Saturday, February 26, 2011

Some things are just good

Can I just say some things are good? Really good. You know like those things that make you feel warm inside. That make you feel loved. Cherished. Happy. The kind of happy that you were when you first said "I Do". When you were so in love it seemed that the world stood still. Yeah, that kind of good.

Well, yesterday and today has been that kind of good. There's not much I like more than being with John when we're just hanging out, enjoying one another. Just talking. Holding hands. And talking. About us. With no interruptions. With no 'to do list'. With no decisions needing to be made. Just remembering. Remembering why we fell in love with each other. Remembering why we made that lifelong covenant to one another.

Sometimes it takes getting away. Even for only a short while.

Several months ago I heard about a marriage retreat being led by Family Life. Immediately I knew I would love to go. (I would go to one at least once a month:)) But I am married to a man. A very manly man. For whatever reason, God made them different than us girls. And so for him to be 'excited' about this "marriage thingy" - as he called it- would just not be cool. But he agreed. We went. And we both were blessed by it. And he will even admit it!:)


"I didn't marry you because you were perfect....I married you because you gave me a promise.
That promise made up for your faults. And the promise I gave you made up for mine.
Two imperfect people got married, and it was the promise that made the marriage.
And when our children were growing up, it wasn't a house that protected them; and it wasn't our love that protected them; it was that promise."  ---Thornton Wilder, The Skin of Our Teeth

Photobucket

"The gospel of Christ crucified for our sins is the foundation of our lives. Marriage exists to display it. And when marriage breaks down, the gospel is there to forgive and heal and sustain until he comes, or until he calls."---John Piper, This Momentary Marriage

"You are an ancestor to someone yet to come. If you live your life knowing you are an ancestor, that will change the way you make your decisions, the way you live your life, the way you love your wife."---Albert Mohler

Photobucket
(concentrating hard)

I'm so grateful for this weekend. I'm grateful for the ability to go. I'm grateful for the help from family. I'm grateful for Family Life. But most of all, I'm grateful for my John---and his willingness to go. And his efforts to make it great. For me. For us. For our family. Even if to some it wasn't the "cool" thing to do~

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"A father of the fatherless...

**Warning...this post is long.
***Please take time to read the following.

Paul David Tripp, writing in the Journal of Biblical Counseling, recalled a scene he had witnessed more than once on his various travels to India. But this time, for some reason known only to the Holy Spirit, the Lord struck him with the gravity of it all at a deeper level than he'd ever experienced before.
Passing through New Delhi, in one of the most horrible slums in the world, he stood transfixed before a three-year-old boy leaning against the cot of his ailing, perhaps dying, mother. The boy's eyes were hollow, his stomach distended, his face fly-infested-the very picture of massive, helpless, noxious poverty.
The tears that streamed down Paul's cheeks in observing this tragedy were indeed the heartfelt evidence of his compassion. He longed to sweep this boy and his mother into his arms, away from these dreaded depths of sorrow and endless need.
But it was more than mere compassion he felt. It was an awareness that neither he nor this little boy had chosen their circumstances in life. The blessing of being raised among plenty, nurtured by godly parents, educated in quality schools, and given over to Christ at a young age began to roll over him in waves, even as he did his best to comfort and console the needy pair before him.
"You cannot explain the difference between that little boy and me by anything other than the Lord," he wrote. "Standing there in that slum, I felt all the complaints I had ever spoken as if they were a weight on my shoulders. I was filled with deeper gratitude than I think I have ever felt in my life."
Not long after he arrived back home, Paul was visiting with a church leader from India who had come to the States to study. In the midst of their conversation, he asked the man what he thought of Americans, to which his guest responded-in polite, Asian style- "Do you want me to be honest?"
"Yes, I do," Paul answered.
But who could really be ready for this: "You have no idea how much you have," the man said, "and yet you always complain."
We'd all have to agree, wouldn't we? At many levels, America can be rightly accused of gross ingratitude. But can the church and the Christians in America be accused of the same thing?
---taken from Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Wow! Just this past week, I had a tangible reminder of what Paul David Tripp is talking about in this story. I truly cannot find words to describe the emotions, convictions, and feelings that I felt within a few short hours.
Photobucket
Photobucket
 
 I am as Paul said in Timothy, "...Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." Guilty of ingraditude. Yet having so much.  Why do I complain? How can I complain?
  
Photobucket
Photobucket

These precious children are orphans.  Every one. Along with 4,000 more in Uganda. They literally live by the grace and mercy of God, and the grace and mercy of others who will give.

Photobucket
Photobucket

"Ugandan Thunder" came to perform at our church. Weeks ago, they announced the children would need 'host homes' for the night they performed. We hosted two. Absolutely one of the BEST decisions this family has or ever will make! I can only pray that we were as much of a blessing to them as they were to us.

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

These children were the truest example of humbleness and gratefulness.

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

The only thing I would change, would be that they could stay with us forever. Really. I would keep them. And if God saw fit, I would take the entire orphanage.

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Amy and Mother had two as well. Their story is just the same.

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

This was quite possibly one of the hardest goodbyes I've ever said.

They left with their very few belongings. I was left with a broken heart. A broken heart from their leaving. A broken heart from conviction. Conviction of ingratitude.

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling." Psalms 68:5

Thank you Ugandan Thunder for a blessing our family will never replace!
*****Please, Please go to http://www.penniesforposho.org/ and be blessed!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Words & Improvisions

"But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgement." Matthew 12:36

***And in case some of you are learning along with me, here's a review...I need must have a review...

"Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth: keep the door of my lips." Psalms 141:3

"A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger." Proverbs 15:1

"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." Prov. 16:24

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." Proverbs 25:11

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Around here, we improvise to make our toys better toys. Faster toys. More dangerous toys.

And John is very good at engineering these toys.

Photobucket

Even though he is a little on the protective side. A LOT on the protective side. He can go with it most times.

Photobucket


I actually need a video to show exactly what is going on. These pictures don't do it justice.

Photobucket

He has tied the Barbie jeep to the back of the golfcart and is pulling it in circles to make the Barbie jeep basically do 'doughnuts'.  Apparently the passengers think it's a pretty great idea!

Photobucket


The sexy engineer/driver himself.

Photobucket

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Another Obsession

Other than words, I admit I have another obsession. 
Photobucket
Not that y'all don't know about it already:)

Sunrise. Sunset.
Photobucket
Midafternoon.
Photobucket
Notice those trees. Love them too!

Whether I'm sitting outside. Riding in the car. Or standing at the window.
Photobucket
I love it.

ESPECIALLY when it's warm outside. It's so much more inviting. If I could, I'd take all the windows out of my house. And maybe even the doors. John would stroke. He has an obsession as well. Locks. Locks of any/all kinds.

Anyway, Spring is on it's way! Hallelujah! I've got the fever!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The warmer weather has lit a fire in me. A fire for change~ I don't really care for change. Except when it's in my house. And by that I mean change in decor. Color. Furniture arrangement. Pictures. Lamps.

When we bought our house almost 2 years ago, I had plans to paint the kitchen cabinets. We painted almost everything else but never got around to the cabinets. Maybe we were smarter back then..
Photobucket
Before
Photobucket
I had started this project a couple of weeks ago. Let's just say I wasn't making much progress. I finished this.
Photobucket
And this.
Photobucket
And this.
Photobucket
Then I pitifully begged my Valentine to help. He's so much better at painting than me. (That's what I told him too!)
Photobucket
He felt sorry for me. And liked the compliments. They're such suckers:) No really. He's precious!

 So after one entire Saturday with hubby's help (and Nan's babysitting!), we got 1/2 the cabinets finished! Oh my goodness! What was I thinking?!?!?!
Photobucket
But I'm very happy about how they look. And I'm so very excited about finishing!
Photobucket
I need hardware. 
Photobucket
Photobucket
Even the chalkboard. Which I am loving in the kitchen. I'd like one in every room.

Photobucket

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lover of Words

Words. Why do I love them so? All kinds.  Quotes.  Verses.  BooksStories.  I love to hear someone read a story. Especially when the story comes alive.  When the reader 'paints' a picture with the words. And I can 'be there'.

Song lyrics.  I am in love with music. It inspires me more often than anything else.

And some words just have a personal meaning. Like grace.
Photobucket

And hope.

Photobucket
I've been noticing lately how many 'words' I have in my house. 
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
My eyes are always drawn to words.
Photobucket
It's strange that words can be so huge! When either spoken, or spoken to. They can tear down or build up. They can bring healing. Or they can pierce like a sword. And the way they are spoken can be the most important.
Photobucket
The Bible says "A wholesome tongue is a tree of life..."
Photobucket
This Valentines, I've decided the best gift I could give my Valentine, is words. Words of life
And to remember some most precious words from our wedding day.
Photobucket
Photobucket
And to show love.
Photobucket
As we know, this is not my strongest asset. So we will study...
 Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Counting down the days til' Valentine's Day........one of my faves!