November 23, 2009

Extra Thankful Thanksgiving.

Monday morning, the week of Thanksgiving. The kids all have early release today and tomorrow then they are off for Thanksgiving. We will celebrate Thanksgiving with the usual suspects, all the family from here, extended family and our New Mexico family who drives in. I am extra excited about Thanksgiving this year, this is Rob's first year in 18 years that he has not worked 20 hour days at the bakery leading up to the day of Thanksgiving. He said to me yesterday, wow, I can see why so many people like Thanksgiving now. The holidays for us have always been stressful because of Rob's work schedule, this year now that he is at DRI has opened some space up in our life for family time and time to do the holiday planning together. I am extra thankful this Thanksgiving.

I was telling my sweet friend Yvonne yesterday I had no real inspiration for our family Christmas card this year. I generally start thinking Christmas card idea's up in September. Here we are the week of Thanksgiving and I hadn't come up with a new idea. Yesterday was a nice warm day, and I really wanted to grab a couple of pics of my kids before the weather cooled off. They are so much more pleasant when they are not freezing cold and their mother has a camera in their face. I had exactly 6 minutes to shoot our Christmas card pic yesterday due to our schedule, and it all came together. I created our card and ordered them last night. Whew!! It all came together quickly. I wanted my kids to wear clothes that they loved, not necessarily matching for the card, Jack's clothes for church yesterday were totally classic Jack, plaid shorts, totally different color plaid shirt, and his purple high tops. I loved his ecclectic look, Derek had put on a Bears shirt in honor of the game last night, and Sophie found a casual outfit. I loved the personality that comes through. The last couple of years we have done a family pic for the card, but this year decided it was easiest just to use a pic of the kids. As we were driving down our street to take the pictures, Jack says, "What is dad not coming? Did he not make the Christmas card picture this year?" I laughed. Told Rob that and he laughed too.

Books, I can't seem to get through a book here lately. I am reading a couple, On Writing Well, is the book I have next to me right now. I think I will be taking tomorrow morning off to do some extended Bible study and have some personal time just reading and hanging out before my kids are done with school this week. Today is going to be a bit crazy, so I might as well get as much done within the craziness today and rest tomorrow.

I did do my study this morning in the book of Mark. Mark is a special book for me for several reasons, but today my reading was in The Message version. I feel like I am reading stories I have never read before when I read The Message, it is a great way to read the stories of Christ, and the stories in the Bible, they seem to be a bit more accessible in todays common language.
I have a Message/NIV Side by side Bible. So I often read the Message side then re read it in the NIV to remind me of the version I am more familiar with. I love having the two versions right next to each other.

I will leave you with the words of Christ as spoken to the woman who touched his robe from the Message. Jesus said to her, "Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you're healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague."

I find it interesting that she was healed, but Jesus then said "Be healed of your plague." She was already healed, but I think that Jesus was reminding her that she should choose to move on from the negativity she could carry around with her, the feeling of brokeness from her past. He told her to live well, live blessed. That's a choice isn't it? Praying that today I choose to live well and live blessed. Thanks be to God.

November 13, 2009

Supernatural

Friday afternoon. Waiting for some pics to download on my computer thought I would share a bit of what I heard Priscilla Shirer say this morning on a live feed through All Access with Lifeway. There is a Women's Ministry Conference taking place this weekend, and today's events and backstage happenings are on live feed for all of us to watch. Here is the link. There is a schedule of events on the All Access Lifeway site, the other main speaker for today is Kelly Minter at 7:30pm, check your time zone with the Lifeway site if you are going to try and catch this, would hate for someone to miss it because of a time zone difference.

Priscilla spoke this morning as the main speaker. She was addressing a crowd of women who work in ministry for the most part I assume, but the information shared was a blessing for all women. I loved several topics she addressed. The theme of her talk was God's Supernatural Anointing. I was working as I was listening so I didn't take notes, but one of the other women who was live streaming did take notes and she was gracious enough to pass them around to all of us that asked for them. I thought I would post them here. Thanks Stephanie.
8 Princples to live/lead by:

1. Super natural abilty to handle task @ hand
2. Super natural authority. God in us ministering. Only Gods authority can change a life.
3. Super natural vision-pray for the real issues
4. Super natural endowmnet of God's energy. Priscilla prays Romans 12:12 before she even gets out of bed
5.Super natural priorities- Can't give what we don't have inside. If you aren't careful "things" will take your attention. Spend time w/ God.
6. Super natural focus- If the Father ain't doin it I ain't doin it! Focus on what God has put on your plate. Don't go the wrong direction because you are embarrased. You don't answer to others.
7. Super natural compassion- Lord give us soft hearts
8. Super natural humility

I will enjoy going back through those notes. A couple of things that I took to heart that Priscilla spoke on: Figure out your focus. For me that is mothering and wife-ing...even if I am asked to do something that is good if it doesn't allow me to keep my focus on my family then it is not the season to take it on. I have started working with some new ministries as of late, and also planning to go back to school. That meant I needed to end my time with some other ministries and parts of my business. I don't think that it is ever God's intention for us to be so busy doing His work that we don't have time for Him or those He has entrusted to us.

Another area that Priscilla talked about was something that I feel so passionate about. Private ministry to others. She said that we are not fully embracing God's plan for us, any of us, if we are only working in the public area's of our lives. There are so many opportunities that God will give us to embrace a job He has for us alone, where we are tending to the needs of His brokenhearted, by feeding the poor, clothing the needy, ministering to the abused, raking leaves for a widow, mowing a lawn. A ministry that is personal not public. I would say that I feel this call from the Lord more and more. What I do with that call is between God and I, but I always pray for a heart that breaks over what breaks His heart and that I will bow my head to Him and where He calls me to be. These are the moments that I feel closest to God, the moments that if I close my eyes I can almost think I am in heaven and that bring tears so readily. Privately doing God's work is where my heart feels like it will explode with gratefulness and thankfulness that I follow Him and that He allows me to be a tiny little part of His glorious plans. If anyone who is reading this is feeling burned out on church, and wonder if that is all there is to following Christ, I say to you now, that church is what feeds us and gets us ready for ministry, it has not and never should be the center of our focus, Jesus is the center and how we choose to follow Him is the adventure of Christianity. Praising the Lord for the adventures of following Him here on earth.

November 11, 2009

Good Times

Wednesday night. Kids are asleep, or at least in bed with eyes closed. I have just finished downloading and editing some pictures I took yesterday at Disability Rescources Inc. during their big day of ribbon cutting and wonderful words shared with all of us onlookers. Rob has been working at DRI (Disability Resources Inc.) about 10 months now and he loves every minute of it. I love that he is there, and working with such a great ministry. Serving those precious souls is a gift. Before we knew he was going to work with the "folks" I had read Henri Nouwen's book called Road to Daybreak, I have already talked about it here, but it is the story of one of the greatest modern day theologians who led ivy league colleges in their theology dept's, but was not satisfied in the life of academia and spent time finding out where God would have him be. He found his way to Daybreak, a home for the mentally and physically disabled in Canada. The man who had the world at his fingertips, left it to become a servant to the least of these. I am proud that my husband has a job that he is able to serve and love God's precious people.
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As I write this I am listening to Switchfoot's new album. It is wonderful. I have never owned a Switchfoot album, but have loved the lead singer's lone music he has put out over the last year, Jon Foreman. His music makes me happy.
Switchfoot has a harder rock sound to it, somewhat comparable to U2, The Cure....with Jon Foreman's great lead vocals.

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As of yesterday I am officially a registered student at ACU. I start up in January with 12 hours. My first semester will be filled with Acts-Revalation with Mike Cope, Sociology, Environmental Science and Adult Learning Theory (required). I can't wait for January. One of my friends at church tonight told me I should scour the internet for scholarships, especially geared toward returning students. I have no idea where to begin with that, and with all the scams out there would be hesitant to chase anything down without someone's initial recommendation. If you have any advice in this area would you leave me a comment...pretty please?

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GLEE is all the rage right now. I watched the first episode, not even all of it and it didn't jump out at me. Someone twittered about the soundtrack yesterday which got my interest, so I revisited the show watching the last 4 episodes on my computer while editing last night and today, some of the story line's I could do without, but the music is wonderful and the fact that one of the episode's had Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline in it, made it even more fun. Thanks to my dad I am a huge Neil Diamond fan and can be found singing along to Cracklin' Rosie, Sweet Caroline, America...on a pretty regular basis. Neil music makes me happy. I surprised my dad and took him to see Neil Diamond for one of his birthdays about 25 years ago, it was a great show. So back to Glee....I think I like it ; )

November 09, 2009

A Blog From Down Under

One of my most favorite blogs to read is from the land down under. I have linked it a couple of times from here. It is a blog that is filled with emotions, from highs to the lowest of lows. The photography is beautiful in every way. Many times my heart hurts when I read this blog, but I am drawn to the rawness of truth that the writer so eloquently shares. The mom/photog who rights this blog has counted several hundred days since the passing of her sweet Ava girl. The post today is about her Ivy girl who experiences Disney and becoming a princess which reminds the mama of her first princess Ava.

Click here to travel to the blog down under.

South Beach

Monday afternoon. Was blessed to spend today over at some friends house taking pictures of them and their sweet baby Gentry who is just a couple of days old. It was sweet. It will take me a couple of days to blog those pics because I have some other editing I need to finish up first, but I am sure I will link over to my photog blog from here when those images are up.

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Looking forward to tomorrow, registration for my classes for spring at ACU.

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South Beach...I don't talk about dieting or weight on here hardly ever, maybe never. Beginning in my early high school years I became anorexic/bulimic and lived in that place until my late 20's. When I decided to get pregnant with my first child I felt like there was no place for that in my life, not that there was before that, but it became very clear that health was more than being a size 6-8. After I stopped that harmful behavior I became pregnant and then gained weight during my pregnancy. I have never gotten back to where I feel I am at a healthy weight. I have always had a love/hate relationship with food, I don't ever think I have been a classic overeater, but I have not chosen good healthy options as a rule. God has put on my heart over the last couple of years that part of me being who he has called me to be I need to make healthy choices for food. Not live in sugarland which is where I loved to be. Empty carbs, sweets, pasta, breads....I was being called to make some changes but never felt like I could not be ruled by the sugar monster. As I tried to make healthy choices I tried a couple of diets/plans that kept my focus on food, which brought back a lot of the feelings from my teens and 20's. Food was the focus, how many points? How much can I have? I knew that God was calling me to focus on Him not on following a structured plan. With this new determination and the knowledge that I have all the classic early signs of being a diabetic, borderline gestational diabetic with both pregnancies, where I carry my weight, and just the way my body reacted to sugar, I started South Beach probably 4 or 5 weeks ago, it is a low glycemic program. The first two weeks are somewhat limited, no fruit even, but the foods that allowed were plentiful and nothing had to be measured. I surprisingly got through that first two weeks with very little pain, and now still feel good about following the guidelines. I chose not to weigh myself as a guide, my guide would just be my abiding to God's plan for me. Weighing myself always messes with my head and in reality my devotion was to God and to be healthy not to be a certain weight. That has been the biggest blessing. I don't give the scale the power of affirmation or tearing me down, I just follow God's leading and choose food from the South Beach plan. There is no weighing food, no measuring...just healthy choices that keep my blood sugar level even.
I am a place now that sugar is not my king anymore, and it feels pretty good. Mostly it feels good that I am following God's leading and choosing to be obedient. I continue to lean on Him for self-discipline, and am grateful that He loves me no matter what I eat, but God is always refining me and I always want to listen.

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November 05, 2009

Baby Gentry's Slideshow

Here is a link to some My First Day pics I took of Baby Gentry today. Allison and David are in l.o.v.e.

Here is the link to the slideshow.

November 02, 2009

Fall Pic, Facebook Etiquette, Upcoming Movies I can't wait to see.



This picture is from this time of year 3 years ago. Wanted to put up a fall pic and this was the first one I came across. That is one cute bald head!! A whirlwind of life happened in a short period of time. Thankful for the fall, the colors, the leaves, the anticipation of seeing family and cooking a big dead bird.


Monday night and I am done worn plum out. Seems like it has been a busy couple of days. Looking forward to a slower week ahead. I went up to ACU today for two meetings, the first was to confirm my classes for Spring. The BAS (Bachelor of Applied Studies) dept. has to register me this first time. So I confirmed everything with my admissions counselor and I think we are good to go. She will register me at 3pm on November 11th. I will take a full load, but the one class she was concerned as to whether it would have any spots left is Mike Cope's Acts to Revelation M-W-F. Hoping that it will be open, would love to take a class from Mike Cope.

One of the reasons we are worn out around here is that one of our friends passed away Friday. He went in for a routine colonoscopy and there was a mix up with communication and he was told to go off of ALL his meds. He did as he was told, but there was one med that his heart needed and he shouldn't have been instructed to be off of it, and he had a heart attack during the procedure. He spent all week in the hospital progressively getting better all week then his oxygen levels dropped suddenly on Friday night and he passed on. Tough times for his wife and family. Hurting for them.

I was wondering what you thought about using facebook to notify people of someone's death. Someone at church on Sunday was incensed that he found out about his friend's death on facebook. Rob was up at the hospital the night our friend passed on and called me to let me know what had happened. Truthfully I knew a lot of people would want to know and thought about posting it. But I didn't feel comfortable with that avenue. I thought, people will find out in due time and didn't post. When I woke up the next morning it was on facebook and the news was traveling. I was glad to see that someone had posted it because it allowed for an immediate outreach to the family. Most people wouldn't have known until Sunday at church or if they read the paper. So I was glad it was out there, but didn't feel comfortable posting it myself. What is your take on facebook in a circumstance like that? Inquiring minds like mine want to know...

Rob and I took the kids to see This Is It, Sunday. It was l.o.n.g. but quite interesting. I was ready for it to be done about a half an hour before it was, but it was still good to hear some songs and see the process of rehearsing a concert and what all goes into that. Derek who takes no dance at all, would never take dance, has the moves. He could pretty much recreate several dance routines just from watching it once. He has his daddy's motown moves in him.

The best part about the movies right now are the previews, looks to be a promising holiday season in the theatres.

I am looking forward to The Blind Side, comes out Nov. 20th, has Sandra Bullock in it as a rich wife who takes in a poor homeless kid and his life after that. Bring your tissues...I have cried through EVERY preview I have seen for this movie.
Here's a link to the trailer. Tissues, I tell ya!!



Then there is a Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker movie, Did You Hear About The Morgans? which had us laughing out loud in the previews. A couple going to marriage therapy witness a crime and are put into a witness protection program. Can't wait.
Here's a link to The Morgans.