Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Ok, so this is supposed to be Wordless but let's just call it Wednesday. These are some random pictures of our family that I thought you all might be interested in. I need to figure out an easier way to erase duplicates or bad shots! I also wanted to list thim chronologically but I am not that good yet so bear with me. Basically the order should be Joelle's birthday first, followed by the White House visit. Then random pics of the kids, Damon and me, Damon's birthday, Noah's birthday, our neice's college graduation and Tim's birthday weekend. The brighter clearer shots were taken with my new camera and most in the week and a half since Tim's birthday last week. Hope you enjoy them (Brittany!).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

With Good Intentions

I wanted to do a Wordless Wednesday post featuring current pictures of my kids but I don't really have enough good pictures to post- sorry Brittany! I will be more diligent about taking them over the next few weeks. Of course opportunities abound but I am not always ready with camera in hand so I will have to work on that.
I am thinking a lot about being intentional these days- about living intentionally, acting and being "on purpose" with a specific purpose or goal or outcome in mind. I think that I have gotten to the end of far too many days without having accomplished enough or failing to complete more that one necessary task. I really despise feelings of regret and I don't enjoy feeling as though I have wasted my time or other people's time either for that matter. However, I often do just that. At this point in my life, I am 100% responsible for how my children spend their time. Damon and I plan together and I always ask him for suggestions for our activities but as the homeschooling, full time caretaker of these children, I pretty much direct their every moment, every day. At 8yo Joelle is becoming more independent with each passing day. She is definitely no longer a little kid. But she most certainly needs my direction and guidance for how she spends her time and I feel a real need to help her understand the value and worth of time well spent. My boys unfortunately would rather watch tv than anything some days and I can't stand that. They are never allowed to watch it nearly as much as they would like to but they would like to just the same. When I lived in the Midwest I never thought I could adjust to how some of my friends who lived more rurally would let their kids just run around freely on their acreage without direct supervision. Joelle loved our visits with those families. She enjoys being free to roam like that with her friends. I am a city girl through and through but if I had that much land I would certainly send my kids out on it these days- just to be outside, to run around and be kids. So this summer, I am aiming for more outside time for all of us. It is hot here in the MidAtlantic in the Summer but most mornings are tolerable- even in Late July and August. My intention is to get us all up and fed and out the door no later than 9:30 am (after some math practice, bible study and chores). We should be able to accomplish 2 1/2 hours of outdoors before lunch and if we're at the pool where we'll have some relief from the heat, maybe 3 1/2 hours or so total before it either gets too hot or Noah starts to collapse from needing a nap. It doesn't sound like a lot but it will be for us, especially f we can do it everyday. That's what I intend to do. Ah, intentions. Have you ever heard the saying, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions?" Well I just googled it, looking for a source and actually I learned that Samuel Johnson, the person often credited with it, didn't really say it that way. Apparently what he said was just "Hell is paved with good intentions." Either way, I don't want my good intentions to go unaccomplished and end up either paving the way or the streets of Hell (it's not Bible y'all so worry that I take it literally, I'm just making a point, ok?). But I would rather see myself accomplish all I set out to or meant to accomplish with no regrets for not actually getting it done. Paramount in my thoughts about this, as is the case with most things, is parenting my children. I mean to be intentional about passing my faith on to my children. I came to know Jesus Christ at 19 years old. I pray that my children will have real, meaningful, established relationships with Him long before that. But, if that is to happen, truly happen in their lives it will be as a result of Damon and I intentionally passing our faith down on them. Ted Tripp says in his book Shepherding a Child's Heart that Christian parents must remember that our children won't be children for ever. I am paraphrasing here but he admonishes parents to think about our children as brothers and sisters in Christ and as such help them in their early years to train their hearts to know and love God from their youth. That doesn't come from sending just sending them to children's church or playing gospel music in the car. It has to be more intentional, more on purpose than that. I can't remember ever in my life- I know there are examples of it, I probably just wasn't aware of it- when the culture was so interested in the hearts of young people. But now, I can see with every tv show, commercial, magazine cover, and song on the radio that the world is interested in the heart of young people. I feel as though my kids are being assaulted by unhealthy images everywhere we turn. So, I choose to intentionally turn their hearts and minds to the Word of God. I know God created my children to impact their generation for His Glory so it is up to me to teach them now to be in this world and not of it. Living intentionally is my heart's desire tonight. To have a goal, think it through, develop a plan for accomplishing it and work to that end. I intend for us all to eat more healthily and get more exercise and sleep each day. I intend for us to have more scheduled family time together so our kids begin to value time spent with each other rather than take it for granted. I have lots of good intentions, so many things I want to be sure to do. I also know that I only have limited control of my life. My times truly are in His hands, but I also believe that it is God that worketh in me both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Tonight, I am seeking His face to know and understand what He would pleased for me to do, asking Him to make me want to do it, and then yielding to His hand as He works in me to get it done. From shepherding my children, to going back to school and everything in between, He is teaching me to be intentional about my intentions and to live each day on purpose to the Glory of God.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

De- cluttering and Refocusing

***Happy Mothers' Day! I pray all you mothers have a great day and if you are not a mother that you will enjoy celebrating the mothers in your life today. I am spending my day refocusing on the awesome privilege and responsibility of motherhood and the tremendous blessing my own children are to me.

Ok, so I am back after how many weeks of not blogging? I lost count. But I haven’t lost my train of thought with regards to temperaments. I just got off that train for now because life beckoned me to. I’ll try to get back to it another time! I am now concentrating on this journey of self rediscovery I mentioned in my profile. I think I mentioned that my life is in a period of self rediscovery and redefinition (I can’t check to see if I actually mentioned it right now because I am at a Borders Bookstore CafĂ© that only has a T-mobile wi-fi hot spot so I, a Verizon customer who is completely disinterested in becoming a t-mobile customer, do not have internet access at the moment. I am typing this into a Word document with the intentions of cutting and pasting it into my blog later tonight.) Anyways, as I draw nearer to 40 years old- just 3.5 more months to go!- I can hardly stand what all this rediscovery is saying about me. I am not sure I was really prepared for all I would discover along the way. I have found that I need a constant, consistent prayer life that far exceeds what I have been able to maintain in the state my life is in. Is God near to me? Yes. He always is and has been since the day He saved me, but my ability to sense His presence in my life and really be able to rest in the fact that He is with me every day and in every moment is often crowded out by the constant clutter that exists in my day to day, every day living. I used to be good at giving myself a break about some things. But even the most clutter-ry (I made that word up) Clutter Bug is overwhelmed by the mountains of clutter sometimes. I have reached that point and I think it is worse than it has ever been before. Part of my clutter bug- ness is a result of being the kind of Sanguine personality that never finishes a project. I have been doing a lot of that lately. Recently we had every carpet in the whole house cleaned and participated in a community yard sale on the same weekend- while my Mom was visiting! Believe me, preparing for those two projects threw me into an involuntary state of spring cleaning that I have yet to recover from- not to mention the amount of effort it takes for the family to recover from a week long visit from Grammy and Grampie! I am in completely over my head!!! But, to be honest, I was in over my head before the carpet cleaning and the yard sale and Grammy and Grampie’s visit. The reason either of those things were able to throw me off course in the first place is because my life is such a mess, in such clutter and disorder these days that preparing for them became huge projects that completely sunk me. Actually, I began sinking way last summer when we first moved to Maryland. I honestly never got my bearings and I have been in a snowballing state of disarray ever since. Moving across country and having Damon become a full time student/resident again has really been a kind of furnace for me-one that is trying me in away I didn’t see coming. I mean talk about the trying of our faith working patience! Although I know God is using the combination of Damon’s completely inflexible schedule and our currently extremely limited financial resources (which seem even more limited while we try to sustain both our home here in Maryland and our house in Danville) to create an environment in which he can refine my very life and make me even more of whom He created me to be, this constant stage of preparation can be overwhelming at times. I mean, this is like the longest road trip ever and I just want to cry out at the top of my lungs, “Are we there yet?!!!” I know part of getting there is the becoming. I am familiar with all the Scripture that tells me that I won’t be perfect until I am actually in heaven with Jesus, but the becoming, this process of Sanctification here on Earth is a journey unto itself and mine has taken such a turn, I feel totally stymied by it. I have to admit, I shouldn’t have been caught off guard. There certainly were warning signs along the way. Some I saw but didn’t recognize, some I just didn’t see and still others I completely ignored. So here I am smack dab in the middle of a construction zone and the noise and the vibrations from the jackhammer along with the digging and scooping and bulldozing of old pavement and the heat of the new asphalt being laid and the road blocks and merging traffic and detours and the sudden lane changes- ugh! Some days I long for a completely different route, a way around all this mess or a whole different destination altogether. And other days I just wish I didn’t have to go anywhere at all. It would have been so much easier to have just stayed in Danville. We were loved by all who knew us there. I was so very comfortable being me and felt little reason to fit in with or measure up to or compete with anyone. We had a very comfortable income with which to pay all our bills on time. I had Marvelous Marge to help me clean my big beautiful house and terrific babysitters just a phone call away. All our friends were Christians who supported our marriage and our values and our intentions in child rearing. Life was great. But Damon was unfulfilled in his work, our church was struggling and our spiritual lives were waning. What little there was to challenge me in life didn’t force me to draw closer to God every day (except the day to day of marriage and childrearing- which is a lot, I must say!). In a way, life was easy and we took it for granted. Correction, I took it for granted and I know I was not becoming all God intends for me to be while I was easing on down the road. So, here I am, almost a whole year later- we just renewed our lease which means we are staying at least another year- and I feel so totally overwhelmed by all that life is requiring of me at this stage, I can hardly stand it. To top it all off, school is really demanding for Damon. He is enjoying it for the most part and learning so very much but this stage of training is taking more out of him than either of us imagined it would so he really isn’t much help to me some days! He wants to be, and he does try to support me however he can (I am out alone tonight, for example) but the truth is that he only has so much to give, and the kids need him as much as I do!
If you’ve read this far and you are wondering, “What are you really taking about Nicole, and why? How did you get all the way over there?” I don’t know, you have to follow me quick when I am rambling like this. Come on, catch up! No, seriously, I am talking about self discovery and why I have been away from blogging for so long and what’s been going on with me, remember? I assume that’s why anyone would want to read my blog, so they can see what’s been going on in my life and what God is teaching me these days or if by chance I have some great wonderful revelation to share. Well I am getting to the revelation part stay with me!
Damon and I both sensed God’s leading in this move, this total change of location and lifestyle, so we know we are safe in His arms and in the center of His Will. The problem lies in the fact that I allowed myself to get caught up in all that this place of testing is externally that I have become too exhausted to process where I am- where we all are- internally. Even my sons, at almost 5yo and almost 3yo, have been very much affected by all that is taking place in our lives since we left Danville nearly a year ago and no one can deny the effect it is having on Joelle. This is a place of testing and trial for all 5 of us. The Lord is refining us all, burning away the dross and bringing forth the precious vessels He Created us to be. The Apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:10 that we were all created to do good works. "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Certainly we’ve been doing good works all along- we’ve preached good sermons, encouraged friends, supported loved ones financially, lived a life of integrity before onlookers- but the work that lies before us is greater than we could possibly accomplish in the state we’re in. We have a hint of an idea of what God is preparing us to do but we are in no way prepared yet, and that we are well aware of. Damon’s first academic year of this program is drawing to a close this week and the kids and I are wrapping up our most difficult yet most productive homeschool year to date. With those milestones behind us, I am beginning this next stage of our journey anew, this time giving full attention to our spiritual and emotional well being. We all need more exercise and more rest, more downtime, more prayer together time and more being together time. I need to make time to just sit and be quiet before the Lord and time for me to be alone with my own thoughts and organize my responsibilities and prioritize my family’s schedule. I think I need time to de-clutter and to clean and to decorate the place God has blessed us to call home temporarily. All of this “making time” will require me to really tap into the Will of God for my family in this stage of our journey and find out what is truly important for us to be doing and being. It may mean that I will not get back to this blog for another few weeks. But you all are used to that by now! When I do get a chance to check in again, I’ll be sure to post an update about how we are doing. In the meantime,
Be Blessed!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Getting To Know You Part 2- Strengths and Weaknesses

I ended last time by saying that learning about your temperament is a good place to start to really understand who you are because, like a blue print, it gives you a general overall big picture. But in actuality, blueprints are often more detailed than just rough draft plans and as I thought more about it, I concluded that a study of temperaments can and, if properly applied, will reveal to us a far more detailed look into our selves than just an overall big picture. Let's take me for example. By truthfully answering the questions about myself on the temperaments assessment I learned that I am a Sanguine/Choleric, the extrovert of all extroverts! I have very strong Sanguine characteristics such as talkative, optimistic, emotional and demonstrative, makes friends easily, thrives on compliments, energetic and enthusiastic. And I have a few Choleric ones too, such as dynamic and active, exudes confidence, establishes goals. Those are considered strengths. However, I am also a Sanguine in the sense that when I am not careful to submit my will to the Holy Spirit (and yes there are some days...) I talk so much that I tend to go on and on (is this post getting long, already?), I can be loud and overbearing, undisciplined and disorganized, I need to have center stage and I look for credit for every little thing I do. The Choleric in me is at times inflexible and often struggles with the notion that I can do everything better than the next person. Considering both my strengths and weakness, I can now say that knowing and understanding my temperament helps me understand how God created me and gives me the grace to be myself. When I was younger, I was often told by people who perhaps were neither fond nor tolerant of my temperament that I was obnoxious and way too talkative. They were right but it hurt me to hear them say so and I although I always had lots of friends, I would often retreat to a corner trying to figure out how to get those people to like me. Thankfully, gone are the days when I need everyone to approve of me. Thanks to realizing that I just am who I am (and submitting my Sanguine need to be accepted to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit) I can comfortably get in where I fit in and allow my strengths to shine to the Glory of God. I am also well aware of my weaknesses and the places where I am prone to displease my Lord so I can be careful to submit all these weaknesses to Him so He can make of me what He wants me to be- a vessel of honor, fit for His use. It is the Holy Spirit's job to sanctify us and conform us to the image of Jesus Christ, and I for one and very grateful that image is not reflected exactly the same way in all of us. What a boring life this would be! God is far to creative to make a Stepford- like world. (Did you see that movie? In the town of Stepford, all the men wanted a certain type of wife so they replaced the wives they had with ones they created all looking and acting almost exactly alike!) I believe The Lord enjoys interacting with all of our distinct personalities. Certainly, as a result of sin, we are not the perfect beings He created in the Garden but the remedy for our imperfection is to regularly live out Romans 12:1-2 "...that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, Will of God." (KJV) The renewing of my mind means that once I find something in myself that doesn't line up with the Word and Will of God, I acknowledge that thing and submit it to Him to work out of me. It requires me to change my thinking and take on the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5) and partnering with God as He works in me just as His Word promises us He will in Philippians 2:13,"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (KJV) That's right, He is working in me so that I want to do what pleases Him. He knows how He made me and what He is pleased for me to do. So as I commit my life to serving Him, yielding my will to His, He does the work in me, changing my desires to what He desires for me and helping me do that which we then both want for me to do! God is not delusional, He knows what happened to the nature of man as a result of Adam and Eve's original sin. He is well aware of what I am capable of doing and of leaving undone if not for His intervention. Thanks be to God! He loves us enough to meet us where we are but too much to leave us there! He also created us individually with a unique plan and direction for each one of us and His desire is to see us each live out that plan to it's fullest. Jeremiah 1:5 is a perfect illustration of this point in Scripture. God says, "Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations—that's what I had in mind for you." (The Message Bible)
Of course, God didn't set us all apart to be prophets to the nations (think Stepford!) but He has "holy plans" for each of us, just as He had for Jeremiah. Jeremiah wasn't a "super man" so to speak, nor was he obviously qualified to fit the task to which God called him. But, instead he was a man with strengths and weaknesses that yielded himself to be used by the hand of God to accomplish His Will in the Earth. Once I got to know myself, I wondered how God could use me for anything. Sure, I thought, I am the absolute antithesis of shy and I would probably say anything to anyone so I might be cut out to be a mouthpiece for Him. But what if the people reject my message or they don't like the way I look or how I speak or...? I am sure that would all cause me to be stymied and my efforts thwarted almost immediately. What if I wasn't discouraged by he crowd but I rather embraced by them and began to enjoy the acclaim so much so that my ministry became all about me? Then I would potentially go off on a tangent somehow and again, get in the way of the Lord's intended work through me. Or worse yet, what if I got bored with the work of being a full time Homemaker and homeschooling mother, and was drawn away by the idea of something that seemed bigger and better an much more glamorous? What if I decided that preaching should take precedence over Homemaking and get the timing and priorities that He set for me out of order, on a quest for acclaim and gratification now? Then I came across this passage of scripture found in Ephesians 2:10, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (NIV) This verse struck me immediately as a confirmation of the call of God on my life. None of what I am doing, or am in pursuit of, is my idea. I didn't come up with this on my own. He prepared these good works in advance for me to do- in advance being before He shaped me in the womb. Wow! What a sobering thought! He created just the right balance of Sanguine and Choleric that would be required to accomplish the work He prepared in advance for me to do and the same is true for all of you reading these words, whatever your temperament may be.
What about all my weaknesses? Certainly for me the list of weaknesses is as long as the list of strengths and therefore a very prevalent part of my personality. Yup, you guessed it. They are all part of the plan- the "shaping me before I was in the womb" plan- too. The Lord is Omniscient. He knew what weaknesses are a part of the package so He built in a plan for troubleshooting all my issues. My troubleshooting plan is in two parts. Part one is to push what I like to call "the reset button". The reset button is for those times when I am all grand and wonderful and everyone is telling me so. It's for when there are several days in a row when I wake early in the morning to have quiet time with the Lord, my checkbook is balanced, the house is clean, the laundry is folded and put away, I've followed my family meal plan all week, school is going well, the kids are happy, my husband is satisfied and I still have time to sit back and reflect on how great I am for being able to accomplish all that. Right about then, with all that extra time, is when I start working on an article to submit to a magazine or a message to share with the next Mom's group that calls on me to minister. After all, I am doing it all right, certainly someone else would benefit from my expertise in this area! That's when I begin to feel like all this good I am capable of is wasted where no one but my family can see it, especially considering the fact that sometimes they don't even notice! Just about then, the Lord allows all the right circumstances- oversleeping and tardiness, burnt dinner, bounced checks, lost library books, etc.- to push the reset button, which brings me back into reality and face to face with myself. The Apostle Paul had a similar experience as well. This is his account of it in 2Corinthians 12:6-7 from The Message Bible, "If I had a mind to brag a little, I could probably do it without looking ridiculous, and I'd still be speaking plain truth all the way. But I'll spare you. I don't want anyone imagining me as anything other than the fool you'd encounter if you saw me on the street or heard me talk. Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty!" Most theologians believe Paul had a physical ailment or handicap of some sort. I don't, unless you count laziness, disorganization, run-on sentences, restlessness and misplaced priorities. They are not physical handicaps, per se, but they certainly re-emerge quickly, "reset" my thinking and keep me from serenading myself with, "How Great I Am!" and get to singing "Lord, help me to hold out!...." instead!
Now sometimes, after being stripped of my bragging rights or if I have far too many consecutive days when my weaknesses are more prevalent then my strengths, the enemy convinces me that they also far outweigh my strengths and I begin to cry out to God and beg for deliverance from the not so favorable things that make me, "Me". That's when the Lord graciously employs Step 2 of the troubleshooting plan, the "re-focus button". Paul had that one, too. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 "At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become." As I yield all of me to God to use as He wills, for His Glory alone, I find a greater peace than I have ever had and joy in being me. I am more apt to recognize when I need to push the re-focus button and turn my attention toward the Grace of God that He shares so freely with me. He takes the good with bad, applies His Word to it all and "works all things together for good" because I love Him and I am called according to His purposes, just as He says in Romans 8:28.
This post has gone much longer that I intended so I appreciate you for reading this far. Next time we'll talk about what "according to His purpose" actually means.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Getting To Know You Part 1- Spirit Controlled Temperaments

Edited to add- I don't know what's going on with the color of the text. Please let me know if you can't read it!
Whew- I got rid of those ads so I can feel comfortable inviting someone to read my blog! I also went back to fix the typos from my first post. Spell check is great for spelling but if the tool doesn't know that you meant to say then and not the, it won't correct that word. Typing is not something I do often or well but as I grow in blogging I hope to hone my typing skills more, so please be patient with me! Thank you everyone who is becoming a regular reader or "follower" and if you're just joining me, welcome! I appreciate comments and feedback. Ok, and in case you are wondering, my time alone today was great! The kids have really enjoyed their "Daddy time" this week. We're studying Amelia Earhart and Neil Armstrong for school so they went to the the Air and Space Museum today and really got a kick out of everything there- especially the huge McDonald's food court! I am blessed that they had such a good time and my Spring cleaning got off to a good start. Now if I can just get through everything I need to accomplish before it's actually Summer!
Moving on.... Today, I want to begin a series about getting to know yourself. At first, I thought it was better to start at the beginning, observing where we came from, to determine how we got to be where, or should I say, who we are today. But as I have journeyed with myself, very deeply and introspectively over the past several months, I am realizing that I must first figure out who I am now- even if that person is constantly changing- before I can really look back and see who I was and why. Now that might sound like a bunch of Jibberish to you, and that's ok, sometimes I speak Jibberish, but if you stay with me through this conversation you might find this to be one of those times when you learn something about yourself in the process of listening to me talk about me.
I recently attended a workshop on Spirit-Controlled Temperaments. The presenter provided us with an assessment that helps you determine your dominant temperament and blend and then talked to us a little about the strengths and weaknesses associated with each one. I was already very familiar with the various temperaments because I had read the book he used as his primary reference some time ago. The Spirit Controlled Temperament by Tim LaHaye is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to know more about temperaments in general and more specifically how the Lord can get the Glory out of each one of us when we yield our natural man to His divine control. Learning about my own temperament was such a blessing to me and it opened up an entire level of understanding about myself that I had not before tapped into, and oh what freedom it is to really understand myself! It turns out, that while I had learned all these things about myself years ago when I first read Tim LaHaye's book, the refresher last weekend was so important for me as I am now entering a phase when, at almost 40 years old, God is concretely defining for me how very intricately He designed me to be and do what He predestined me to be and do before the foundation of the world. Psalm 139:13-16 says it this way, "For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them." Certainly these verses tell us that He was intimately involved in our formation as much, or dare I say, more so than our biological mothers and fathers. The circumstances surrounding my parents' relationship certainly played an integral part in my life and in my becoming who I am today, but even all that was orchestrated by the omniscience of God who set the plan in place for me to become who He wanted me to ultimately be. And exactly who or what is it that He ultimately wants me to be? How can I tell what His purpose for my life is? For the answer to that question, we must examine the blueprints. Learning about your temperament is a good place to start because it gives you a general overall big picture.
I highly recommend Tim LaHaye's book but if you can't get your hands on it right away, there are quite a few temperament assessments available online. If you don't already know, Google one and see what yours is and I'll be back to talk some more about this topic in part 2!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thank God For Daddies!

I am really tired tonight and although I have another post in the works, I thought I would just save that one to draft and finish it later. I am working on a series which I will try to begin tomorrow but tonight I wanted to share about how our kids are being blessed this week. My husband is on Spring Break and decided he wanted to spend some special Daddy Time with the kids. Of course, they don't get enough of that, so they are elated! Today was our daughter's turn. We are a homeschool family and our school is NOT on Spring Break this week so they got her school stuff together and went to the University Library to work together. What a blessing that was for both of them! He got to be really intimately involved in her day to day routine and she got to see where he goes every day when he leaves us in the morning. Having him work with her was a refreshing change for both her and me and he said she worked really hard and was very productive. They finished up school, had a special lunch together and then went to a movie. When she got home I asked how she liked her time out and she said, "Daddy rocks! It was a great day." Tomorrow he'll take the boys out to have school time at the library too, then outside for a frolicking good time at a park or something. Their day will be shorter since the youngest still naps but they are going to have such a good time, I am so excited for them! I am blessed to be able to stay home with my children everyday, teaching them and learning with them, shaping their wills and dealing with the drama day in and day out... but Daddy seldom gets that privilege all day long, for 3 days straight! He needs the time with them and they need him too and I need a break! Best of all, Thursday he is planning to take all of them downtown DC to the Natural History Museum. Our 4y/o wants to ride Metro so they'll drive in closer and take the train to the Mall. I love the Smithsonian Museums and I really enjoy watching my kids enjoy these types of outings but thankfully my husband knows I really need some Mommy time so I am going to take advantage of their absence and balance my day with quiet meditation and working on their dressers and closets in preparation for Spring. My husband works really hard and has a tough schedule but setting aside his time off from school to spend a few quality moments with his kids is important to him and it will impact their lives greatly. I am going to be sure to explain to them how many children don't get this privilege and help them see just how blessed they are to have a Dad who values them and enjoys their company. I think a man who take an active role in his children's lives is very attractive and I know it pleases God as well. He's upstairs washing the dishes right now which is a real blessing to me too, so I am going to get off this computer and go keep him company in the kitchen!

Monday, March 16, 2009

My First Post

This is my first blog post and I am so excited! I have been writing this blog in my head and my bedside journal for about a year now and it is about time! I have to say that I didn't think I would ever sit down and actually work at it until our church's New Year's Revival this year. Sheryl Brady form Durham, NC was the Wednesday night speaker and she preached Say it Loud and Say it Clear! In that message, Pastor Brady was encouraging the church to awake from it's apathetic, outdated, played-out state and do something for the Kingdom of God. I loved it!!! I have to acknowledge her sermon right from the start because the Lord used her to begin to stir up some stuff in me that had been lying dormant for a while. Then recently when my husband came downstairs at 1:00am to find me still on the computer, he asked "what are you doing?" when I told him I was reading So and So's blog he said, "Why don't you just write your own?!" It was like the V8 smack on the head. Anyways, that explains the name of my blog and the timing of it's inception, now about the content. I love to talk (big surprise, huh?) and I love an audience. I do. I am not ashamed to say that so don't be embarrassed on my behalf. I am sure it is how God made me because I am very much aware of my temperament (Sanguine/Choleric with a touch of Melancholy) and what makes me, me. The Lord is in the process of making all that even clearer to me and in some sense, redefining some of those things, but for the most part, I recognize myself and I am finally comfortable in my own skin. Ok, so having said that- I love an audience and I'm very comfortable sharing with individuals and groups of people. I am an ordained minister but my children and home are my primary responsibilities right now so I don't go out much to preach or teach at this time. The Lord allows me a few opportunities to take engagements each year (call me, I might be available!) but I know He prefers me to be home more often than not. I also know there is a book inside of me but it hasn't come out yet (LOL!) so in the mean time I will blog!
So, what will this blog be about? Lot's of things! Homemaking, Christian living, women's issues, marriage, my family and me!, parenting, homeschooling... the list goes on and on. I have a few more "posts" in my head waiting to be published and I will get to those sometime this week I am sure but after that, we'll see where it goes. If you read something you like, want to discuss more, need to add to, or offer constructive criticism about, please leave me a comment.
Until next time...