Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Before the Throne of God

For two Sundays in a row now we have sung out together.
This song.
This simple, Gospel breathing song.
And we spilt over a little as we remembered who we are.
And Who He Is.
And what He has done.
And that, we cannot do.
Thank you Jesus.
*This acoustic version is remade by Shane and Shane.*

Before The Throne Of God
Written by Vikki Cook and Charitie Bancroft
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!
711. this simple hymn...a treasure
712. singing together with our church family
713. learning from the beginning....to the end
714. journey mercies: back to New Bern that Momma left
715. Koen saying, "I miss Nana. I want her to come back soon." This on the day she left.
716. always something new to learn
717. writing our Compassion kids
718. Fun Fall Harvest parties, games, candy, cake and the little girl who planned it all with her Nana

Friday, 26 October 2012

Time Management and Some other Stuff: FridayFavs!

Time management. Not my best skill. Using a bow staff, now that's totally my skill. Still, if I had to use the bow staff at a particular time, it might just be rendered useless or not found because it is under my laundry pile (which by the way is awfully low since my Momma showed up on the scene from North Carolina...yeah she's the best). This is why I have not again posted to FridayFavs. No, not because I've been using my bow staff skills all too often. No, no that's not why I don't have time...it's that managing it wisely thing that hangs me up. Anywhoo, it's actually Thursday night (HA! Take that time management) whilst I work on these. Enjoy! Oh, and do read some of Rachel's encouraging blog posts. You can thank me later.

The boy who wears a helmet while mowing the sidewalk.
I do love you dearly.

Spent all of 5 minutes figuring the two wheel thing out.
Way. To. Go!

These bendy trees.
This girl.
Sitting on this special quilt.
 The one who loves to read.
Especially when we get a new JM Cremp's Magazine.
Yes, he's all boy, as the saying goes.
An unexpected gift from a dear friend.
Thank You!
Pretty Paper Flowers

 Midtown Bakery.
P.S. Ahem, since I had to google bow staff to make sure it was not a deer hunting weapon then maybe I don't possess that skill either....sigh....

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Dream Big

My mom she dreams big. She is visiting this week and we are laughing and talking and drinking coffee and laughing some more and learning to knit and spilling over a little at church because of grace and still laughing and yes, talking about dreams. We are not talking "make much of me" dreams; rather these dreams are those that help a community and could reach and teach people about Christ while teaching teaching them about this physical world too. It is infectious. You could say that I love and admire her a little more than a lot. She is a living, breathing testimony of God's goodness and grace.

Those hands. I do love to see them working with this oldest of mine. I'm so thankful she's taking the time to come see us. I am blessed to call her Mother.

701. Journey mercies: a girl, a couple bags filled with goodies, who brought the sunshine with her from North Carolina
702. prayers answered for another's salvation....PTL!
703. warm days
704. beautiful Sugar Loaf Mountain
705. that boy super excited about being a Cubbie
706. surprise gifts
707. pumpkin spice creamer
708. boys stacking blocks
709. thrift shops
710. one girl: learning to knit

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Turning 10

One of the truest things I have ever heard uttered about parenting went something like this, "children, they grow up much faster than us, the parents do." I have found this to be altogether true. By the time I thought I had/have something figured out, this oldest of mine...she went ahead and turned 10. That's halfway to twenty for those of you not so good at math and less than halfway to 18. This mother heart of mine wants to turn back time, to do all those things I know to do better now over, and to laugh a whole lot more with this super giggly girly~girl. I guess I will have to trust in the One who gave her to me as a gift and helped me see Him as I mothered her. And that there are no do~overs or mulligans in life for a reason.

And oh, what a day it was. Full, and overflowing with celebration to share with you all....

Birthday Surprises

Birthday cards
Birthday Breakfast. Oh, and find the recipe here.
If there was such a thing as perfection here on this earth, you've now seen it
and have a chance to eat it too.
Birthday Braid.
Birthday Smiles.
Birthday Crafts.
Birthday Buddies.
Birthday Ice cream Cake
Silly Boys
Sweet Birthday Girl
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." ~Romans 8:28
696. 10 years of this gift of a daughter....such a wonderful gift!
697. 12 years knowing this man I call Love, and Husband and would follow to the ends of the earth
698. Joy found in the knowing Christ and not our emotions or circumstances
699. Birthday fun
700. Remembering it is who gives the good gifts and given the very best gift of all

Sunday, 14 October 2012


"You know the story about the Navy SEALS getting killed at the Consulate in Libya?" he asked this Sunday morning. "Yeah," was my meagre reply. "Well, what you probably don't know because it isn't being reported is that those SEALS were asleep some where else and got called over to the consulate some how and probably saved a lot of people knowing there was a good chance they would die," he stated gently. Tears roll down my cheeks. Sacrifice is a terribly beautiful thing isn't it?

It reminds me of a friend who tells of the trials she suffered working at the military hospital in Landsthul, Germany. Men brought in limbless with wounds she saw that she wishes to push back into the recesses of her mind. The days came and the days went and she was asking what we all ask in the midst of terrible pain. Why, God...why?! What is the purpose of this?! These men in altogether anguish matched against the anguish in the heart of my dear friend.

I remember her telling me of a day that she thought she could not go on seeing the wounds in the body but mostly the wounds in the spirit and then the goodness of God came slowly and again all at once as He reminded her of this from the book of John in Chapter 15:

Our God, our personal God, He knows the beautiful pain of sacrifice. What comfort that brings! Our God is not aloof. No, he is not far away. He came down here and walked this dusty earth with a band of twelve misfits. And while Jesus is asking of this huge kind of love from his disciples to be shown to each other, they have no idea that indeed that he is going to do just that. That he was going to lay his life down so that they may live. What a love he showed!
The tears come again as I realise again how unworthy I am for that kind of sacrifice and love and how, OH! how I can't ever make up for it. That there is nothing I can do to earn it. That this gift of sacrifice is just that....a gift. And a gift, as you well know can never be bought back.
Thank you, Jesus...for the gift of you and your love.....

Wednesday, 10 October 2012


Here we were today celebrating birthdays with surprises, eating wayyyyy too many sweets,
and crafting with friends.
Here we were today NOT doing the laundry, massive amounts of school work, or any other general cleaning (other than Gideon after he scooped out of the Nutella jar with his hand...again...)
Here is a peek into our crafting world today.
We had such a wonderful day just being here..... together.
Found this idea on Pintrest (of course). You can find instructions here to make your own.
Jordynn and her sweet friend who came to craft with us.
Here is a variation that Jordynn's friend made. I thought it turned out super cute!
Happy crafting y'all!!!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Looking Back

Sometimes looking back upon a subject studied is good for the soul. It's refreshing to see how much you have learned and gleaned from a study. As I dig deep into the book known as the book of joy, Philippians, it is apparent that the Lord is teaching me much. But the question always remains: am I being a doer of the word and not merely a hearer (in this case a reader and note taker) only?

As I looked back I found this note I had made while studying the word humbled in Phil. 2:8

"Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
Humbled himself does denote a choice doesn't it? Jesus wasn't forced to humble himself, he made that choice! As amazing as that fact is alone, the word humbled here (Tapeinoo in the original Greek) could meet any of the following definitions:
1)to make low
2) to bring into a humble condition or reduce to meaner circumstances (used as a metaphor)
3) to assign a lower rank or place
4) to abase
5) to be ranked below others who are honored or rewarded
6) to humble or abase oneself by humble living
7) to lower or depress
8) devoid of all haughtiness
9) to behave in an unassuming manner

So Jesus, the God-man, made himself low  in such a way that was unassuming, devoid of all haughtiness, taking the form of servant so much so that he died a brutal death on the cross for the sins of mankind though he is the creator of the entire universe (Colossians 1:16.) He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and deserves to be treated as much right?
So it kind of makes since that when this Jesus fellow walked out of the town of Nazareth rounding up disciples that one of them would exclaim, "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?"(John 1:46) These people were totally confused. On the one hand Jesus did many signs and wonders. He was always healing people. He seemed to have powers given by God. But on the other he was so, very confusing because he was (and still is) nothing what they expected.
And he became, in a since, what they vilified most. In a culture where religion was paraded around and righteousness was delegated to those following rules upon rules....upon rules in walks the Savior of the world, Jesus: humble slave and opposite of what they even wanted. They wanted a ruler, a conqueror. They wanted a Savior that would take all of their earthly sorrows away and make it all better...on earth....right now.
Does this not sound familiar?! We too struggle with this very thing. Our society is much like this isn't it? Just as the Jewish people longed to have a Messiah rescue them from the painful circumstances of being harshly ruled by Rome, we too desire and longingly look to be rescued from our physical ails all the while forgetting that our God is a God who looks at the heart.
We relish in our good deeds, just as the Pharisees did. Our hunger pains are full filled by the praises of others for our outward religiosity, not really a willingness to bend low even as low as a slave. Instead of looking around, pointing my finger in the opposite direction to find affirmation by comparing myself to the goodness and or not-so goodness of others, my eyes need to look upon the One who, though he was God, took the very form of slave.
Of course, God is able to heal our physical wounds. He can and He will! That is a promise that every believer desperately clings to.  It is easy, however, to point our fingers and shake our heads all the while thinking, "how could they NOT get it?!" though our hearts reflect the same desires.
And as I read a little this afternoon from these notes I took a few weeks ago the answer to the aforementioned question is:
the Holy Spirit's conviction is oftentimes a humbling experience and being humbled is a good place to start even if it means starting over...again....
Thank you Lord, Jesus for your example of humility and for the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Though I have not arrived, you continue to work in my heart and promise to do so until my race is over. This I praise you for! Thank you for your Word for with out it we could not know that you are the true God....a God of goodness and Grace and Mercy who judges righteously and exalts those who, like your Son, humble themselves. ~amen
From our almost 10-year old:
Thank you God for....
681: listening to the Bible on the couch                                      
682: my room
683: the metal that hold our house walls together
684: Nancy Drew books
685: the quilt my Mom made for me
686: clock
687: shoes
688: hamsters
689: my Kit doll
690: swimming in Lake Superior
691: getting baptised
692: Sun, stars, lights in the house
693: rain
694: Mrs. Beth's hot tub
695: leaves that are changing color


Friday, 5 October 2012

Those Little Men and a Few Others Too

Some of my favorite moments this week was spending time with these 3 little men, and of course that not-so little lady (she'll be 10 next week...YIKES!) Then there were some unexpected surprises along the way too. I. Am. Blessed!

This day, this walk was, well it was beautiful....and just about right in our back yard...give or take a few hundred.
This boy playing soccer.

This one fighting hard the toothy grin.
This, the littlest of the little men.

This sweet girl, studying away for AWANA.
Beautiful day. Beautiful boy.


Sneaky one.

When writing out a challenge for myself and perhaps some of you I certainly didn't think that I would be the "someone" that someone else would be caring for this week. To my surprise, I was. Check out that handle on the Kitchen Aid bowl...I've always wanted one....and it's even more wonderful than I imagined. Sometimes accepting grace is harder than giving it isn't it? So. Blessed! 

All that candy in there is from Deutchland, that's Germany for you Americans out there. I about fell apart when I opened this box from a woman who just gets me. Filled to the brim with goodies (catch a glimpse in the above photo) and special things made for me...things she knew I would love (it even smelled like Germany.) She's just that kind of friend. Made me Germany-sick...made me feel happy-sad missing my friend. Again, so blessed!

friday favorite things | finding joy
Linking up here at finding joy for the first time. If you have a chance and you're a mom I highly recommend perusing though some, if not all, of Rachel's "Dear Mom" letters. They offer a real dose of encouragement!

Monday, 1 October 2012

A Challenge

It started here at Ann's blog with this: The Daily Draft. If you take a look at it, you'll see the Definites a top the page and there under is this word Relationship with a ______________ after for you to fill in a name. And of course it too started here, a verse in Philippians in Chapter 2 verses 3 and 4.

"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."

That short book about humbling joy. And how to have joy is to have Christ and to look to Him. And to look to Christ is to humble ones self as Christ did for us.... even unto death.  Pastor Kyle said it right Sunday morning that the Word of God is never neutral. It opens you up right wide like no other book can or will.

It is a hopefully convicting work to think of who the Lord really is and who I really worship during the week and how, oh how I often am so worried about my cares of this world that I forget to look up and around. First, to the Lord and then the interests of others. Oh, how often I look to myself first, others next and Him last. And how many times I have missed opportunities because of the business of the day and our life and our home and...and...and a million other cares.

And they are cares aren't they? I mean we do have things to take care of ourselves don't we? I mean if we just went around caring for others and never our own cares who would care for our cares?! So here he is our God, a reasonable God, really. Who says, yes care about your cares and do, please DO take care of them well, but don't merely care for your cares but also care for the cares of those around you. As if to also say, if you're only caring for your own cares...you are only doing what is required. (ouch!) This convicts me.....

So here is a challenge to myself and to you as you are caring for your cares this week (don't worry it's simple):

Lift your eyes up and ask the Lord who you can help care for this week.
Just ask. Write down that person(s) name down where you will see it. A lot. 
Then pray.
Every time your eyes look upon that name...
every. single. time. Just pray.
Because He will help you think of a person or persons, I promise He will if you just ask. Really, I could rattle off a list of 30 people, at least, that need prayer. Lots. Of. It.  And I'm guessing that you could too.  So that person. You know the one. The one you are thinking of right now as I'm typing this next word out, that one. Start there. And who knows this might lead to you doing something kind as well as the kindness of interceding on their behalf. Sending a card or e-mail. Telling them you are praying all this week for them....just for them, and not just all the other cares you care about. Asking them what specifically you could be praying about. Maybe there is something that you can physically do for them.
It's as if we are saying that what that person has...what they are dealing with. I see it. I might not understand, but I see it and I'm praying. And no, it might not be a cure for cancer ( it could be though), but it might just be what that person needs most from you and....for you...for them.
To step outside our own pressing needs and into someone elses' is what "regarding someone else more important than yourselves" looks like.
It's putting mere words into action....
Soooo....are you in.....???
671. This God, he does not leave us to ourselves. He has given us this Word as our guide. Thank you!
672. sleeping in. all of us. much needed sleeping in.
673. sleep overs and homesickness
674. the gift of motherhood
675. our 4th trying to put peanut butter on his bread...himself
676. reading about humility and being humbled
677. taking pictures
678. remembering that there is a cost in a gift and that cost is what makes it a gift
679. leaves changing, bringing in beautiful Fall
680. my Love, he listens well