Friday, August 31, 2007

Practicing the Presence

I receive several different emails from and today's was "Upwords from Max Lucado." The title of it was Practicing the Presence. I think that's pretty practical because I definitely have to think about God and make choices every day. It's not like I always get up and bam there He is. Now I know He is with me every day and He will never leave me or forsake me; it's just some days I tend to go my own way and think my own thoughts and leave Him out of my life. That is until I get in a jam or something upsetting happens and then I cry out to Him. I love the days I wake up and my first thought is, "Good morning, Lord." I love the days when He gives me a song to sing.

I used to never sing out loud because I don't have a good voice. But now I can't help it. I love Him and I have to proclaim it sometimes. I want to be in His presence much more than I am now. I'm afraid the beginning of school has altered my thought process somewhat. I have so many more things added to my schedule and to get stressed out over. Stressing out is definitely a signal that I need Him. I need to Practice the Presence.

Hannah and I made an out of town trip yesterday afternoon. She has wanted a digital camera for a long time and that was her birthday request for November. Best Buy had the very camera she wanted $30 cheaper than Wal-Mart. She wanted to take a photography class in enrichment classes and needed a camera to do so. She decided she needed her birthday gift early. I needed some things from Sam's Club so off we went.

So now I'll have pictures I can steal for my blog. Almost as good as having my own~!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fresh Creamery Butter

I have actually cooked breakfast the past two mornings. I said this morning I kinda felt like a pioneer woman. Never mind that the pancakes yesterday were Hungry Jack, although I did add eggs and oil. That counts for something. This morning it was Blueberry Cheesecake and Poppy Seed muffins. Even though they were packaged I had to reach inside the refrigerator and get the eggs and milk, open the package, and mix them up. On her way out the door to work, as she grabbed some hot muffins, I asked Rebekah if she wanted some "fresh creamery butter" to go with them.

Our family seems to find lines from movies that we really like. The "fresh creamery butter" comes from "Kate and Leopold" and "These mashed potatoes are soo creamy" comes from "While You Were Sleeping." Our family also likes mashed potatoes.........the kind you actually grow in the ground, peel, and cook. None of those instant ones for us. Now I don't actually plant them, weed them, or dig them, but I do go grocery shopping in search of them.

I told the kids this morning that they could have a "normal" family where I went to work. Ben smiled and told me that we were normal, that the others were weird. (DISCLAIMER: If you are one of the "weird" families I in no way intend to judge or condemn you. I am merely talking about a conversation our family had this morning.)

Later I got to thinking about a Glen Campbell song, "Dreams of an Everyday Housewife." Now this doesn't exactly fit me because I never had anyone I almost married. I married my one true love. But I do have the wrinkles that weren't there yesterday; or maybe they were........yeah, actually they WERE there yesterday.

All in all, God has exceeded even my own expectations. I never expected to have five kids, home school them, and a dog in the house. I'm glad we're normal.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My Epiphany

I had an epiphany this morning. To make my point I'm including the definition.

3 a (1) : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature (Toilet tissue is really important to me.) or meaning of something (2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (We are almost out of this essential product) (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) : an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure (Do you realize that people actually used old catalogs for this need????) b : a revealing scene or moment

Now I realize I'm not that old, but we actually had outhouses when I was young. My aunt had one even much longer than most people. As a child I wasn't allowed to use the ones at our house. They had REALLY deep holes and my parents didn't want to risk losing me down the toilet. But my aunt's wasn't made that way. I could actually go out to her back yard, turn the little board nailed on the front to open the door, go inside, and you know........ I thought it was so neat to be able to do that. Now I didn't have to use the catalog (or if I did I don't remember). Or maybe it was so painful I have pushed it into the back recesses of my mind.

Anyway, for some strange reason I was extremely grateful for toilet tissue today. Weird, huh??

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Grace Upon Grace

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. John 1:16 (NIV)

I am so thankful for God's undeserved grace, and for the way He extends it to me through others. I had signed up for on-line banking and receive alerts if our balance goes under $100.

Well, I got one of those email alerts this morning. Right after getting one for insufficient funds. I frantically transferred some funds from the other account and began the job of balancing the checkbook to see where I had erred. I had gotten the statement yesterday, but because it was the first day of school I never got around to it. Big mistake~!

It all began a couple of weeks ago when I forgot to record a debit transaction. Now I always (or so I thought) write down my debit amounts before I even use my debit card. The one time I don't I get into trouble.

I went to the bank and talked to this very nice lady. While looking at our account she said that we have been customers for over 20 years and she would reverse the insufficient funds charges which totaled $64.00. Now I would have been ecstatic if she had offered to take away one of them. But both?? It was indeed my mistake, but she showed mercy to me. Undeserved mercy.

It was my fault. I screwed up. I fell short.

I wanted to weep in front of her. Instead I came home and wrote her a very nice thank you note. I see Jesus in all of it. Grace upon grace.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Forever the Optimist

We started school several hours ago. It is going great~! It will be an awesome year filled with its own set of challenges and victories. Every year is different. Every year is a year closer to the end of my career as a homeschooling mother. I have had several people ask me, "What will you do when you are finished homeschooling?"

Right now I think I'll take a ten year vacation and then maybe look for a part
time job. Of course by that time no one will want to hire a sixty something ex-homeschooling mom who hasn't worked in over 40 years~! If they still have door greeters at Wal-Mart I may have to consider that.

Another option would be to take college algebra and see if I could pass it. Or maybe not. I have come to believe that some people really do get it. I'm just not one of them. I can learn how to work the problems, but it just doesn't stick. By the time the next child needs my help I'm almost back at square one. But on the bright side I am getting better at it. I'm just a slow learner. Thank God for HomeSat teachers who actually understand what they are doing~!

Another great thing about the first day of school is that there is not usually much homework to check. Maybe I'll find time to clean our bathroom. I'm sure there's a white tub underneath all that grime. And for those who are interested I counted the number of loads of laundry I did the past 6 days. They totaled seventeen. That is not counting the ones that I didn't personally do. I'm not one to take credit for something I didn't do.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Precious Pupp

From the website listed below:
Another classic Hanna Barbera cartoon from 1965, part of The Atom Ant Show.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Majesty (Here I Am)

Here I am humbled by your Majesty
Covered by your grace so free

Here I am, knowing I'm a sinful man
Covered by the blood of the Lamb

Now I've found the greatest love of all is mine
Since you laid down your life
The greatest sacrifice

Majesty, Majesty
Your grace has found me just as I am
Empty handed, but alive in your hands
Majesty, Majesty

Forever I am changed by your love
In the presence of your Majesty

Here I am humbled by the love that you give
Forgiven so that I can forgive
Here I stand, knowing that I'm your desire
Sanctified by glory and fire

Now I've found the greatest love of all is mine
Since you laid down your life
The greatest sacrifice

(Delirious \ Majesty (Here I Am)

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Psalm 70:4 (God's Word Translation)

"Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad because of you. Let those who love your salvation continually say, "God is great!"

A long time ago I signed up to receive E-quip newsletters from Kevin Kinchen. After serving for 18 years as an associate pastor at Living Stones Church he felt called to full time evangelism. I love his encouragement and love for God. Check him out at
He has an awesome testimony of how God healed him after he was ran over lengthwise by a backhoe tractor. The doctors gave him a 10-15% chance of survival. But God had other plans for him~! his E-quip email today he was talking about the verse above. This is awesome and so powerful~! How many times do we wait for something good to happen and then rejoice?
We can rejoice because HE IS~!

He is the great I AM~!
He is the GOD OF HOPE~!
He is the MERCIFUL GOD~!
He is the BREAD OF LIFE~!
He is the ALMIGHTY GOD~!
He is the MOST HIGH~!

HE IS and "we are" because of Him~! Our every breath comes from Him. REJOICE~!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sneaky Kids

This is so great. If you get a chance please click on the link below. Be sure to scroll down to the description. Most of us with several kids can relate to this lady~! This was passed on through our home school group.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Clouds are Breaking

Hallelujah for a song~! I didn't have one yesterday. The day turned kind of sour for me. At least that is the way I perceived it. It was a wonderful day; however I looked at it from my own perspective instead of God's perspective. Will I ever learn to stop doing that? However there is no condemnation, and today is a new day with a new opportunity to see God in all my circumstances. His mercies are new every morning, new every day, great is His faithfulness.

The world's shaking with the love of God
Great and glorious, let the whole earth sing
And all you ever do is change the old for new
People we believe that
God is bigger than the air I breathe
The world we'll leave
God will save the day and all will say
My glorious!
Clouds are breaking, heaven's come to earth

Hearts awakening let the church bells ring
And all you ever do is change the old for new
People we believe that
God is bigger than the air I breathe
The world we'll leave
God will save the day and all will say
My glorious~!
(Delirious, My Glorious)

I love the part about changing the old for new. With God there is always hope~!

Monday, August 20, 2007

More of Him

We had a wonderful day with our church family yesterday. Pastor Ron, who is the overseer of all the CFC churches, spoke to us in the morning service. The praise was awesome and the message was awesome. It was also awesome to see OJ and Brandi~! We have missed them so much.

Pastor Ron gave an incredible, uplifting message that God had given him. It was so encouraging. We had our Big Girl meeting last night. Anne, Pastor Ron's lovely wife, spoke to us about guilt, grieving, and grudges. She has such wisdom and had us rolling with laughter at times. We don't need any of those in our lives and need to deal with them and give them up.

We are so blessed to be a part of our church family. I can't imagine "going it alone" so to speak. The times I have tried that have been such a disaster. I know I can have a relationship with God alone, but I need my church family. God speaks to me through our wonderful pastor and I have grown up in a lot of ways. I don't think I'll ever arrive, but that is not a reason to stop trying and stagnate. I'm glad I'm not where I used to be in my walk with the Lord, but I'm not satisfied to be where I am now either. I want and need more of Him.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

End of the Rope

I've read the Sermon on the Mount many times. I've even memorized it. I suppose I never really thought about what Matthew 5:3 means, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The same verse in The Message says it this way: "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule."

Now that I can understand; at least the part about being at the end of my rope. I've felt that way many many times. However I've never thought about being blessed when I felt that way.

When I looked it up in the New Living Translation it puts it this way: "God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them."

Either way, it shows me my need for God. When I realize I need Him then I am certainly blessed.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Preordered Kids

(I was messing around on Picasa and did this collage. At the bottom is a picture of a sign Bethany had taken at the zoo on a family outing. The kids are standing by an old barn at my mom's house.) I love these kids so much~!

Psalm 139:13-18 (The Message)

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God - you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration - what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day. Your thoughts - how rare, how beautiful! God, I'll never comprehend them! I couldn't even begin to count them - any more than I could count the sand of the sea. Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Donald~!

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For Eddie and Connie

This is for my good friends Eddie and Connie~! We were reliving some of the good old days last night, like when you could get ICE COLD cokes in GLASS bottles~!

(For those of you too young to remember the Valomilk was a marshmallow candy in a chocolate cup; kinda like the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups of today. The pretty bottles
were fruit juice in a wax bottle. You drank the juice and chewed the wax.)
You could get a lot of candy for a dime back then. Kits came in different flavors and had five individually wrapped pieces in a package; my favorites were the chocolate. The package cost a penny. Or you could spend a nickel and get a whole candy bar~! Fruit striped gum was a big favorite of many kids also.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cold Diet Cokes and Frozen Ice Cream

It's so hot I don't feel like doing anything. I got up and ran errands earlier this morning, but it was still hot. I know we've been spoiled with all the rain and milder temperatures, but summer has arrived in a blaze of heat.

All I want to do is lay inside under the air conditioner and drink a cold diet coke or eat ice cream. The air conditioner runs and runs and I don't seem to

get cool. The heat index is at 111 degrees.
I did have a thought earlier
when I went to take the trash out into the garage.

I sure am glad I'm going to heaven and not to Sheol. It must be a horrible miserable hot place.

I was thinking about the small town grocery store where I grew up. Later on it went out of business, but when I was little they had a coke machine similar to the one in the picture. They put ice in it and the bottled drinks were so cold and good~! Cold cokes in a glass bottle are so great.

I have to go back into the hot kitchen and make the mashed potatoes. My ironing board is still in there also, waiting on me to finish the ironing. I had to take a break and dream of ice cream and cold cokes in glass bottles.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Fill in the Blank

Last week was so busy. We celebrated Rebekah and Ben's birthday on Thursday night. Tuesday afternoon Rebekah and I made a trip to Sam's Club for supplies. Donald's sister and her two boys came in Thursday and spent Friday night and Saturday at our house. I spent the week cleaning, shampooing carpets, and getting ready. Friday morning we had our enrichment class planning meeting. I had to leave early so I could get home to change sheets, bake a couple of desserts, and finish cleaning. With seven people and a dog in the house we pretty much need to vacuum every day and there is always laundry and dirty dishes. Friday night we went out to eat with Annette and her boys, Donald's brother Doug and his wife and daughter and her husband and little boy. Are you following me??? Then we all came back here for dessert and conversation. Yesterday was church and later while Rebekah and Bethany were on Rebekah's birthday excursion and the kids were at a swimming party Donald and I went to Chili's and used my gift certificate that I won. We had an appetizer plate and then shared a piece of Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie. It was so yummy~! This morning I slept in until 10:10. I started to get up but wondered why I wanted to do that. I had nothing pressing today so I decided to relax and went back to sleep. I think I deserved the rest.

Pastor Paul made a statement yesterday that I am chewing on. When God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Israel, Moses questioned God about His choice. Exodus 3:14 "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. "

God does not just exist; He is everything. I AM _________. You can fill in the blank, but that is limiting God. He is so much bigger than anything you can put in there. Whatever we need, He is~!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Happy Birthday Rebekah~!

Of all our children, I seem to remember your birth more clearly. I suppose it is because you are our first born. Or maybe it was because you were almost born in the car while your dad was trying to delay my going to the hospital. In his defense that was what our Lamaze instructor recommended...........not going to the hospital too soon (she didn't recommend having you in the car). I couldn't sleep at all that night, your dad and I just talked and talked.

You are a beautiful young woman and such a blessing to us~! Happy Happy Birthday~!
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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Escape from Sin's Prison

We fall down
We lay our crowns
At the feet of Jesus
The greatness of mercy and love
At the feet of Jesus

We cry holy, holy, holy
We cry holy, holy, holy
We cry holy, holy, holy
Is the lamb

(Kutless - We Fall Down)

I have to admit that my failure the other night has reminded me how much I love and need Jesus. I need His joy, His peace, His presence in my life. After experiencing this for a while in my life I had forgotten how miserable it is to be 'me.' I'm not talking about the me He created me to be, but the me I am without Him. Romans 7:14-20 (The Message) says what I'm trying to say:

"Yes. I'm full of myself - after all, I've spent a long time in sin's prison. What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary. But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time."

But Hallelujah~! "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free." (Galatians 5:1a NIV)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


This is the air I breathe
This is the air I breathe
Your holy presence living in me

This is my daily bread
This is my daily bread
Your very word spoken to me

And I I'm desperate for you
And I I'm I'm lost without you
And I'm desperate for you
And I'm, I'm lost without you.

I'm lost without you.
I'm lost without you.
I'm desperate for you.

Breathe (Michael W. Smith)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Sigh and Sigh Again

In sharing my victories, I feel it is necessary to share my failures also. I blew it last night. I can't go into the specifics (birthday week at our house), but I didn't get what I wanted and I acted like a spoiled brat. No, I didn't get down on the floor and throw a fit, but I was doing exactly that on the inside. It's rather depressing, but I have asked for forgiveness from the person who witnessed this and hopefully received it without too much damage being done. I hate it when the flesh dictates my actions. I didn't recognize the signs at the time because I was too busy making it about me and what I wanted.

Now I have to deal with my emotional baggage. On the positive side it won't take as long as it used to. Years past I would have let it get me down for days. That is making it about me. I'm going to make it about Him.

On the other hand, if we admit our sins - make a clean breast of them - he won't let us down; he'll be true to himself. He'll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. 1 John 1:9 (The Message)

Monday, August 6, 2007


In Romans 12:3 Paul says this:

I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.

This pretty much sums up what God has been teaching me lately. Grace and more grace; being accepted and loved by God without earning a bit of it; and not trying to "do" things for Him but to enjoy life and listen to what He says to do. It's all about Him and not about me.

In our Celebrate Recovery class we talked about relapse the other night. There were several questions we can use to evaluate ourselves......Hurting? Exhausted? Angry? Resentful? Tense?

If you take the first letter of each of these they spell "HEART." I can use these to discern if I need to take action. Just yesterday I was getting annoyed over a situation and letting it control my emotions. I thought of the T question: Tense?? Yes, yes, and yes~! I realized it wasn't worth getting tense and angry over so I chilled out. I averted a potentially dangerous situation that could have stolen my joy and damaged a relationship. I pray I can be alert and recognize what happens and how to deal with it. It really made a HUGE difference.

When we started the Celebrate Recovery class in our church I really didn't think I had a great need for it, but wanted to help and support it. I mean I have problems, but not great big ones. Boy was I wrong~! I believe if we are able to breathe we have some hurt, habit, or hangup that we need help with.

Temptation isn't the sin.......following through with it is. Temptation is a call to battle~! (note to self from class)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Ally Sings

Rebekah had an entry on her blog entitled Girls Night ( I was blessed to be a part of the last one Friday night. It's always so good to see Joann. She is one of those friends that no matter how long it's been we always pick right back up where we left off. I love those kind of friendships~!

I guess you could officially call it Moms and
Daughter's Night Out: Joann and her daughter,
Jennifer, and me and our daughter, Rebekah.
Jennifer has an adorable little girl who entertained us quite well. She played on
Jennifer's little piano and sang Ally, Ally, Ally.
Ally is her name so that made it so
sticking cute~! Joann is a doting grandmother.
She is lovingly called "Grammy" by her grand
kids. She tried and tried to get Ally to say
"Grammy" but the little cutie wouldn't comply.
Jennifer's son was out of town so I didn't get to
meet him.

Since our youngest is almost 15 I had forgotten how active and into things they are at that age.

I'm not quite sure I'll have enough energy to be
a grandma. But you can be sure I'll give it my
best shot~!

Thanks Jennifer for your hospitality and for the diet cokes~! Joann, thank you for
being such a wonderful friend.

Friday, August 3, 2007

My Glorious

I love it when God gives me a song. I was thinking about something concerning one of our children and God put this phrase in my heart: "God will save the day." It is from a song called "My Glorious" by Delirious. Here are the words.

The world's shaking with the love of God
Great and glorious, let the whole earth sing
And all you ever do is change the old for new
People we believe that

God is bigger than the air I breathe
The world we'll leave
God will save the day and all will say
My glorious!

Clouds are breaking, heaven's come to earth
Hearts awakening let the church bells ring
And all you ever do is change the old for new
People we believe that

God is bigger than the air I breathe
The world we'll leave
God will save the day and all will say
My glorious!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Sacrifice vs Obedience

Throughout our Wednesday night meetings our pastor has mentioned Watchman Nee and some of the things he said in his books. I really must read some of his writings. Last night he mentioned these quotes and there is much to mull over in Nee's words. They come from his book Spiritual Authority. If you're anything like me, you may need to read and reread and think about them before you decide you understand what he's saying.

"Faith is the principle by which we obtain life, so obedience is the principle by which that life is lived out."

"Man's actions should not be motivated by the knowledge of good and evil; it should be motivated by a sense of obedience."

1 Samuel 15:22 But Samuel replied, "What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams." (The New Living Translation)

Read 1 Samuel 15 and you'll see that Saul disobeyed what God told him to do through Samuel.

When confronted, Saul insisted he obeyed. I've always found it interesting that Saul told Samuel he saved the best sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord YOUR God (to Samuel's God). He didn't say the Lord or my Lord but your Lord. That was when Samuel told him that obedience is far better than sacrifice.

How many times do I try to do something for the Lord (sacrifice) instead of simply listening to Him and obeying His voice? Maybe I should take Psalm 46:10 to heart, "Be still and know that I am God...."