Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Will Feel No Eagle

When I am in a good routine... which I have not been lately, I do "school with my two older kids on weekday mornings, just for a few minutes.

Here is my favorite thing they learned during our school time this year...

Elyse (age 4)

Isaiah (Age 3)

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

God gives again

More of God's Christmas blessings to our family include a Wal-Mart gift card for $25 left anonymously on my husbands desk at church on Wednesday and a $50 Wal-Mart gift card from a couple in our church given to us this afternoon.

Since we have been blessed with a little bit extra lately we decided to go out to eat after church today which we hardly ever do. Several members of our church were at the restaurant when we showed up and they were all gone by the time we were done eating. (We are always the last to leave the church). When Jarrod went to pay for our meal the cashier told us it had already been taken care of. Man God is good!!!!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tiny Talk Tuesday: It Gets Strange Around Here

I overheard a conversation Elyse was having with God one day. I missed part of it. Here is what I did catch.

"Dear God... (and then she faded out for a minute, and then...) Do you hear me God? No buts God, no buts."

I can't imagine what he must have been saying but from the side of the conversation I did hear it sounds like God might need to spend some time in Time Out!

Isaiah asked to watched a movie the other day. It took his daddy a minute to figure out which one he was requesting when he asked very clearly for - The Lizard of Pause. After my husband caught on, together they enjoyed, The Wizard of Has (veggie tales).

For More Tiny Talk Tuesday go here

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving towards all he has made.

We moved 21 months ago to a tiny little town in Texas where my husband took a job as a part time youth pastor. He felt like that was what God was calling him to, but the part time job comes with part time pay (the church is VERY good to us though) So he also works construction full time but in this part of Texas wages are pretty low. My husband is a very generous person. I am not... God has taught me so much in the past 21 months. The county we live in is among the 25 poorest in the country. WOW! But man do these people know how to give. And it has been a lesson to me in giving out of your need. I am far from where I want to be in this area but I know God is just getting started with me.

I have already shared about our youth group coming together to bless us but the truth is God meets needs and often times our wants so often I have sadly lost track of all the times it has occurred. I thought I would post from time to time when he does provide for us, for my own record. And because I think you will not be able to help but be blessed when you see the hand God has in our life. It has been awesome, and at times even humorous just how God has chosen to bring about his good gifts.

Today at story time I was looking at all the adorable kids up on the steps in the library singing their songs and dancing to the beat. Like any good woman I was much more distracted by cute outfits then I was the movements of all the preschool dancers. I noticed that my 4 year old, who is about to quickly pass up her 4'10" mother, was also about to outgrow her adorable corduroy overalls. And she just started wearing them. And the fact is she is growing so quickly that 3 months into her 4th year she is outgrowing all of her 4T outfits. Isaiah, on the other hand, at 3 years old is starting to have to share clothes with his 19-month-old brother who is growing into all the 2T things that Isaiah has not quite outgrown. He's way to skinny for most of his 3T pants but 2T are just too short.

"That's it", I thought. “We need a shopping spree!” And with the presents we have hidden away in the laundry room there is little extra in the budget this month for extras. "God", I said, right there in the middle of the library. "We need a Wal-Mart gift card, that's all there is too it." And with that settled I got caught up once again in watching my baby try to keep up with the motions to the songs as my bigger kids smiled and giggled their way to the end. When I loaded up the children in the car to head to McDonald's to play with our friends as we do every Wednesday. My friend Jess pointed out an envelope left on my car window. Then she had to get the envelope for me as it was smack dab in the middle of my windshield and I did not feel like mounting the hood of the car to reach it. I thanked Jess, made a short joke about myself before she had a chance and got in the drivers seat. Inside the envelope was my requested Wal-Mart gift card (for $100) and an Unsolicited McDonald's gift card. Now story time and McDonald's is in a neighboring town 20 miles from where we live so I really only know my little group of friends there that we spend every Wednesday with. Not to mention they would be the ones who would know how invaluable a McDonald's card would be. I know it's from them. And it blesses me to no end that they thought of me this Christmas. But I am beyond blessed that before I had even formed a request to my heavenly father for something so specific he had already set things in motion to give me a good gift. (Matthew 7:11 - If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!) Merry Christmas to my family from the one whom, after already having given the gift of his son to us, still finds great pleasure in giving us more than we can think or ask. (Ephesians 3:20) Now if I could just get that mansion I have been praying for...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Have you ever

I got this from Jenn's blog... I thought it looked like fun! Would love to hear what you have done! Mine are in bold

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland - WORLD (Nope, but going to Disney Land next months.... WOOOO HOOOO!)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris (But only if Paris, Texas counts)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked (not really but I did get picked up on the side of the road and driven to a gas station after running out of gas)
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (my best friend and I made up our own language when we were younger and my dad and I made up our own sign language until we realized we could use the time we were investing in making up the signs to learn the actual signs)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung Karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Seen the Lincoln Memorial in person
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92.Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

100. Totally copied a post from someone else’s blog.
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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Back to the Basics of My Life

Hey everyone! I am trying to get back to some basics in my life... taking care of my husband, my children, and my house. I love to blog, to have a record of what goes on around here and to update friends and family. I also love to read other people's blogs... Unfortunately when I do this I get sucked into the bloggy world and everything else around me goes unnoticed for WAY too long. So if I don't come by and see you for a while or can't comment on your blog right away please don't be offended. I am just feeling a need to keep things simple and prioritized around here and the whiny voices of my children and mound of dirt on my living room floor are reminding me just what those priorities really need to be right now. Please keep reading and commenting if you like though and I'll catch up with you when I can! Thanks!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tiny Talk Tuesday: Here is what Bella had to say!

These are some of the funny things my 4 year old Bella said this week.

1. While sitting alone in the bathroom on the potty, "Dear God, please help God to take the poo-poo out of me. (This was not the first time she had prayed this). And help me to hold it all the time."

When I asked her why she prayed the second part she replied, "so I don't go in my car seat." Which she had done on a long road trip recently.

2. After I put a blanket over her one cold morning she said, "Ahh, I could get use to this!"

3. Asking her usual question first thing in the morning

Bella: "Where are we going today?" (she loves to be out and about)

Me: "Nowhere."

Bella: "Where are we going when you change your mind?"

For more Tiny Talk Tuesday go here

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

To a Man Who Deserves More Credit Than I Can Give

This month is Pastor’s Appreciation month. If you haven’t yet, be sure to do something to let your pastor know what you think of him. (Unless of course you harbor negative feelings and then, please, keep it to yourself. They get enough negativity.) Anyway, my husband and I were talking the other night. I was commenting for the hundredth time about how I hadn’t ever been your “typical” pastor’s daughter. I never went through any major rebellion, didn’t ever want to reject the church. Though there was plenty of hurt I had to witness through the years by individuals here and there, on the whole I didn’t see the church as some horrible entity that existed to ruin my life.

I have often wondered why this was. How did we turn out different then some other PKs? Granted my parents were good disciplinarians, good parents but that did not guarantee that we would grow up wanting to follow God and be involved in the church. (Yes, I am aware that we are not the only pastor’s kids that turned out “good” but I also know plenty that did not.) All this to say that I think I have begun to realize that I owe so much of where my personal relationship with Jesus is to my parents, not just because they helped introduce me to Him, but because I do not recall it ever being forced. My relationship with the Lord was just that… mine! They helped guide me as all good parents do but I took it from there. As my pastor and the head of our family, a huge amount of this gratitude goes to my dad. I had the privilege of knowing from experience that my brother, sister, and I came first. Before the church, we were my dad’s first responsibility. We had to learn that other’s needs came before our own desires, with vacations cut short to head home when a parishioners father passed away, a good movie interrupted when a crisis came up. But when it came to attending to our needs, whether spiritual, emotional, or relationally, we ALWAYS came first! For that I want to say thank you to my father. Though he may not be my pastor at the moment. He will always be the one that Shepherd my heart towards the greatest love of my life, the Lord. And continues to help guard my spirit with his prayers and by an example of the most faithful man I have ever known. Thank you daddy! I love you and appreciated you more than my clumsy words could ever express.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quick Catch Up

I have been majorly absent from the blog world these days. I have been working hard on getting my house, kids, and life organized, in order and more pleasant. Details on how this is going will be coming soon to a blog near you. Sorry that I have not kept up with all my favorite blogs... or my own for that matter.

We are doing really well though. Last week we went to Arlington for my husband to attend a Youth Conference. He really enjoyed that. We got to see one of our former foster kids!!!! (In fact it was this very one.)Which was so incredible. We have not seen any of them for about 18 months. One of them lives not too far from the Dallas area so we went to his football game and dinner after. What a TREAT! And we stayed with a good friend of mine that I have known since I was 5. It was the first time our husbands had met and the first time Ginger had ever seen Hoss. So it was quite exciting to get to spend some time with them. And very nice of them to let us take over their beautiful home for nearly a week. Thanks Ging!

We were there during our 5 year anniversary so we celebrated a few days early with dinner at a nice restaurant while N's brother watched the kids. My husband casually mentioned on the phone to his sister that we had planned to go to California for our 5 year anniversary (where husband grew up, I've never been) but that things just hadn't worked out that way and we obviously would not be going. The day after we got home from Arlington we had an anniversary card in the mail from my sis-in-law letting us know that the family was pitching in to send N and I to California. They are arranging child care and taking care of everything else. WOW!!!! I mean great Big HUGE WOW!!!!! We are not sure yet when we are going but it is something to look forward to, VERY forward to... and we are. I promise to catch up with all you follow bloggy friends real soon. My house, and kids, and all are coming together slowly but surely and I am trying to stay on a good track with that. Pray for me, I'll either dig my way out of this mess or get buried in it. LOL.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wordful Wednesday: Manipulation Comes in Small Packages

Hoss cracked me up tonight. I put all the kids to bed and was in the kitchen cleaning (because what else would I be doing with a few hours of down time). It was quiet for several minutes and then I hear my 17 month old begin saying over and over, "I go potty, I go potty."

No, I am not some super human rockin' mom who has her third child potty trained before he is 18 months old. That poor youngster is lucky to get his diaper changed more than twice a day. The kid has, however, seen this tactic be used on occasion by his big brother or sister to get themselves out of bed. So I guess Hoss thought he'd give it a try.

N had the kids this weekend by himself (because I am spoiled rotten and he is just that good) and said Hoss tried to pull off something similar. He is not allowed free reign of the entire house. He can't come into our bedroom, bathroom, the kitchen, or guest room without permission. (Not the easiest task to train here lately by the way) But N was back in our bathroom and Hoss comes wondering in saying, "I go pooh-pooh, I go pooh-pooh". Again, if it works for Bella and Buddy why shouldn't it work for him!

Is it wrong that I am somewhat frightened by the brilliance of this kid? I mean we were a little surprised when, at 15 months he started speaking in complete sentences. “I get down?” “I need help.” (Okay so ‘I get down?’ is a sentence fragment but the kid was 15 months old, cut him some slack.) But the fact that, at such a tender age he is trying to figure out a way to use his advanced verbal skills to manipulate his parents… well, I am in awe and slightly queasy. Wish us luck!

For more Wordful Wednesday visit Seven Clown Circus... all the cool girls are doing it!

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Monday, October 6, 2008

I've Been Tagged: More crazy facts.

A fellow blogger, with a cool blog I am happy to now know exists, tagged me. Here are the rules and some craZy little things about me.

1. I have seen EVERY episode of Friends at least 3 or 4 times. Many of them MANY more times than that. (and could probably beat the pants off of anybody at Friends Scene It.)

2. I wear size 1 in shoes. That's right a child's size 1. My 4 year old daughter is currently only 4 sizes behind me.

3. I use to have a birthmark in my eye. (in the white part to the left of my iris.) It actually went away a couple of years ago, very strange.

4.I had 11 of my baby teeth pulled by the dentist. Not all at once. The most I had done at once was 4. They just would not come out on their own. Even when my permanent teeth would start coming in those baby teeth just wanted to hang on!

5. I was 16 years old when I lost my last baby tooth.

6. I only weighed 12 pounds when I was 2 years old. (I have the medical records to prove it) My kids all weighed 14 pounds at around 6 months.

7. I have only ever kissed one guy. (and yes it was my husband, you would not believe how many people get hung up on and confused by that)

The people I have tagged are: (all fabulous blogs)

Random Thoughts
Boondock Ramblings
The Munchkinheads
Why Me?
Outriders for Christ
No Ordinary Moments
Schnickelfritz and Turtle

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Monday Madness from Mouths of Babes: Say What?

Tonight I had the opportunity to listen to my children at play. How much I learned from their little conversations. I got to see first hand what their sweet little hearts must struggle with daily. I witnessed shear human nature and was amazed by how well they must work to control their wills.

I took the older two up to the church to set up for my MOPS meeting tomorrow night. They played at one end of the fellowship hall while I decorated the other end. They were "playing house" Bella was the mommy, Buddy, her little boy. And at some point they changed their roles making Buddy the man in charge, with Bella in his care. Things came out of their mouths, attitudes I have never myself had to deal with as the real authority in the house, as they were "acting" like little kids. Conversations that went something like this, “Take me to Sea World right now!”
Or this one…

“Now sweetie, come over hear and sit down.”

“I don’t want to!”

Oh those things so would not fly in their real worlds. Now don’t get me wrong, my kids are kids they misbehave, have bad attitudes sometimes, have even let me know they did not want to do what was being asked of them but never in such a yucky tone. And they have certainly learned that one does not win a trip to Sea World by demanding it… a trip to a nice little chair in a corner all alone, yes. But Sea World… not so much!

I wondered for a moment if they had perhaps picked this attitude up from somewhere. But we don’t have television just DVDs that I know every line to and can recite in my sleep. I know all of their friends and have not heard them talking to their parents in that manner either. So it was doubtful it had been picked up anywhere. I have deduced that there must be a struggle within my kids to say what they are really thinking but somehow they manage on a semi-regular basis to control their attitudes and respond in an appropriate manner. I could learn a lot from these little guys. And I have to say, if this really is what is in my kids hearts from time to time, this desire to tell me what they are really thinking. I’ve got some pretty good kids… if I do say so myself.

Now I should probably go back and reread my own first post, The Humbling of a Super Mom as that last statement sounded incredibly arrogant!

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Photostory Friday: Long Lost Friends

I got an email tonight from an old friend. A friend that I have not seen in 20 years. My family moved from Wyoming to Texas in 1988 and I left behind many little friends, one of the best being April. She attached a picture of us as little girls at her 6th birthday party. Weren't we cute. (That's me on the right)

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday Madness From The Mouths of Babes: Manners With Hoss

Like so many parents of my generation we have taught our children sign language early on. Our kids all three started talking ridiculously early (they do come by it naturally) so we have not gotten past "more". They just start talking and then what's the point of teaching them to sign.

So Hoss use to sign more when he wanted more food and then he learned how to say please. Learning a new way to get food... after all that really is all Hoss is usually after, and there was no longer a need for the "more" sign. When Hoss asked for food. (And by asking I do mean screaming) After being corrected we would say, "How do you ask?" Hoss would say "Pees," because that's what gets him the food.

Then Hoss learned Thank You and then came the confusion. Now Hoss is a bright little boy but this whole correct response, correct way to ask for things, got to be too much for him. So sometimes asking "what do you say?” got us a "Pees" and sometimes it got us a "Tane Too". More recently though the confused little boy, who just wants his food, has taken to signing more, while saying thank you, all the while meaning please. And since he's adorable with those dimples and that big gap in his teeth and the huge brown eyes. And of course the fact that he's doing the best he can, and as far as he knows, he's asking the right way. I give the boy what he wants, which is of course, ALWAYS food!

This got me to thinking last night about how I ask my heavenly father for things. Or rather how I think I have to ask. As much as my son's good intentions tug at my heart and get him SO MANY things, I'm guessing God's got the whole patient and loving parent thing down a whole lot better than me. So is it really that necessary for me to approach him at just the right time, with just the right words? Or can I simply say my pees and tane toos and depend on a loving Father to give me the desires of my heart. Which ironically enough often times involves food.

Out of the mouths of babes...

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Photostory Friday: Love In Motion

Tonight I came in to the kid's room to help get them ready for bed. My husband is GREAT at getting the kids all riled up just before they need to get to sleep. I got to capture him doing what all Dads do best. Making a fool of himself to make the kiddos laugh!!! Now my husband is a great guy and a ton of fun but he is also, especially in public, a little bit quiet in reserved.

This, ladies and gents, is the real N Brooks as we know and love him

PhotoStory Friday
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I May Just NOT Do That Again

Let me tell you about the day I had today. I can sum it all up in about one sentence. This morning as I was making breakfast I asked that God would give me patience...

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This is from a forward I got from my sister. I thought it was too important to not pass along It is about a new movie coming to theaters this weekend:

The movie "Fireproof" is made by the same people (a large Baptist church in Georgia ) that made "Flywheel" and "Facing the Giants". While their previous two movies were excellent, they did seem to lack a bit in quality (such as filming, acting, effects, etc), but not this time. For this movie they actually hired a Hollywood studio to help them (Samuel Goldwyn Pictures (He was the "Goldwyn" of Metro Goldwyn Maier (MGM)), so the special effects, filming, and acting are just as good as anything that Hollywood can produce.

Now the important part..it is the story of a couple who are having SEVERE marriage trouble and are on the brink of divorce. Days before they were to file for divorce, the husband's (Kirk Cameron) father challenges him to a 40 day love dare. This is a wonderful story of how God brought their marriage from the brink of divorce and restored them. This is a completely 100% clean movie with absolutely nothing objectionable in it and it has a VERY powerful and positive message of marital commitment and faith in God.
The movie is being released nationwide on Friday, September 26. The theaters have agreed to give it only a 1 week trial run. What this means is that if there aren't enough people that go to the movie on Friday, Saturday and Sunday September 26-28, then after the first week it will be pulled from the theaters. This movie has such a powerful life-changing message that has the potential of changing tens of thousands of lives and marriages as well as introducing these people to God, it would be a terrible shame for this to only be in theaters for 7 days. I encourage all of you to make plans now go to this movie on one of these three days and bring as many people with you as you can. I know movie tickets are expensive but I strongly believe it is money well spent.

To see a movie trailer, learn more about the movie or to see a complete listing of all theaters nationwide that will be playing this movie, go to www.fireproofthemovie.com.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #1: Love To Blog You Baby!

Thirteen Reasons Why I Love to Blog

Here are 13 Reasons why I love to blog...

1. I can work on my writing skills.

2. I can escape into this world where some know me, others don't but I can just be me!

3. I have nothing better to do with my time (Yeah right!!)

4. I know that from time to time my posts make my parents proud and as a grown women with 3 kids of her own, I still LOVE to make my parents proud.

5. Every great once in a while I like to withhold details of my life from my parents and then post about it here. It's a fun way for them to catch up with how the family is doing. (By the way, I'm pregnant!) Hahahahahahaha! Just kidding. (okay gotta go find the smelling salts for my mom now)

6. I have met some really cool new people through the blogging world. (I've met some real dorks too. Try to figure out which one you are... j/k)

7. Over the last week and a half I have been trying to get back to the initial purpose of this blog. To see the lessons God tries to teach me daily through my children. I had kind of lost sight of that for a while. I have noticed a change in me already through doing this. I have been much more patient with my children. I love my kids, I have good kids. But like any mother who is being honest, some days I find myself wanting to beat my head against the kitchen cabinets. Looking for God in the daily life of a stay at home mom helps me regain focus of how precious these few days we have with our kids are. (wow that was a long one)

8. From this blog some of my self doubt has been erased. Through comments, both on the actual blog and via phone and email I have been encouraged by what others have gotten out of my words. And I LOVE hearing when I have made somebody laugh or smile.

9. I may be a little late in starting but I love being a part of a fad. I'm never a part of what the 'cool kids" are doing.

10. From my friends that don't know I blog, I feel like I have this secret life they don't know about, and someday they will find out this random fact about me... they probably won't care, but in my mind it's fun.

11. I have a vivid imagination and it is always turned on... with surround sound. And in my daydreams this is way #5478 that I am going to make my family millions of dollars. (yes I realize it is going take a few more readers then I currently have, what do you think a VIVID imagination is?) ;)

12. I like changing my header and the looks of my page.

13. IT'S ADDICTIVE! I couldn't quit even if I wanted to.

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! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Washing Machine Overfloweth, Yet...

Habakkuk 3:17-19
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.

I love this passage, I always have! I still remember my daddy preaching a sermon about it years ago. I was trying to put in more practical terms the other day. How could we, as mothers now, relate to this? So here it goes...

Though the cell phone was dropped in the toilet... again
And the washing machine overfloweth.
Though the baby just won't sleep
And you can't get your teenager out of bed.
Though there is only $2.29 left in the grocery budget
And it is only the 5th of the month.

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord.
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer.
I can run like a gazelle to unplug the washer.
He enables me to go to new heights, and lows,
As I fish the cell phone out of the toilet,
Wipe it off and dial the nearest Pizza Hut.
After all if there is no money left for groceries, we'll have to order out.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Madness from Mouths of Babes: At the Very Least

Bella came out of her room about 15 minutes after nap time started today and said. "I'm all done I went nite-nite real good."

"Uh, no you didn't" I said.

"But I laid my head down and went 'honk chew, honk chew' (snoring noises around here when we are pretending to sleep) for a long, looooooooong time!”

How often I find myself trying to get by with the least amount that God asks or requires of me.

..."but I keep my bible out on the night stand, isn't that enough?"

Yeah, it didn’t work for Bella either!

*Disclaimer* In case it has seemed to anyone else, or maybe it is just me being paranoid, but I'm going to say it anyway. I, in no way, am trying to belittle my children by my posts. I am not finding fault with their antics or thinking they should have behaved better, done it differently, etc. I recognize that they are children and therefore, expected to act in a childish manner. And, when I am not being impatient with them, I find it endearing. I, on the other hand, am expected to have moved beyond some of these childish behaviors as their mother. God has blessed me with the ability to learn lessons through them as I see a reflection of what I am in the things my kids say and do. I don't know, maybe he just feels he has to keep it on a preschool level for me to understand but I find I learn the best lessons from the mouths of babes. And in between having to leave the room in the midst of trying to discipline because Bella just makes me have to laugh out loud sometimes, and thinking, did Buddy really just do that, I find a point to all the madness.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Beacon of Peace - Exposed

I don't remember where I found this photo. It has been sitting in a file on my computer for some time. I loved it first because my husband loves lighthouses. He collects them. I always thought they were kind of pretty but have never been as passionate about them as he. But tonight this lighthouse speaks to me of peace. And not exactly what usually comes to my mind when I think of the word peace.

I look at this picture, at the skies in the background. I see the remnants of a storm. I think of what I may have lost the night before in the midst of that squall. I am still far from home and there is a journey that lies ahead. And I realize, peace does not always mean we have arrived, we have everything we need. But in the midst of something lost, at the height of longing, there is the knowledge that we have been saved from what could have been. There, we can stay hidden, tucked away, sheltered just a little longer. And that light, will serve to guide us when skies darken once again. For the light reaches far beyond where we can see.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Photostory Friday: That's Not Good Enough

My kids just had birthdays a few weeks ago. Bella on August 24th, and Buddy about 2 weeks later. We got them hula-hoops. Bella, obviously got hers first, since her birthday comes first. Buddy loved her hula-hoop. He longed for one of his own (fortunately we knew this would be the case and had already purchased one for him too and were saving it for his birthday.) In the meantime, anytime Bella put her hula-hoop down, Buddy was all over it. Playing with it, leading it around like a beloved pet, talking about it at the dinner table, how he was going to play with it as soon as he got done eating (as long as his big sister wasn't already playing with it). It was no surprise that he was overcome with joy when he received his very own little ring of bliss. No more waiting his turn, no more asking permission and hoping that her highness, the 4 year old, would grant his request. His new, Buddy owned hula-hoop was lead around like a beloved pet anytime he wanted it.

That was about 2 weeks ago, about a decade to a three year old. Yesterday the boys were in their room playing. Buddy called me into his room requesting help with something. He held in his hands two flexible orange tubes that connect to one another. He wanted me to put them together to form a circle. Guess what he wanted to use it for? It was incredible to me. There, in the very room he played in, was an actual hula-hoop. One that, just days ago, could not be matched, in the eyes of my sweet boy, for a better toy. And now, here he was, looking for something "better" to replace to it.

How revealing this was to me, simply a larger version of this child. The 25 years I have on my son does not seem to have given me much more maturity in matters of want. I become so easily discontent with things that, not that long ago, brought me such joy. Instead I find myself, like a child, looking for something to replace what I have already been blessed with. I call God in and ask him to put together the pieces to "a new toy" when what I need sits right in front of me.

Lord, teach me to be content with what I have. Help me to be an example of this to my children. Thank you for providing all that we need and then some!

My husband and I came across a quote earlier this year. We refer to it often; it has become one of our favorites:

The great enemy of the life of faith in God is not sin but the good, which is not good enough.
By Oswald Chambers

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Monday Madness from Mouths of Babes: The Real Truth

Yesterday Elyse said to me, "Mommy, I'm going to tell you the same truth I told daddy..."

I'm still not sure if the version we got was the actual truth but at least we both got "the same truth".

I was reminded of this this morning as our pastor was speaking about relationships. I wonder which truth I show people about me. I may feel like I am, as a friend use to say, "keeping it real" because I am showing everybody the same truth about myself. But is this "truth" that I have so perfected the real me? Do my friends know that I fail, daily, as a mother? Do the people I go to church with know that I really can't do it all on my own even though I have spent a life time priding myself on just that? Just because I am telling one person the same truth I tell the next doesn't mean that any of it is sincere at all. Out of the mouths of babes!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Photostory Friday: A Boy and His Brownie Batter

This is a story about a boy who, up until the time he was two, had not received even a lick of brownie batter. His mother, who passionately hates baking, had deprived her children of such pleasures in life as licking the mixing spoon full of ooey gooey mouth watering chocolate mush. One day after giving into a craving for something fattening and delicious. Said mother decides to break down and mix up a boxed batch of brownies. She is feeling unusually generous that day and so decides to share a small part of the half batch of brownie batter that always makes it into her mouth pre baked. She scoops out a spoonful for her three-year-old daughter and then hands two-year-old son the mixing spoon full of ooey gooey goodness.

Boy Loves His First Yummy Bites of Sticky Chocolate!

Boy Finishes Spoonful of Chocolate and Finds Out There Is No More!

Boy Is Unhappy About This Little Arrangement! And Does Not Get the Privilege of Ooey Gooey Goodness For Quite Sometime After!

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

There Is Only One Way to Find Out if You are Going to Like Them... Oh, Wait, There are Two

So I use to wonder if this was really a problem for people. Now I know... it happens. And, it happened to me. N and I bought a tube of Pringles. Mmm... I love Pringles! We like to try out all the strange new flavors, Cheeseburger, Seven Layer Dip (my personal favorite), and then there was Tuesday, the day that we bought Mozzarella Sticks with Marinara Sauce. It sounded strange but we wanted to try it. I kind of forgot about them and didn't check them out until yesterday afternoon. I grabbed them from the top of the refrigerator pulled the plastic lid off and noticed that the freshness seal was pulled most of the way off.

Hmm, I wondered what N thought of them. I, loved them, by the way!!! Ya gotta try em. I mean, I eat 3/4 of the package in one sitting, loved them! I saw them on my night stand last night when I headed to bed. They were sitting there because I had eaten them during nap time while folding clothes in my bedroom. Not because N and I had come up with "romantic" things to do with them... one day I'll have to post about the day I found a jar of peanut butter on the night stand in my parents bedroom and why I never ask questions like "Hey, what's the peanut butter doing in your bedroom?" Frightening!

So I asked, "What did you think of the Mozzarella Sticks with Marinara Sauce Pringles?"

He said, "I don't know, I haven't tried them yet."

"Yeah you did?" (I bet men love that not only do we become their mother after we marry them, we become their memory)

"Nope, I haven't tried them."

"But the freshness seal was open!"

"I didn't do that, I haven't eaten any"

"Oh my gosh!"

Look of pity

"But I ate them!"

Another look of pity

"Ew, I ate those and somebody had already opened them!"

Apparently the "do not eat if freshness seal is broken" is there because, people, at times, open up the package take a few (Oh I forgot to mention, there was obviously some missing from the tube.) and then put them back on the shelf. Yuck! But like I said, they were good, I almost finished off the rest of the previously opened and consumed can of Pringles today! I'm thinking if I was going to contract something from eating a previously opened and consumed can of Pringles, I had already been infected and might as well enjoy the rest!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Photostory Friday and a He'p Me Dada Moment with Noni

This picture was taken on Thanksgiving morning. It is a picture of Noni (Jarrod's mom, DeAnna) greeting two of her three grandkids, our Elyse and Isaiah, as we arrived for dinner. It was our last Thanksgiving with my mother-in-law. She went to be with the Lord very suddenly on Palm Sunday of this year. Today Elyse told her daddy that she missed her Noni and wanted to go to heaven and see her. I thought it was fitting to share a little bit of her life with you for my Photostory Friday.

DeAnna was a tremendous writer. She wrote literally hundreds of stories, devotionals, and articles. Her life was a testimony to her faith in God and her writing reflected that. The following is a story she wrote about Elyse and Isaiah:


Two weeks ago, while my son and very pregnant daughter-in-law were still packing up in the Texas piney woods for their move to the far southern regions of the state, Isaiah and Elyse stayed with me for three nights. To capture fully the heart of this picture, you must envision an 18 month old and a 2½ year old deprived of a bathtub.

I live in a house built the same year I was born where for over a year the bathroom with the tub has not worked. Gratefully, I don’t need to rely on a sink and a washcloth, or a wooden tub in front of a blazing fireplace.

I’ve another bathroom … with a shower. Elyse loves the shower; she has for over a year. She sings, often at the top of her lungs, and dances in the rain, spinning round and round and round, hands uplifted all the while trying to capture every drop. Getting her to come out is the challenge. Isaiah is another story. I’d hoped putting Elyse into the shower first, where her obvious joy mixed jubilantly with the showers, might, just might, spill over unto Isaiah when he joined her. NOT!

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry …or somehow indulge in both. From the moment the first droplet bounced off the tile floor onto Isaiah's little body, his screams drowned out hers … with on singular difference. Absence of any peace or joy, let alone enjoyment, marked Isaiah's cries.

“He’p me! He’p me! Dada, he’p me!” reverberated off every wall, drowning out my own words of comfort. His were not quiet imploring words, but rather strident, demanding shrieks. There simply was no consoling Isaiah as those gentle, cleansing waters fell. No words of assurance brought peacefulness to his little heart. Not until I’d gathered up into my arms his little towel-draped body did his cries weaken and finally stop. Only then, at rest at last, did a sweet smile returned to his little face.

All the while, Bella, face often turned upward, reveled in the cleansing rain. Her voice filled the cubicle with her gleeful laughter, while she graced the tiles beneath her feet with such joyful dancing I couldn’t help but glory, myself, in her submissive delight to the gentle power of those cleansing waters.

For three nights, my heart drank in this unchanging lesson, unaware there even was one. It wasn’t until later, until after I took my grandchildren to their new home. On my two-hour return drive back to my home, reflecting on my time with the babies, I began to relive the nightly shower episodes. Only this time, it wasn’t Elyse, or Isaiah, beneath the cleansing waters.

It was me standing there, beneath that cleansing flow. At times, like Elyse, I realize my soul rang with joyous gratitude … my face turned upwards, arms stretched delightfully overhead trying to capture every droplet, feet dancing with unrestrained songs of thanksgiving.

More often, my own cries echoed Isaiah's. Inconsolable. Without understanding or gratitude. Or even the awareness that I frantically fought the necessary cleansing of the showers of God’s truth. Heavenly ears lovingly bore the heartbreaking pain of my own pleas, pleas every bit as desperate as Isaiah's.

He’p me! He’p me! Dada, he’p me!

I realized, then, as I reflected on my own life through this shower filter, that I’d never been without my Father’s help, my Father’s safekeeping, my Father’s gentle embrace or soothing voice. Whether I’d gloried in the moment like Elyse, or fearfully fought against it like Isaiah, my Father’s love for me never wavered … neither did His faithful presence both with me and for me.

Such, I picture my life. I know it a true picture, a faithful picture. In many ways, we never stop being children before God. Most often, when faced with the choice between Eden and Gethsemane, Eden’s garden seems so much more delightful. But, our soul, frolicking in Eden’s self-delight, becomes soiled, and we don’t even realize it. When Love brings His cleansing showers, we fight them, we fear them, even as His arms wrap gently, lovingly around us.

“Father God, how often I have brought You to a place where You don’t know whether to laugh or cry over my apparent fear of a touch I don’t understand and can’t avoid. Your touch, meeting a need unperceived by my childish understanding, cleansing me, covering me with the sweet aroma of Redemption Wine. Thank You that in those moments of my confusion and my fear, You wrap me securely in the comfort of Your grace and whisper soothing words to my heart. One day, Lord, I will know I need only stretch my arms upwards within those blessed showers, capturing every drop of mercy, and set my feet to dancing in the glory of Your love for me. Until that day, thank You for Your patience with this heart still fascinated by Eden but longing more and more for Gethsemane. ”

© 25 March 2007
DeAnna L. Brooks

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Baby Be Gone

My baby has gone from this

To this

to this sweet little girl

To so grown up

In the blink of an eye.

Yesterday Bella turned 4 years old.
It's going way to fast. But everyday she makes me just a little more proud of the little lady she is becoming.
I love you sweet Bella!

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