Tuesday, January 26, 2010


As I sit here and write this morning, I am holding a precious child in my arms. He is growing so quickly, and when I gaze at him, I wonder, "What will he look like when he is bigger? What sorts of things will he like to do? What kind of personality will he have?" I look upon him and I say a silent "thank you" to God for yet another blessing that has been bestowed upon our family.

BLESSING. Do I deserve it? No. Have I earned it? Absolutely not. If God were not so gracious and if He gave me what I deserved, I would have no salvation, let alone all of the other good things in life I have. Even in the midst of any adversity I might face, He graciously gives me strength.

Sometimes we look at things a little backwards, thinking that life is supposed to be filled with great things and that when we come upon hard times, then "it's not fair". I have thought it many times! We have this sense of entitlement, where we think (perhaps even on a sub-conscious level) that we deserve only good. But one thing that encourages me when I do face difficult circumstances is knowing that it is only because of God and His goodness that I am blessed.

I believe in the complete sovereignty of God the Father. However, I also believe that we are not puppets and that He gives us choices. I don't have to "understand" Him to love and trust Him, any more than I have to understand exactly how this writing reaches your computer from mine. Not understanding doesn't keep me from using the internet and writing this blog!

In Isaiah 1:19-20, a choice is offered. It reads, "If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword." The Israelites were offered that choice in Deuteronomy 28 too, and God even gave specific blessings and curses that would be received, depending on the choice that was made. For us, salvation is obviously the most important "choice" we can make. But then, after salvation, we still live our lives and must daily decide whether or not we will live out the teachings of Jesus or whether we will be stubborn and live according to our "rights" (Luke 9:23).

Each day, we are faced with making choices of blessing or cursing. To follow Christ (forgiving, showing compassion) leads to blessing. To deny His teachings and follow what "feels right" as humans (harboring anger, refusing to forgive), leads to a life of sorrow and regret. Are there hardships in the "blessed" life? Absolutely. But there is blessing and growth, even in the pain, therefore, the blessed life will even consider adversity rewarding (James 1:2-4). On the other hand, when we (as Christians) choose to walk in our own way, we will only grow in our stubbornness and pride, which brings misery to ourselves and shame to our walk with Christ.

God desires to bless us. He rewards the faithful and brings much life and light to those who are wholly devoted to Him!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Tonight my kitchen floor is really dirty. Like, it's really crummy (as in it is covered in crumbs). It doesn't matter how often I clean it, it seems that there are always crumbs lying around (that's what I get for having darker hardwood that shows everything). All day today I knew that my floor needed cleaning, but I just haven't had time!

Tonight, Jake reached for his cup of milk on the counter--forgetting, apparently, that he had asked for it to be in a cup that was not a sippy cup--and spilled it all over my already filthy kitchen floor! He thought he was in big trouble, but we don't cry over spilled milk, right? I resisted the urge to scold him (since it was merely an accident) and started cleaning it up. He eagerly grabbed a towel and offered to help, so we cleaned the mess together!

When we were finally finished, I realized that my floor was way cleaner now than it had been before--at least in that area!!

Allow me to paraphrase. My floor was already a mess, but not messy enough for me to take the time to clean it. Then a major spill happened, which forced me to clean it thoroughly. In the end, the floor was clean, crumbs and all. The spilled milk served a purpose, didn't it?

This is my blog, and I can post whatever I want, right? But all I will say is this: to a certain group of people reading this (you know who you are), let's remember this analogy. Sometimes a bad situation, although discouraging (to put it very mildly), can open our eyes, and then in the end, we find ourselves in a place that is more beautiful than ever before.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

She Cracks Me Up

My kids make me laugh.
Here was the dialogue from the other night:

Me: Emily, what would you like on your burger?

Emily: Um, that round thing....

Me: A tomato?

Emily: No! It's round....it's like ham or something?

Me: Hmmm...an onion?

Emily: (getting increasingly frustrated) No! It's like...it's round!! I have one upstairs [in her play food box]. I'll go get it.

She comes back downstairs with a play pancake.

Well, I couldn't find it, but it looks like this [she is circling the pancake with her finger]. It's ROUND like this. But it's like....it's like deer meat or something.

I pick up a burger to place it on the bread (we were having frisco melts).

Emily: That!!! That's what I want on my burger...that brown round thing you're picking up!

Problem solved. Emily wanted a burger on her burger. Good one Em!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Snow Days!

Happy Snow everyone!!! We are loving the snow. The kids went sledding the other day in whopping 14 degree weather. It doesn't even phase them, it seems. Just give 'em a hill and sled and they forget about the temperature. I love it!

This past Friday, we made bird feeders with pine cones. We spread peanut butter on the pine cones (which were huge ones that I got from my brother when he lived in Georgia), then we sprinkled them with as much bird seed as we could.
We took them outside and replaced our regular bird feeders with these. I wasn't sure if the birds would like them, but as you will see in the photos below, they are a hit!! Ashlyn told me about the idea after she saw it on the Disney Channel (three special steps...anybody with me here?) :)
Do you like Jake's new snowsuit? I found this on sale and decided to get it. The first thing he said when I put it on him was "I don't have to wear pink!" (For a refresher on why he said this, click here.)

Check out the Tufted Titmouse enjoying our birdfeeder! It's almost time for a refill!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Her Thankful Heart

This is what Ashlyn said during her prayer last night:

"Lord, thank you for putting me in a mommy's belly who loves Jesus."

That just really touched my heart.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Brown Eyed Boy

This little guy turns 3 tomorrow.

After having two girls, and not knowing what #3 would be, I went into the hospital thinking that it really didn't matter to me. I remember thinking that I would really be just as happy if it was another girl. HOWEVER, when I was in surgery, and my doctor exclaimed the words, "It's a boy!" I realized how much I must have really wanted a boy down deep. I was so happy!! I remember crying as soon as I heard those words!
When I get out the vacuum cleaner, I usually have to fight Jake for it. He loves to "bacern clean"!! Don't worry, I always take advantage of his eagerness to help. He like to suck up dirt with the hose, which always needs to be done somewhere in the house!
We decided to have his "Monster Jam" party a little early so that his cousins from Texas could come!
Jake loves to be outside. He will walk to Mimi and Poppy's in the dark. He will stay outside and play by himself for as long as I will let him, no matter the weather. I have to be careful, because he likes to roam around (like go to Mom and Dad's without telling me, or down to the woods). He has scared me more than once!!!
Jake got this chainsaw for Christmas because Jason got one, and he loves to imitate his daddy! Oh, how we love our little Jake! He can be the sweetest kid most of the time, using manners and telling me he loves me at random times. He can also be quite mischievous (that is a huge understatement). But he is so sweet with baby Evan and loves to imitate his sisters. I love the way he loves to make people laugh and the way he says, "That's spatastic!" (fantastic). For sure, raising this boy is way different than my experience with my girls, but I love it!

Happy Birthday Jake!!!!