Tuesday, December 28, 2010

words.

My favorite blog is doing a series on words.
No surprise to God that this was exactly what I needed.
Just at the right time.

Fear.
It takes hold of my heart and takes me places I never want to go.
I know all the scriptures about fear.
I know all the scriptures about anxiety.
I know.  I have memorized them.  Written them on my heart.

Be Not Afraid
It humbles me so how the Lord uses people to encourage me in my walk with the Lord with words.
Words that are like healing balm for my heart and soul.

"Fear is holy ground; it holds the possibility of transformation."  Ann Voskamp 


I trust you, Jesus.
I love you, Jesus.
I know your Promises are true.
Your Words are Healing.
Your Spirit is AMAZING.

I trust you, Jesus.
I look with anticipation the possibility of transformation.
Even though I don't want this fear to be a part of me, I know that it draws me to You.  And for You I will follow.


I have tasted Your goodness.  I have found refuge in You.  You Alone.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Daily Bread

282.  "It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
   to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
   and your faithfulness by night,"  Psalm 92:1-2
283.  A Father who sets His affections on me.
284.  A Father who is patient with me.
285.  A Father who is teaching me about grace and mercy.
286.  watching my son pull my daughter down the hill with my duster.
288.  love and forgiveness.
289.  even though my dad has to start radiation and stands to lose everything he worked his entire life for, I will PRAISE Him.
290.  even though my baby sister, Susan, is moving to Germany I am trusting her to Him.  And looking forward to visiting:)
291.  thankful for my brother in law who is serving our country.  please Lord protect him while he is in Afghanistan.
291.  Jesus.

Monday, December 13, 2010

267

Choosing gratitude
267.  fun, crazy field trip to grocery store with 70 2nd graders.
268.  fun night away with hubby.
269.  running into a friend at Costco:)
270.  pictures hung on walls.
271.  watching Elf.
272.  a sweet and loving husband.
273.  friends who encourage me daily.
274.  a God Who is continuously showing me that it is better for Him to be in control than me.
275.  that old patterns of life can be changed.
276.  even when I feel sadness or disappointments, I can give it to the Lord and trust that His plan is way better than mine.  (Thanks Maia!)
277.  finally taking a video of my new house and sending it to my family and hearing their response:)
278.  Janet, I will forward it to you.  right.now!
279.  one week without facebook has allowed me to not get behind on my laundry and that is spelled like this: RELIEF.
280.  thankful for the difference I feel since cutting out bread and refined carbs.
281.  thankful that His mercies are new every morning.  every midday.  every night.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

self control

Whoop there it is.
self control.
staring me in the face ALL the time.
whether it be my 
thoughts.
food.
judgments.
words.
pride.
coveting.
self righteousness.
facebook.

I really do love how the Lord uses all of these things in life that confront each of us
everyday
to run to Him
or run away from Him.
guilty a lot of the later.
But, oh how sweet He is when we are obedient.
When we follow His Spirit and
TRUST.

I walked away from Facebook.
crackbook.
I have found myself getting on the computer and tempted to go
only because it is habit of wanting to see
to hear
how people are doing.
Now, this is not a bad thing necessarily.
Especially if you are one of the lucky ones who doesn't get sucked in.
I am so happy for you if you can walk away.
Or better yet just check once a month.
Not moi.

So, today is day 2.
It feels pretty good.
Ok, I miss seeing updates.
But, I am loving my extra time.
Lovin' it.

P.S.  I don't think there is anything wrong with Facebook (well, I really hate that the guy who started it is now worth billions.)  It has just become an idol for me.  So, I am walking away for a while:)


Monday, December 6, 2010

1000 gifts

251.  a clean house.
252.  the smell of Christmas tree.
253.  the decision to let go of facebook.
254.  tickle time.
255.  stepping heavenward.
256.  a sunday afternoon nap.
257.  clean sheets.
258.  a warm bed.
259.  silly emails with sisters.
260.  the wonder of the conception of Christ.
261.  the wonder of the Resurrection of Christ.
262.  just blown away by His love for us.
263.  The Book of Hebrews.
264.  "Although He was a son, He learned obedience through what He suffered."  Hebrews 5:8
265.  that we have a Savior who sympathizes with us.  how comforting is that?
266.  to have faith and trust, you have to BELIEVE. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thankful Thursday

238.  thankful to be back home.
239.  thankful that our new home is kinda feeling like home.
240.  thankful we have a home.
241.  thankful for the beautiful moon this morning.
242.  thankful for the cross i saw in the sky (from airplanes).
243.  thankful for dear friends who encourage me and point me to the Lord.
244.  thankful for the fact that the Lord loves me so much and continuously extends His grace and mercy to me.
245.  thankful for funny comments from my kids.
246.  thankful that my son gets up by himself every morning without a fuss.  eats his breakfast.  does his chores.
247.  thankful that he is nothing like i was as a child.  total gift from God.  
248.  thankful for "green acres"...my car.  it is falling apart.  but, i am thankful that i have a car.  and that it is paid for.
249.  thankful for the sweetest email from my dad.  i really needed it last night:)
250.  thankful for God's Word.  His Truth.  His Promises.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Abundance

of issues.
would y'all please just pray?

It ain't pretty.
I know the Lord is working in my heart.
But, my heart is hurting.
Hurting for people I love.
It hurts.

I am choosing to take it to the Cross.
I am laying my burdens at the foot of the Cross.
Forgive me Lord when I want to hold on to them and fix.
fix.
fix.
It is not my job.  It is Yours and You do a great job.

I trust You, Jesus.
I trust You, Jesus.
I believe Your promises.
I am clinging to Your promises.
You are good.
I love You.
Amen.

Monday, November 22, 2010

take 2

i just have to keep shouting out my praises today.

230.  an absolutely beautiful day to drive.
231.  a big bare tree in the center of trees covered in beautiful colored leaves.
232.  singing praise music at the top of my lungs and sticking my hand out of the sunroof.
233.  my momma teaching me how to make homemade banana pudding.
234.  talking with my daddy as the sun sets.
234.  reading this has stirred something in my soul.
235. hugging my momma.
236.  soul talking with my momma.
237.  the prospect of making this

can you tell i am happy to be with my parents?

Thank you, Lord.

"This is the day the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it."  Psalm 118:24

Multitude

218.  winks from my boy just when i needed them.
219.  make believe war with a shower curtain rod.
220.  football in our new big back yard.
221.  adventures in the stream next to our new home.
222.  laughter.
223.  the best friends a girl could ever have.  
224.  the sweetest email from my dear friend, Maia.
225.  watching the leaves fall from the trees.
226.  the opportunity to spend some time with my parents alone.
227.  a husband who is making the above happen.
228.  "When you experience the glory of God, the demands of discipleship become blessings that carry you along in joyful obedience."  Warren Wiersbe.
229.  "Obedience equals happiness."  John Rosemond

holy experience



Friday, November 19, 2010

moving

A little over a year ago I met this awesome girl.
Her name is LO.
She rocks.
Seriously.
The Lord knew I needed a friend just like her.
She is beautiful. fun. inspiring. encouraging.
Now, she is moving.
I am sad.
REAL.SAD.

Happy for their family and this awesome opportunity.
But, sad for moi.
She is not the only friend moving.
One moved six months ago.
One moved four months ago.
Another is moving.

I know moving is a part of life.
We have moved four times in our eleven years of marriage.
But, I just feel like throwing a big ol' tantrum.
You know the ones like your kids throw?
Yep.  
Maybe I will just go and do that and possible I will feel better.
Or better yet, I will take this to the Lord.

Ephesians 4:30 (The Message)

 30Don't grieve God. Don't break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don't take such a gift for granted.

Romans 12:12 (English Standard Version)

12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

blessings

He will yet fill your mouth with laughing, and your lips with rejoicing.
(Job 8:21)

201.  fall leaves.
202.  family turkey project.
203.  fancy nancy books.
204.  eating dinner as a family.
205.  having food.
206.  having a home.
207.  having heat.
208.  having blankets.
209.  redeemed marriage.
210.  uncontrollable giggles from my children.
211.  light butter popcorn.
212.  finding a picture of Mac when he was 6 months sitting on top of pumpkins.  his head was as big as some of them;)
213.  seeing his fat baby fingers.  i remember them like yesterday.
214.  i love you's....
215.  sidewalk chalk.
216.  good times with friends.
217.  tic tac toe with my girl.
 
 

Monday, November 1, 2010

quietness

183.  thankful for the quiet in the early morning.
184.  thankful for excited kiddos on Halloween.
185.  thankful there are no twix in my house.
186.  thankful to God for all of our many blessings.
187.  thankful for our house closing today.
188.  thankful for our new home.
189.  thankful to be able to see God's Hand in all that has happened over the past four and a half years.  Good and Bad.
190.  thankful that the good far outweighs the bad.  
191.  thankful for His mercy and grace.
192.  thankful that He keeps whispering to me, "Allison, you do not have to fix everyone's problems.  Trust Me."
193. thankful for the times when I say, "I trust you, Jesus."  And the Peace that comes over me.  It is pretty amazing.
194.  thankful for His constant wooing me to Himself.
195.  thankful that my children have a different life than I had growing up.
196.  thankful for the life I had growing up because He used it to draw me to Himself.
197.  thankful for Jasper (our dog.)  we have put him through four moves in his eleven years.
198.  thankful that he won't have to climb stairs anymore.
199.  thankful for the friends who are helping us out this week while we move.  
200.  thankful for Jesus.  sweet and precious Jesus.  thank you.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

hidden

hidden.

 "How can a young man keep his way pure?
       By living according to your word.
  I seek you with all my heart;
       do not let me stray from your commands.
 I have hidden your word in my heart
       that I might not sin against you."
Psalm 119:9-11

walking. 

"My son, be attentive to my words;
   incline your ear to my sayings.
  Let them not escape from your sight;
    keep them within your heart.
For they are life to those who find them,
   and healing to all their flesh.
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
   for from it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you crooked speech,
   and put devious talk far from you.
  Let your eyes look directly forward,
   and your gaze be straight before you.
  Ponder the path of your feet;
    then all your ways will be sure.
  Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
   turn your foot away from evil."
Proverbs 4:20-27

peace.

 
"You keep him in perfect peace
   whose mind is stayed on you,
   because he trusts in you."
Isaiah 26:3
"For the mountains may depart
   and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
   and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,
   says the LORD, who has compassion on you."
Isaiah 54:10
Thank you, Ann for taking me back to the first place where I discovered God.  
Memorizing scripture.
Thank you for the reminder to turn to His Word.
Hide it in my Heart.
Walk.
With.
Him.
Not to the right or the left.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Proud




It is raining.
The last time I wrote my gratitude's it was raining.
The rain must bring out my thankfulness.
171.  thankful for the kind words my mother said to me today.  she told me she was proud of me.  
172.  thankful that I heard her instead of not listening.
173.  thankful that my Heavenly Father knew exactly what I needed today.
174.  little girls in dress up clothes.
175.  coloring princesses.
176.  community coffee
177.  thin everything bagels.
178.  a Sunday nap.
179.  a run in the rain.
180.  thankful for friends who are providing prayers and support during our move this week:)  
181.  thankful for my momma.
182. thankful for this quote:
"But there is an undercurrent of peace that is not entirely disturbed by any outside event. In spite of my follies and my shortcomings, I do believe that God loves and pities me and will yet perfect that which concerneth me. It is a great mystery. But so is everything."  
Katy Mortimer in "Stepping Heavenward" by Elizabeth Prentiss

P.S.  Thank you Momma, for your kind words today.  You have no idea how your words ministered to my heart.  Thank you for praying for me.  Thank you for loving me.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  I am proud to call you my momma:)


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Meet me

where you are right now.
Looking back is slowly creeping its ugly way back.  
As we prepare to move,
The Lord is cleaning some stuff out of my heart.
Good and Bad.

Good.
Lawson decided to give up her thumb.
Great.
But, oh.my.word.
The whining and disobedience are full force.
I got all teary eyed last night because this is kind of huge.
Not to you.
But to me.
You see, La sucked her thumb in my belly.
I was convinced she didn't have a face.
I found out why when she was 3 months old.
Her thumb.
She loved her thumb.
I loved seeing her suck her thumb.
Some are grossed out by thumb suckers, 
but not moi.

I am so proud of her.
She is doing it!  
Maybe I was holding on to her sucking her thumb a little because of the hard pregnancy I had with her.
But, all things have changed since her birth.
I am not the same person I once was.

We are moving into a new house in 2 weeks.
Packing has been a struggle for me.
I am putting things off because I just don't want to go there.
But, I feel Him saying, "Just meet Me, Allison."
"Trust Me, Allison."

There is part of me that does want to meet Him.
There is part of me that does not want to meet Him.
Torn.  Conflicted.
I do know that when I do meet Him, I feel better.
So, here I am Lord.
Meeting You.
Here.
Right.
Now.
With open hands and a heart yearning for You.

I know this house doesn't define me.
You do.
I know my car (which is kind of Green Acre(ish)) doesn't define me.
You do.
My kids behavior doesn't define me.
You do.

Please Lord, help me be in the world and not of the world.
Help me cling to You and look to You for Your strength.
Not mine.
Because I lose every time.
Without You.

Forgive me for my coveting.
For my desiring things instead of You.
Forgive me for looking back with regret.
Forgive me for not seeing Your redemption and forgiveness.
Forgive me for not loving You with my whole heart.

Thank you for Your Word.
Thank You for Your Promises.
Thank You for Your grace and mercy.
Thank You, Jesus.
Thank You.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Maze

Once again.
If only I had child like faith.
Tonight when I was putting Mac down for bed,
we read about Elijah and how he trusted God.
He obeyed God.
So, I proceeded to tell Mac two stories of mine where I have trusted.
The first was when I trusted God about going back to school.
I told him that it was a very hard time in our life, but that God taught us so much during that time.
It made me trust Him even more than before.
Even though it was hard.
But, I was confident that the Lord took me there for some very good reasons.
Then I told him how his daddy and I trusted the Lord about selling our home.
He provided the perfect buyers for our house.
Then I explained to him that we trusted that the Lord had the perfect house for us.
But, it was hard trying to find this home.
There were times when we were like this is the perfect home, and then it wouldn't work out.
Disappointment.  Worry.  Burdens.
The Lord provided a way each time, until the perfect house came along.
And it was such a sweet surprise.
We did trust in the Lord the whole time.

Mac gets all excited.
It's like a maze, Momma.  It's like a maze.
How you go one direction and stop.
Then go a different direction until you find the way out.
Genius.
You are so right, son.
It is a winding road,
full of ups and downs,
detours and
stops.
All we have to do is keep our eyes on the Prize.


Monday, September 27, 2010

gracious

Dear Gracious Father,
You have loved me with an everlasting love.
You have guided me through the worst of storms 
and the 
best of times.
You have been there from the beginning,
wooing and pursuing me.
Me.  
Why?
Especially the times in which I flee from your presence.
You still pursue me.
You still love me.
You still guide me.

Thank you, gracious Father for having mercy on me and calling me Yours.
Thank you.

163. L learning how to write her name (even though she has practiced on her walls and doll house.)
164.  that Your Spirit can help with self control and gentleness.
165.  moving boxes that are providing entertainment for the kids.
166.  the crock pot.
167.  thank you for teaching me that praising You gives me great joy too.
169.  helping me see who I am in You.  through Your eyes and not my own.
170.  beauty in the rain and how it quenches thirsty ground and souls.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

No Pain, No Gain.

Alrighty.
I dislike Walmart.
But, I went today to get math flashcards for Mac.
While I am trying to find them, and trying not to get upset
I saw a t-shirt that said, 
"No Pain, No Gain"

This resonated with me because:
1.  I am running in the Mud Run
2.  My son has gotten 2 notes home from his teacher this week.
3.  We are in the process of moving.

Ok, now I have completed the Mud Run. 
It is over.  I hurt.  I want to cry.
But, I finished.
And that feels so good.
If I had not gone through the actual pain of completing this task, there would be no gain.

Friday was hard. 
So, so disappointed in M. 
His teacher told me that he has not been obeying on the first time.
Not listening during reading time.
Leighton and I made the decision to not let him go canoeing today as punishment.
It pained us to have to take away something that he would have LOVED.
But, without the pain, he will not gain.

We are truly blessed that our home has sold.
Seriously.  It is a God thing.
Then we kind of freaked about finding a home.
It was a big ole pain.
God provided the perfect home for us.
He provided this gain.

So, I guess what I am trying to say is that there is really no way to gain without Jesus.
Jesus suffered the ultimate pain.
He died so we could gain.
His pain was so much worse than we could ever even imagine.
He took the weight of all our sins.
So we could live.

He wants us to live life and live it abundantly.
But, this does not mean that life will be filled with just roses.
There will be thorns.
Thorns hurt.
The pain is worth it.
The gain is even better.

"Look to the Lord and His strength.  Seek His face always."  Psalm 105:4









Thursday, September 16, 2010

safe

Tonight as I am putting Mac to bed, he says, 
"I feel safe with you."
My heart just sank and smiled at the same time.
We live in such a harsh world.  
All I ever want for my children is that they would feel safe and loved.
My heart smiled because he said this on the heels of being disciplined.
He got a note sent home from the teacher.
First.One.Ever.
He was reading a book while the teacher was reading.
So, he had to spend the afternoon in his room and no tv today. (He only gets 30 minutes when he gets home....but he LOVES that 30 mins to unwind.)
He feels safe with me, even when I discipline him.
I feel the same with Jesus.  
Safe.
Even when I am disciplined.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Grasping Gratitude

Today as my thoughts turned to some regrets with decisions we have made, 
I made a choice to be intentional with giving thanks to the Lord.
156.  We have sold our house. 
Thank you, Lord.
157.  Downsizing feels good.
Thank you, Lord.
158.  The privilege to see the Lord totally provide for our needs and more.
Thank you, Lord.
159.  Eyes to see my children grow and learn.
Thank you, Lord.
160.  Ears to hear my children giggle.
Thank you, Lord.
161.  Confidence in You.
Thank you, Lord.
162.  For Ann's words today.
Thank you, Lord.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Clinging

Clinging.
I have always loved to cling to people and or things that make me feel safe.
Sometimes it could be 
my husband.
my children.
my family.
my friends.
food.
my things. 

But, you know what I have learned over the past year?
The only person I can cling to is Jesus.
His Cross.
Which leads to all the things I have ever longed for.
Grace.
Mercy.
Forgiveness.
Love.
Joy.
Fellowship.
Giggles.
Security.
Jesus.

I am learning to lay my burdens at the foot of the Cross.
Releasing fears.
Grasping for Him.
Believing the Truth.
Not lies.
Repenting.
Receiving Forgiveness.
Receiving love.
Receiving mercy.
Receiving grace.
Receiving joy.
Receiving Jesus.
Fellowship with Him.

By receiving His Gifts, gives me encouragement to give His Gifts to others.  And that my friends, feels good.
Thank you, Jesus.

The Giver of Life.



Monday, August 23, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things....


Continuing with intentional gratitude.
143.  laughing out loud at one of the funniest texts I have received in a long time.
144.  i love that Lawson loves her tutu and i let her wear it everywhere.  because i think it is precious.
145.  singing vacation bible school songs at the top of my lungs with my children.
146.  even though trusting God when i am not sure of how things are going to turn out is better than when i didn't believe He meant good for me.  so much better.
147.  good friends.
148.  thankful for the past year.  even though i didn't finish graduate school, i don't regret going.  He taught me so much while i was there.
149.  thankful that L has a job.  we are coming up on a year when he was let go from his job.
150.  how God can turn anger into compassion and change my heart.
151.  love feels better that hate.
152.  love makes others feel better too.
153.  God's Word.  Rocks.
154.  unexpected "I love you's."  today was when Lawson told Shelley that she loved her.  so.stinkin.sweet.
155.  haircuts.  they always put a little jump in my step.  and i need one.bad.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Taking Away.

You can take away something I love,
But,
You can not take away the memories I treasure.
Here are a few of the memories I love:
Driving to the farm with family.
The Barbecue Stand (The old one, of course.)
Jumping for hours in the cotton.
Complaining about having to show a cow.
Seeing my daddy's face light up as soon as he got on the farm.
Driving in the tractors.
The beauty of Black Angus Cows.
The history behind the farm.
How a man married a lady, who he knew would die.
How they were never suppose to have children, but they did.
How she is a miracle.
How God led him to my momma.
How I got to experience love in a different way than before him.
Homemade sleds tied to the back of the truck.
Bumpy rides in the fields checking out the cows.
Watching the birth of a new calf.
Bringing it home with us because the momma died and getting to feed it bottles.
How my daddy farmed because he loved it, not because of the money.
Climbing the big magnolia tree for hours.
Learning to drive in the pastures.
Sub Deb mud day at the farm.
Seeing the children run out of the mobile homes when they saw our truck pull into the farm.
How my momma loved teaching the little children.
How their eyes would light up when they saw my parents.
Now, as an adult seeing the children grown, how they still come to see my parents.
The farm might be taken away, but the memories of sweeter times will remain.
They can not be taken away.
Nope.
They are forever etched in my heart.
Etched it my whole families heart.
We are choosing to PRAISE the Lord in this difficult time.
We are clinging to HIS Promises.
Not the promises of this world.
My sister, the one who should have never been born, said it the best:
 
"what Jesus dealt with was not fair…He didn’t do anything wrong to deserve what he went through…actually He did nothing wrong period. And I guess that’s just the way it is in life sometimes…It’s all for God’s glory…the joy and the suffering."
 
Amen, Anna.  
Amen.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Walking with Him Wednesday

It is funny that I spent the majority of my life running from God.
Now I feel the closest To Him by just walking WITH Him.
Not in front.
Not in the back.
Right beside Him.
If I run in front, I become anxious and fearful.  Or act like a crazy person trying to control everything.
If I run behind, I act like I am not forgiven for the past.  Pity party if you please. 
He came to absorb the guilt and shame of all that is past and present.
How amazing!
He is amazing!
There is joy and peace that comes from just Walking with Him.  
Walking.
Not.
Running.
I think I ran from God because I didn't want to be disciplined.  
Who in their right mind likes to be disciplined. 
Not me.
Never have been one to love being disciplined.
Just ask my momma;)
But, I look for how the Lord is disciplining me.
I am not scared of it anymore.
He is not like my earthly father.
Not one little bit.
He is better.
He is sweeter.
He is full of love, peace, joy and grace.
He wants me to be more like Him.
He loves me.
"For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."  Hebrews 12:11
Obedience leads to happiness.
So, right now I am Walking with Him and not running.
I am not going to be consumed with the "what if's."
The Lord with provide.
I trust Him.
In the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Continuing my gratitude journey


132.  conversations with my 7 year old.
133.  Annie (The movie.)
134.  tadpoles that are growing tiny legs:) and the excitement that brings to a 7 year old.
135.  Truly trusting the Lord and being at peace in the good times and the storms.
136.  thankful to count all loss as joy because of Him.
137.  thankful to even think of fall being around the corner:)
138.  little girls with side ponytails......with curls.
139.  saving $73 yesterday grocery shopping.
140.  a pantry and refrigerator that is full. (there are so many without.)
141.  the anticipation of a road trip to NOLA.
142.  the anticipation of a girls weekend to Windy Gap.  WHOOOOOHOOOO!
 
"I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
  I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High."
Psalm 9:1-2 

loss

loss.
I miss Joe.
But, tonight was especially hard.
I told Mac a few weeks ago that Da-dada is not my real father.
Joe is my real father's name.
He didn't ask too many questions that day and actually none since.
Tonight the questions came and they were hard.
Mac, "Mom, so Ma-mama was married to Joe?"
Me, "Yes, they divorced and Ma-mama married Da-dada.  Joe is Aunt Meme's real father too.  But, Da-dada is our daddy.  Da-dada was married before Ma-mama and he had Anna and her mother passed away from Cystic Fibrosis.  Then after Ma-mama and Da-dada were married they had Aunt Susu."
Mac, "So, Joe is sick?"
Me, "Yes, baby.  I don't understand what is wrong with him.  He is just not very nice and says very hurtful things."
Mac (he starts crying, like big deep crying) "But, I want to meet him."
Oh, sweet Jesus....come.  

The tears start flowing from me.  I hold Mac and tell him that I love Joe.  I pray for Joe every day.  

Oh, sweet Jesus.....come.

Mac, "Does he not love you?"

Oh, sweet Jesus.....come.

Me, "Yes, baby he loves me.  He told me he loved me a few months ago.  But, he is sick.  Let's pray for him."
Mac, "Ok."

So, we pray for Joe.  

It was so hard and yet so good.  This life is hard.  I made sure to let Mac know that because of Joe, I came to know the Lord and it is all worth it.  ALL OF IT.  The.good.the.bad.and.the.ugly.
I can't keep my sweet boy sheltered from the bad in this world. 

I can teach him to pray.
I can teach him about the Lord.
I can teach him about real Love.
I can teach him about forgiveness.
I can teach him about trust.
I can teach him about heartbreak.
I can teach him about compassion.

The Lord is working on my boy.  He is using him in a mighty way to minister to my own heart.  He is healing my broken heart with the most precious son in the whole wide world.  

"  But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ."  Philippians 3:7-8 ESV)

"  Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!  Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him."  
Psalm 34:8

Saturday, July 31, 2010

even though

Thankful
Even
Though
1.  i am kind of sad to be downsizing, i am looking forward to using the skills this big house has taught me.
2.  the cold water is hot(because it is 200 degrees here in Columbia), we have water and it is clean.
3.  i needed a little break from my precious girl, i miss her something fierce and can't wait to wrap my arms around her:)
4.  selling our house is a pain(i mean who really wants to keep their house tidy everyday?), i am thankful for the encouragement i am getting because it feels so much better to have a clean house.  motivation...baby:)
5.  it is sometimes hard to trust in the Lord with all my heart, i am learning that it is easier to trust and rest in Him than trying to have control over everything.  control makes me crazy.  trying to give it up.  it feels pretty good too;)
6.  the daddy cardinal's have left the premises, i am thankful for the momma cardinal that has perched outside my window.
7.  i will miss the beautiful yard, i am thankful for the love i have developed for working in the yard. 
8.  it was hard to tell my son about my real father, what a joy it was to tell him about my earthly and Heavenly Father!
9.  it is hard to get rid of "stuff", it actually feels good and liberating.  it is just "stuff."
10.  we have a 7 hour trip ahead of us, we are going to have a glorious weekend with family in Alabama:)  WHOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 30

Wow.
Today is Day 30 of my journey on giving thanks.  
I can honestly say that I feel different.
I feel better.
Wow.
I am going to post some of the things I have found that I am thankful for:
 
1.  Breathing Out and Breathing In
by A.B. Simpson (1843-1919)

Jesus, breathe Thy Spirit in me,
Teach me how to breathe Thee in,
Help me pour into Thy bosom
All my life of self and sin.

I am breathing out my own life,
That I may be filled with Thine;
Letting go my strength and weakness,
Breathing in Thy life divine.

Breathing out my sinful nature,
Thou has borne it all for me;
Breathing in Thy cleansing fullness,
Finding all my life in Thee.

I am breathing out my sorrow,
On Thy kind and gentle breast;
Breathing in Thy joy and comfort,
Breathing in Thy peace and rest.

I am breathing out my longings,
In Thy list’ning loving ear,
I am breathing in Thy answers,
Stilling every doubt and fear.

I am breathing every moment,
Drawing all my life from Thee;
Breath by breath I live upon Thee,
Blessed Spirit, breathe in me.
 
2.  "God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him....choose joy."  Jim Elliot

3.  "Too many people miss the silver lining because they are expecting gold."  Gitzen Girl

4.  "I am simply overwhelmed with thankfulness to Him."  C.J.  Mahany

5.  Over time, choosing gratitude means choosing joy."  Nancy Leigh DeMoss

6.  "And above all these put on love, which binds everything together."  Col. 3:14



Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 29

“Difficulties for which I am and will be grateful:”
I like your determination in the “I am and WILL be grateful.”
1. This is so shallow. I am thankful for the bull frog that is going crazy in my back yard right now. I mean it is the most annoying sound, but there are now tiny frog eggs growing in our pond. My son proceeded to tell me all about them and when I said, “son, how do you know all of this?” He replied, “Well, mom I read the book about the life cycles of frogs.” So, every time I hear that bull frog, I smile because my boy loves nature. I mean really loves nature and I thankful for his excitement over God’s creation. (It really is amazing….stay tuned because I am going to take pics and put them on my blog:))
2. I am thankful for my real father. Even though we don’t talk and most likely never will. The Lord has really used him to teach me what a Real Father is like and for that I am eternally thankful. My heart has been broken more times than I care to even think about. But, the joy, peace and love from the Lord are the Best Band-Aid ever. He is the best wound Healer.
3. Through all the difficulties, He teaches me so much. It never ceases to amaze me at all He has us His sleeves. So, I am thankful for sanctification.
4. I am thankful that even though it was hard for me to get pregnant and many tears were shed, I was able to have a baby. And He gave me the sweetest boy ever. I am thankful that M is such an affectionate child. He has taught me a lot about accepting love and not turning it away or running from love.
5. I am thankful for the trials that my husband and I have had in the past. These trials were not fun, but they have played a part in the restoration of our relationship. HE has redeemed our broken marriage and made it something beautiful.
I am too tired to proof read. Please forgive me:)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 28

1.  So, so thankful that my girl is alright.  She woke up from her nap and was coming down the stairs and took quite the tumble.  Bless her heart.  I actually shed tears.  It scared the mess out of me.  For Real.  She is one tough cookie.  Thank you, Lord for protecting her.  Thank YOU!

2.  Thankful for such a fun morning with friends:)  

3.  Thankful that I am thankful;)

4.  Thankful for my momma.  Maybe this is a repeat, but let me tell you....she is pretty awesome.  My mom and dad are having a rough time as of late.  She sent me an email recently that asked us(my sister's) to pray for the people that have hurt them.  Such a sweet example of seeing Christ.  Love instead of hate.  Love instead of anger.  It doesn't mean we don't hurt.  Or that we aren't disappointed.  I am proud of her.  She has been through a lot and I respect and love her more now than ever.

5.  Three words:  Diet Mountain Dew. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 27

I am going with the theme of the past post.  Quotes or scripture I am thankful for.
1. “God’s faithfulness never fails us.” I have this little business card thingy in my kitchen window sill. I love being able to look at it while I am loading and loading the dishwasher. Two things I absolutely loathe.

2. “I will trust and not be afraid.” Isaiah 12:2

3. I love that I continued to read the rest of this chapter in Isaiah and it goes like this. God is so cool. Period.

“for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day:
‘Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name be exulted.’
Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth.’
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 12:3-6

4. For some odd reason I just broke out my handwritten journals. I have been scared to open them for months, but this is what I found.
“We cry too often to be delivered from the punishment, instead of the sin that lies behind it. We are anxious to escape from the things that cause us pain rather than from the things that cause God pain.” G. Campbell Morgan.
I wrote this in my journal five days before my husband lost his job. Five days before I started graduate school.

5. “God certainly blesses our prayer and our hopes, but to break cycles and provoke lasting change we must be willing to deliberately cooperate with Him.” Beth Moore. Boy, this is so hard to even type. But, oh so true. I need to be more willing to cooperate with Him and this is where true joy is found in Him. I believe it now.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 23, 24, 25 and 26

Better late than never.
I am going to write specific quotes from people that have made an impact on me this week.  
1.  Ann Voskamp's words,
"Maybe more than scientific, conclusive evidence of the reality of a Greater Being moving the strings behind the vaporous veil of the universe, maybe the dark depths of us really long for the filling of a wounded, weeping God who doesn’t write answers in the stars but writes His ardency in our scars.


With His scars.


Maybe in ditches and by death beds, maybe we aren’t seeking evidence of God as much as we are seeking an experience with God.


And maybe that is precisely what God has given, day after day, right here in the midst and the mess —- not hard evidence, but a holy experience. 

2.  A hymn we sang at church this past Sunday, "How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer's ear! It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, and drives away his fear.  Dear Name! the rock on which I build, my shield and hiding place, My never failing treas'ry filled with boundless stores of grace."  Trinity Hymnal "How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds."

3.  3 John 1-4
1This letter is from John, the elder.
I am writing to Gaius, my dear friend, whom I love in the truth.
2 Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. 3 Some of the traveling teachers recently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your faithfulness and that you are living according to the truth. 4 I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.

4.  "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might."  Ephesians 6:10 


5.  "My heart is ruined because there are no more PopTarts."  La.....please pray for patience, love, calmness with my girl. 


6.  "Of course you suffer.  But, your suffering is part of God's providence in your life; he is working out his purpose through it.  For in his plan, suffering leads to glory and helps to create it(Rom. 8:17).  Suffering is the friction which polishes our graces.  Without it we would be all the poorer as reflectors of the image of His Son."  Dr. Sinclair Ferguson


7.  "You are never more Christlike than when you feel another's hurt and seek to help."  Warren Wiersbe





Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day 21 and 22

1.  making $19 today at a yard sale.  note to self: plan a little better.
2.  Blue skies.
3.  Big and fluffy clouds.
4.  pistachios (but not the whole bag that I just ate.)
5.  trusting in Jesus.
6.  stepping out in faith and being ok with our house selling or not.
7.  cleaning out feels so good.
8.  thankful for feeling grateful because it feels so much better than being grumpy, worried, fearful or apprehensive. 
9.  a standing fan blowing on me all night long leads to dreamy sleep for moi.  i am in love.
10.  sweet potato fries.
11.  good smelling lotion.









Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 19 and 20

1. I slept 8 hours last night. Wonderful. Refreshing. Amazing.
2. Peace and quiet today. My kiddos are with my in laws:-D
3. laundry only took 2 hours instead of 5 because the kids were not here.
4. chicken on the grill cooked by my fabulous hubby.
5. my sister’s….Anna, Amelia and Susan.
6. tired of being a worrier.  enjoying being grateful.  
7.  "Gratitude Attitude"  truly inspired because of my friend, Lauren
8.  obedience equals happiness happens to be very true I have discovered lately.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 18/1000 gifts

68.  fabulous, fun, spontaneous date night with L and good friends.
69.  climbing a rock wall and making it up half way.
70.  wings and raw fries(extra crispy).
71.  growing children.
72.  the ability to walk and go wherever I want to go.  (Would you please pray for the Denny's?)  Please watch the video that my amazing friend Lorien did for them....get some kleenex.
73.  m loving to read.
74.  being inspired to step out of the box and not do everything just "so."  
75.  Jesus.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 17

1. a voice. I know I need to learn to keep it shut sometimes, but I love in this verse he says, “Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.” verse 2. He saved me and I have a voice, whether I say it inwardly to myself or to someone else. I am thankful for a voice.
2. i am thankful that your (my friend Lauren:)) dad raised a pretty awesome kid:) aren’t you proud….i used my voice to give a witness;)p.s.  she has started a gratitude endeavor.  click on her link and join in!
3. ice cream with creamy peanut butter all swirled up in it and the ability to lick the bowl:)
4. the realization this morning that I can specifically pray for my real father in a way I hadn’t imagined before.
5. coupons and dave ramsey

I was pretty lazy and copied what I posted on Lauren's blog:)  

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 16

1.  a fun week at the beach
2.  my bed at home that is calling my name
3.  buttered popcorn
4.  dt. dew
5.  sweet text messages from friends
6.  laughter
7.  boot camp that will begin again when we get home
8.  the four year old boy who asked if he could play with my sister (La)
9.  a tan
10.  my sister's

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 14 and 15

1.  old Dukes of Hazzard cars
2.  girl time
3.  watching the sunset by myself on the beach
4.  a little girl playing pretend with her stuffed animals
5.  baby lizards
7.  my parent's
8.  La is thankful for Jasper(our dog)...she is helping me:)
9.  I love mama...awwww;)  melt my heart, baby!
10.  the trees, the blankets, the beds and sandcastles on the beach
11.  M.....
12.  the pool

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 13

Trying real hard today.
Got some news that my parents aren't coming to the beach.
The reason.
Well, I can't really talk about it here.
I will say this:
"Money is never more important than people or relationships."
My parents have been done wrong....a little Bama' slang for ya.
I did find myself grasping for things I am thankful for.

1.  a long run down a beautiful street.
2.  a few hours alone at the beach.
3.  seeing a husband kiss his wife on the forehead at the beach as he strolled her on the beach(she was in a wheelchair.)
4.  riding waves with La.
5.  jumping waves with La.
6.  seeing my children having fun with their daddy in the ocean.
7.  carrying La on my back down the beach to get slushies.
8.  blue and red stained mouths.
9.  leftovers for dinner.
10.  telling my children about my childhood dog, Brownie.  she was the best.
11.  the stork that landed on the beach right by a little girl fishing.
12.  rubbing the sand through my fingers.
13.  Titus 3:9-11
14.  stacy's pita chips on the beach.
15.  pina colada's on the beach
16.  family. friends.fellowship.
17.  Jesus
18.  Grace
19.  Mercy
20.  Love

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12

So, I am on vacay.
I am combining a few days.
1.  "I love seeing things you don't see everyday."  M's comment while at the beach with his dad.
2.  having a water gun fight with M.
3.  sunsets in the clouds.
4.  baby alligators swimming in the lagoon.
5.  squeals from my kiddos when a man caught a shark and then almost dropped it on them.
6.  "I think I am allergic to sharks."  La's comment after the shark almost dropped on her.
7.  Thankful for humor.
8.  "You like my braids?" My girl flirting with 2 boys at the pool.  What am I going to do with her?
9.  Starting a new book.
10.  actually napping and not feeling guilty.
11.  sugar free, fat free chocolate pudding
12.  Palmetto Cheese
13.  I don't have to weigh in this week.
14.  I don't have to weigh in this week.
15.  I don't have to weigh in this week.
16.  seeing a son taking pictures of his mom and her not knowing he was taking them.  so. sweet. and. precious.
17.  La asking about our wedding tonight.
18.  good coffee that awaits me in the morning.
19.  my new fav toenail polish  Commander in Chic.  It. ROCKS:)
20.  letting go of the past.
21.  open and excited about the future.

1000 gifts


55.  This precious girl and her momma, Donna. 
56.  watching my boy on the dock fishing.
57.  laughter and squeals at the beach.
58.  my girl, who is always eager to make new friends.
59.  smores dripping down faces.
60.  sleeping in until 8:30 this morning......ahhhhh!
61.  not feeling guilty about sleeping in.
62.  lazy days on the beach.
63.  jasper our doggie...he has been so good on our trip.
64.  God's Word 
65.  even the fact that children have continued to stir up trouble between each other, they still have each other.  
66.  Also, the gift of knowing that we are not perfect only He is.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 7

I am kind of feeling like my friend Gwen.
My four year old had shots.
My seven year old has the tummy aches and overall yucky feeling.
Three days in the house.
Whining.
Crying.
Stirring up trouble.
More whining.
I want to cry.
So, I did.

Maia is leaving tomorrow.
She has been my faithful running pal for 2 years.
I'm sad.
I cried.
Big booger cries.
I let it all out.
It felt good to get it out.
I already miss her.

But, here are a few things I am thankful for today:
1.  Amidst the house bound chaos I listened to my children have a conversation about God.
2.  As I was leaving Barnes and Noble I saw three people holding hands and praying aloud.
3.  We leave or vacation in 36 hours, 15 minutes and 22 seconds.
4.  We leave for vacation in 36 hours, 14 minutes and 48 seconds.
5.  I read this entry and walked outside, sat on the slide....took a deep breath and looked up, looked in and looked down.
6.  The cardinal I saw as I left Maia's house for the last time.

Has anyone read this book?  I read a little of it while I was in Barnes and Noble.  He is the pastor of my sister's church in Birmingham.  I might get it to read on vacation.  Oh, wait...we are now on a budget.  I will wait until it comes to the library or if someone let's me borrow:)  Or if I make some money tomorrow selling some of my jewelry......

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 6

1.  I am thankful that even though some days it is a struggle to come up with all the things I am thankful for, I still do it.  Intentionally.  And it feels better.
2.  Good, long conversation with my sis
3.  I love that Lawson loves to wear her tutu everywhere.
4.  cleaning out feels so good....but I am exhausted:)
5.  thankful that i am about to crawl into my comfy bed:)
6.  Oh, and thankful for the beautiful rainbow we saw tonight after our last photography lesson from LO.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Multitude Monday.....1000 gifts


46.  being able to take my sweet girl to her four year old check up and get to see her be so brave when she got 5 shots.......broke my heart.  She was so brave, though.  SO.BRAVE.
47.  frosted flakes tasted soooooo good for dinner tonight.
48.  the homemade cinnamon roll bread was delicious for dessert. (i am not going to weigh in tomorrow.  i am going to run;))
49.  finding something to encourage my hubby with.....letting him know that his dreams are my dreams too.
50.  walking in faith is not being able to see, but knowing in your heart that Jesus is enough.  trusting in Him.  loving Him.  seeing Him in everything.  praising Him.  adoring Him.  in awe of Him.  glorifying Him.  enjoying Him.
51.  true Peace and contentment can only come from Him.
52.  little boys sleeping with their daddy's book beside them.....he sleeps with his eyes half way open and it is really freaky;)
53.  being able to reminise through old photos and realize that my babies are growing.  
HOW can this be my babies two years ago?
54.  Life.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 4

1.  thankful for the reminder that grace is not a thing it is Jesus.
2.  watching my girl sing her VBS songs with a serious beat going on:)
3.  listening to one of Mac's dreams.....
4.  listening to 5 things that Mac is thankful for.
5.  folding the laundry that has been waiting for 4 days......
6.  knocking out a few things on our punch list for selling our home:)
7.  now there are only 7 pages instead of 8.....

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 3

1.  taking my girl to 2 girly birthday parties.
2.  the prospect of downsizing our home and debt.....
3.  all the cardinal's i saw today that made me think of Jesus.
4.  cleaning out 4 cabinets in my den and it only took 3 hours.
5.  only 10 more rooms to clean out.
6.  faith and confidence that the Lord has us in the Palm of His Hand.  No.Matter.What.
7.  i was able to build my hubby up after an upsetting phone call.
8.  a fun casual dinner with hometown friend and her precious fam....
9.  finding this refreshing. truth speaking. blog.
10.  surving a 4 mile run in extreme heat at 7 am.....:)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 2

Day 2
1.  the. best. coffee. ever. made. by. the. best. hubby. in. the. WHOLE. Wide. WORLD:)
2.  My friend, Lorien, for taking the time to teach a group of friends how to take pictures with our cameras.
3.  two healthy children.
4.  redeemed marriage.
5.  making my children's lunch today.
6.  scratching Mac's back when he got home from VBS.  (he spent the night out and stayed up until midnight.....ahhhhh)
7.  having affectionate children....La was rubbing my arm while she sucked her thumb:)
8.  hubby coming home for lunch.
9.  communication with my hubby
10.  sunshine.
11.  ceiling fans.
12.  Dave Ramsey.....I know we will be even more thankful for him when we get out of debt.