and that Justin's first year of public school has been slick.
I wish that I could tell you that the 5 nice comments I hear stick in my head and the one negative comment doesn't ping around in my brain morphing into something far worse than it started as.
No, I can't say it's all rainbows and butterflies around here, and by here I mean inside my head and heart; instead I can tell you I've been pushed yet again to look to the sky, toward the One who knows all, the one who has me by my right hand, the one who as much as I try to run from I can say "yet I am with you".

When we go to Detroit on our mission trips something makes it's way onto the common area wall, I'm not exactly sure who does it but it seems to just show up: it's the encouragement line. Each person on our team has an envelope hanging with their name on it. As the week goes by the other members write a short note of encouragement to that person.

Upon returning from Detroit this year I shared this info with Sarah and she immediately said, "we have to have one."

So we do.

It's called encouragement cards around here and it hangs above the bar, in our common area.

When life is rocky.
When life is smooth.
When life is crazy.
When life just is, encouragement always helps.

So many places in the Bible it talks about encouraging each other.
In the
book of Judges the men of Israel encouraged one another.
King David in
2 Samuel sent word to encourage the leader of his fighting men.
Then in the New Testament we are told often to encourage one another,
1 Thessalonians, Hebrews and again in Hebrews.

So in lue of our encouragement cards I encourage you.
I encourage you to trust God with the unknown,
to trust God with the why's,
to trust God with the hurt,
with your kids,
with your spouse.

I encourage you to switch your perspective.
To look openly at yourself, to be authentic with those around you.

And lastly I encourage you, as I am myself- if one can encourage ones self, to not let the negative thoughts outweigh the positive- do not give them the time of day.

And with that...
Love to you all,
Your messy friend-


Wednesday, September 22, 2010 Website Review - thanks to my friend Jamie for sending me this link this past spring.
I started using the Cozi system at the beginning of the summer but it wasn't until I got my smartphone that I really started to use it.

What I love best is the fact that I can put all our work schedules, dr. appointments and extra-curricular activities into Cozi and then access it from anywhere!
My home PC, my phone, my friends PC...
I also have text reminders that go out to all people involved in an activity. I can set the lead time for the text reminder to go out.; sometimes it's 30 minutes, sometimes 24 hours.

I also keep running lists going,
grocery, Home Depot, Wal-mart, Sam's Club.
That way I can stop in on the fly or if Steve happens to be at Sam's or Home Depot the list can be pulled up easily and items checked off- again in one central place for us all to access.

This past week I entered all our bill due dates into Cozi with text reminders going out to Steve and I.

Love it!
One central place to handle all our growing families activities.
Check it out- you'll be happy you did!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

We Are Family

Boy how my thoughts and ideas have changed over my lifetime.
Changed over these past years, months, weeks.
Recently a friend of mine, who happens to be a pastor's wife, shared with me her thoughts on our family. After visiting us in the hospital with Justin she began to share with me how many families she has visited with in the hospital as well as around the dinner table.
"Your family knows how to love" she said "Even though you are all messed up and have hurt each other, you guys really not only love each other but really know how to make others feel loved."
Yes we are messed up, and of course my close friends happen to know all the details, so for her to say that meant a ton to our whole family.

I use to think that part of my children's success would be them moving out, getting a job and buying a house.

My thoughts on that have changed.
Having Vaughan and Sarah live with us has begun to change my thinking on communal living.
OK so I've always been a fan of communal living- a hippie compound has always sounded appealing to me- but over these past months I'm leaning more and more toward what I believe the Acts 2 church did, lived together.

If you want to learn to really love someone, to develop patience for another- live with them.
If you want to really know someone- share a kitchen with them.
Want to know how to pray for others- sit across a table with them daily.

Want to pray with someone on a regular basis- share a living room sofa with them.
When we are forced to do life with others it can truly become an amazing experience.

It has been really cool having Vaughan and Sarah live with us, not only have I gained a daughter but I know can borrow clothes and purses from someone, I can count on dinner being made when I'm not home and one day soon I will be able to count on waking each day to see my granddaughter. We can share prayer requests, frustrations, questions.

No- I'm not a fan of emeshed families but I'm not so sure any part of the "America Dream" is healthy or really lines up with God's Word.
Am I saying I want my kids to live with me forever, no; but in a way yes. If we can pool our resources to live and pool our time and efforts into living to further the Kingdom of Heaven then why not live across the hall from the people I love; and why does this current communial living have to stay the same, perhaps in the future the people who live across the hall will have different names but the togetherness of God's people will remain the same.

I see this "living" all around me actually. I have three friends, with children, who live with their parents- and no they are not jobless couch potatoes. I know students living with caring adults who are not their parents. I know friends who opened their basement to families in transition and then they themselves did some basement living as their life transitioned. I use to think negative things about these kind of living arrangements, but now I see the value in it.
The call to do it.

Family for us extends far beyond the blood that runs through our veins.
... is what we are. Made by a God who desires us to not only commune with Him but with each other.
To love one another faults and all, to care for each other even when we don't want to.
To do life together.
So I ask you, who are you doing life with?
and I challenge myself: does my home look and react, behave and love like Jesus would? Like I've been called to? Are we living to further the Kingdom or living to further ourselves?
Let's live! and live for Christ!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Struggles Are Good

Haven't has much time to sit at the real computer so this blog text will have to do. I have never been in such a lengthy struggle in my faith. Won't really go into detail just struggling with all that God is and says He is and then how that plays out in my life. Sometimes getting my way is the worst thing for me. Every time things go God's way it's the best thing for me, discerning between the two is hard sometimes.
Currently my heart is breaking.
Breaking for family members,
for the poor and needy,
for my children,
my Hottie,
my heart breaks for my own lack of faithfulness to my Savior, my God, my King.

"The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me. He sent me to preach good news to the poor, heal the broken, announce freedom to all captives, pardon all prisoners." Isaiah 61:1

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Date Night

So the older we get the more date night changes. Some things don't change like sometimes on date night we pay a bunch of money....
In case you don't know our last date night was to Universal Studios Rock the Universe. After we made the last minute decision to go and the trek to Orlando we first and foremost found our kids, yes our kids on date night, and hung out with them.
Not mine by birth the young man in the purple is like a child of my own.

Somehow we managed to meet just in time for dinner, dad's treat!!

Boy have they changed over the years but their friendships have remained intact.

Now back to date night. We stayed at the park for about 6 hours, caught about 20 minutes of Grits and walked by toby as he sang Jesus Freak.
It was a great night we rode Men in Black, The Simpson's, The Mummy and Disaster! We ran into some other dear friends, but I can say this was the first time I'd been to RTU, or Night of Joy, where I didn't see any concerts??!!
What I did notice was date night seems to always consist of me taking a bunch of pictures of my Hottie and I.
here, see for yourself:

So that was our lastest date night.
What about you, where is your favorite date night place?


Thursday, September 09, 2010

We Are Here

So welcome home to us!

Life spun into a whirlwind of events starting last Saturday night. Long story short Justin's appendix opened some time last week. His body formed 2 absesses around his appendix. Saturday night we went to the local ER and then early Sunday morning we were admitted to the ER in Daytona Beach.

Getting his CT scan.

We were thrilled and surprised when they rolled this Wii gaming station into the room.

Sunday afternoon we brought in the family doctor to check up on Justin.

I packed a cooler and the 5 days we were in the hospital I could make my own meals. Justin was on a liquid only diet since entering the hospital on Saturday.

Once he could eat I made the trek across the hospital to the vending machine for a Kit Kat bar and coffee.

We treated the absesses with antibiotics and his second CT scan showed the appendix and that the absesses had shrunk in size. He came home on Wednesday and has been given permission to resume 100% normal activity. Next we wait a few weeks until the infection is gone and then he'll have an apendectomy.

In the meantime I've been cleaning and weeding out.

Getting ready to finish our storage shed so that Justin's room can me moved into our garage and his old room can be turned into a nursery! I love throwing things out and donating items!!

Well back to my purging!


Sunday, September 05, 2010

Testing mobile blogging. Have much to share as we've in the hospital with Justin for almost 23 hours. Peace out :)


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