Thursday, May 30, 2013

I Helped Madi Make A Tutu For A Water Bottle

Before I became a mom, I would have never guessed that would one day be in my job description.  But sure enough, when Madi's second grade reading class was assigned Biography Bottles, she chose Maria Tallchief, America's first major prima ballerina and first Native American to hold that rank.  So make a tutu for a water bottle we did!

We also made Saturn for her planet project.

And did all that stuff I was telling you about the other day and more.

Now there are four days left.

I'm volunteering all day tomorrow then subbing two out of the final three, so this home stretch is bound to fly by.

I am so ready!!

I can't wait to just enjoy my kids.  

Stop rushing them out the door and hopefully stop nagging so much.

I am tired of hearing my own voice drone on and on about agendas, homework, uniforms, signatures, forms, bedtimes, etc.  (When did I start sounding like that?)

We have had the best school year!  I cannot say enough about their teachers, their school, their progress.  God has generously blessed above and beyond.  We could not have asked for more!

It's just time.

And I'm excited to be home more and say yes more and start slow and end late and just take in the sight and sound of these people I love.

Four more days.

Summer, we are almost ready for you!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Morning Light

This past weekend during a blissful break from routine, we were walking to breakfast when everyone else got a few steps ahead of me and I caught this moment, this snapshot of my daughter walking, bathed in the sparkle of morning light.

I am enraptured by morning light, how it makes the ordinary glisten and breathes life into a day. How it reminds me that He makes all things new and if we blew it yesterday, well, today is a new day.  A brand new chance.  A fresh start.

His mercies are new every morning.  Do you ever let that truth sink fully into your heart?

Joy comes in the morning.  Joy that may not make sense in light of our circumstances or the state of this broken world.  Joy unspeakable.  Joy unexplainable. Defiant joy.

It's a new day!  Let His love flood your life like the morning light floods your home.  Let it invade, cast out the darkness, reflect His glory.

Morning has broken, like the first morning. 
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird. 
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning, 
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word.

Eleanor Farjeon

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Paper Houses and Strong Foundations

This morning after a blissful rest...well, make that a rest interrupted by the beeping of a dying smoke alarm battery that had to be dealt with in the middle of the night (bless my husband's heart)...I was up earlier than I was hoping because of this tickly cough that loves early mornings.  I made a delicious cup of coffee (promptly spilling a good portion of it on my shirt) and settled in with the new Bible study I've been working through.

I'm sitting here now with a second cup, my shirt still smelling like hazlenut, pondering a passage in Luke from this morning's study that my husband and I were just talking about a few days ago.

The passage starts with these words of Jesus...

But why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say? 
(Luke 6:46)


Jesus goes on to compare a man who hears His words and does them to someone who builds a house by digging deep and laying his foundation on the rock.  When the heavy storms come through, they "could not shake" the house because of its firm foundation.

Then He compares a man who hears His words and does nothing to someone who builds a house right on the earth without a foundation.  When the storms came "immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great."

It is very easy for me to picture this scenario because we had our home built here in Florida a few years ago, and live in a newer neighborhood where homes are still going up.  We saw the very foundation of our home laid, and just this past week have been watching two more homes being built from the foundation up.  Florida's soil is very sandy, and in there is a stretch during the summer and early fall where thunderstorms come through nearly every afternoon.  Sometimes tropical storms and hurricanes can threaten.  I can't imagine building a home right on the sand without a strong, solid foundation.  Yet so many do this spiritually speaking.

My husband and I have been talking about a lot.  It's a genuine burden on our hearts. We see this epidemic where people want to "like God" as he says (call him Lord, Lord), but don't want to read and obey His Word or listen to godly counsel or wisdom. Life's storms come and they start sinking fast, then start grasping for the world's answers.  The world's answers don't work like they thought so they sink further.  God offers them all the wisdom they need but it will require some obedience.  On the other side of obedience there will be rich blessings, but often many are unwilling to even try things God's way. So they build what we call "paper houses" from what the world has to offer. They'll stand for a few minutes but the slightest breeze will knock them over. Without a strong foundation, those houses simply cannot stand. They will sadly experience great ruin when all the time there was another way.

Life is undoubtedly going to hold its storms.  The winds will surely blow.  We want our life and home to be built on the foundation of God and His Word, and we want that for everyone we know!  Because thanks to God we have victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!!!  Makes me think of this old song...

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand.

This morning I am reminded of the importance of not just giving God lip service but building my whole life on Him. God, I pray this fervently for me and my family. 
Help us build our lives on you.  And friends, I encourage you to do the same!  It is a foundation like no other!  It is a foundation that offers peace and hope and joy and victory and a steadfast strength.

The rains came down and the floods came up
The rains came down and the floods came up
The rains came down and the floods came up
And the house on the rock stood firm!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Super Tired ~ Greetings From The Month Of May

I was subbing in 2nd grade last week when I saw a mom wearing a t-shirt that read...

Super Wife
Super Mom
Super Tired

It made me laugh out loud right then and there!

Because it's the very merry busy month of May and I know most of us can relate! Okay, it's merry too.  It really is. But I go into May each year knowing it's going to be a whirlwind as we make our way down the home stretch of the school year.  It's a busy time not only at school, but at church and within the community.  We've had a dance program, art fair, music concert, volunteer breakfast, youth group gathering, and two reading ceremonies.  We still have field day and water day and a biography project to finish and a planet project to start and a pool party and senior breakfast and senior awards and a ladies meeting and this Sunday my husband speaks at the baccalaureate ceremony for the local high school.

I'm sure I'm missing something.

Oh yes, that field trip.

These are the weeks I am thankful for frozen pizza and stir fry, Subway sandwiches and parents who run down emergency toilet paper when it gets desperate over here, grace upon grace and finding clean socks for Trev, even if they are mismatched.

It's a season.

A wonderful, full, exhausting one.

I am watching my kids grow and flourish right before my eyes.  It is unbelievable.

I am ending my days feeling like I can hardly keep my eyes open (though this terrible sinus infection I've been fighting is not helping).

I am snapping photos so we can look back and remember these celebrations and ceremonies one day when they grow up and our calendar has more empty spaces.

Amidst this full calendar my husband and I carved out a day to sit side by side, talk face to face, and breathe. Intentional marriage takes planning, and sometimes flexibility (our original date day was changed as we were needed at a funeral).  God gave us an exquisite day at the beach, not a cloud in the sky!  He so generously and graciously restores our souls.

And next weekend we have a surprise planned for the kids. I've been holding it in for weeks now and can hardly stand it!  There are more fun memories to be made and I cannot wait!  Don't you just love surprises?!  I know Madi does - she let me know on Mother's Day.  The famous Miss Sandi at church made these with her students on Mother's Day morning.  It was one of the nicest gifts I have ever received!  Very interesting to see through the eyes of your child what they love and appreciate about you.

So to all you other super moms super tired moms (or teachers) out there making your way through May, I have three words of encouragement to leave you with...

Summer is coming!!!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

First On My List

Trevor has always had a very unique way with words.  I know through the years I've shared many of his notable quotables that were either tender or hilariously funny.  He's always had his own little way of viewing the world and putting thoughts into words that I love, and I've often laughed at and learned from his one of a kind statements.

Monday night held one of his precious moments.  I had already tucked him into bed and settled in my green chair when he called me in for one more hug.  When I squeezed him tight I told him for the thousandth time that he is my favorite little boy in the whole wide world.

He responded with this Trevorism that I never want to forget.

"But God is first on your list, right?"

Oh, child.  Yes.  Yes, God is "first on my list," and He makes all the difference.  I would be hopeless apart from Him.  There is nothing like having your soul anchored on the Rock of Ages, your life and family built on that solid foundation.  Jimmy's and my greatest desire is that our children would make God the highest priority of their lives, that they would live each and every day for Him.

That He would be first on their list, as someone wise once said.

Trevor, I love you.  God has used you to change my life.  He really has.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Don't Let The Lights Go Down

Have you ever had a moment when God was so sweet to speak to you clearly about something just when you needed to hear His voice on the matter?

That happened to me this morning.

I've been doing a new Bible study and when I opened it up, the first passage it brought me to was Matthew 5:14-16.

You are the light of the world.  A city that is 
set on a hill cannot be hidden.  

Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in Heaven.

It was a word from God that I needed to hear, and He knew it.  I sat there in awe of how well my Savior knows me.  How intimately acquainted He is with the details of my life and the issues of my heart.

You see, my heart longs to shine for Jesus

But I have realized something along the way.

Darkness always wants to extinguish light.

And this world has more than its share of darkness.

And there will always be something or someone who doesn't want us to shine our light.

But our Creator, the Lover of our soul, the Redeemer of our life wants us to shine brightly for His glory!!  He doesn't want us to hide our light.  He wants us to be a city on a hill, a light that points others to the Light that can change their life!

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

John 1:4

...Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him.

Exodus 34:29

You see, when you've experienced a glimpse of God's glory, it cannot help but radiate!  So don't give in to the darkness that threatens to overtake you.  Don't give up when the darkness feels big and you feel small.  Shine on.  In the midst of darkness, shine as brightly as you can!  You are going to have to be brave.  You are going to have to find your courage.  But when you do, Christ will cut through the darkness and shine through you!

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:5

God blessed my heart this morning through His Word.  And He blessed my heart last week when I heard this song for the first time.

Don’t let the lights go down
Don’t let the fire burn out
Cause somewhere, somebody 
Needs a reason to believe.

Why don’t you rise up now?
Don’t be afraid to stand out
That’s how the lost get found.

Britt Nicole

Don't let the lights go down!

I know it's a dark world out there.

Let's find our courage.

Hold out our candles.

And let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.