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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Amish Peace

I am a girl who takes advantage of all the technology available to me. The Internet, TV, my Blackberry all are conveniences that I enjoy. But there are days when I feel like life needs to be simpler. I might read a book set in the 1800's and long for that simpler way of life.

Well, recently I was asked to review a book entitled Amish Peace by Suzanne Woods Fisher.
This book was great. I really enjoyed reading about the Amish people and their simpler, more peaceful way of living. (**I'm really sorry. I tried to upload a picture of the cover, but blogger isn't cooperating.**)


I am not kidding when I say that there are times in this harried race that I call life, when I long for a simple, peaceful life. This book gave me lots to think about in my life. It helped me see ways to add God's peace into my life without having to be something I'm not. With the Amish Proverbs at the beginning of each chapter and the questions to reflect on at the end and all the wisdom that came in between, I have been left with many, many things to ponder on about my own life. It will be a book that I return to often to use in my bible studies at church or maybe just to remind myself to slow down and be more peaceful.


SO, what about you? Looking for a little more peace? Well, go get this book. You won't regret it! Available October 2009 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. What are you waiting on? Go check it out!

Before we can pray "Thy Kingdom Come" we must pray "my kingdom go". -- Amish Proverb

Have a great Wednesday everyone!


In HIM -

Monday, September 28, 2009

God is.....

Hey everyone! My Internet was down from last Tuesday night until very late on Saturday night. I missed getting to check in with everyone!

Anyway, I looked all of these up for my bible study girls and loved it so much I thought it would share it with you all! Hope you are blessed this day!!!!




God is….
God is with you in all you do…..Genesis 21:22
God is not a man…..Numbers 23:19
God is a consuming fire……Deuteronomy 4:24 and Hebrews 12:29
God is merciful……Deuteronomy 4:31
God is Lord…..Deuteronomy 6:4
God is a jealous God…..Deuteronomy 6:15
God is greater than any man……Job 33: 12
God is mighty…..Job 36: 5
God is great…..Job36:26
God is angry (with the wicked) everyday……Psalm 7: 11
God is our refuge and strength……Psalm 46: 1
God is my helper…..Psalm 54: 4
God is my defense…..Psalm 59: 9
God is my salvation and glory……Psalm 62: 7
God is my King of old…..Psalm 74: 12
God is the judge…..Psalm 75: 7
God is a sun and shield……Psalm 84:11
God is in the heavens…..Psalm 115:3
God is my salvation……Isaiah 12:2
God is righteous in all his works…...Daniel 9:4
God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness……Joel 2:13
God is a Spirit…….John 4:24
God is my witness……Romans 1:8
God is faithful……1 Corinthians 1:9
God is wiser than Man……1 Corinthians 1:25
God is my record……Philippians 1:8
God is light…….1 John 1:5
God is greater than our hearts…….1 John 3:20
God is love……1 John 4:8
Amen! Have a fabulous Tuesday everyone!





Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Great Christmas Bowl



OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! I can't say enough good things about this book. The Great Christmas Bowl by Susan May Warren is a heart-warming and life lesson teaching story. It is the story of a Mom. A Mom who will do just about anything for her kids, even become the high school mascot -- a TROUT! It is the story of a Mom whose children have become adults right before her very eyes. Personally for me, this was a huge life lesson. Right now my life is filled with young children who need me constantly, who are fighting and fussing with one another and me, who wear me out. I am ashamed to admit that there are times when I cringe at the words "Mo-om" -- it really does sound like two words. What a reminder this book was to me that in no time flat these days will be behind me. It was a reminder for me to not only enjoy each and every moment I have but to make the best of each and every moment I have with them. It also made me think about the traditions I'm starting with my children. I LOVED this book! Please. You must read it!!!!!




Here are the details because you won't want to miss it!!!!
About The Great Christmas Bowl: Marianne Wallace is focused on two things this holiday season: planning the greatest family Christmas ever and cheering on her youngest son’s team in their bid for the state championship. Disaster strikes when the team loses their mascot-the Trout. Is it going too far to ask her to don the costume? So what if her husband has also volunteered her to organize the church Christmas tea.When football playoffs start ramping up, the Christmas tea starts falling apart. Then, one by one her children tell her they can’t come home for Christmas.As life starts to unravel, will Marianne remember the true meaning of the holidays?
About Susan: Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of twenty-four novels with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Book of the Year.Her larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook:From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!.She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice. Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!) A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at: www.susanmaywarren.com
The Great Christmas Bowl website: http://thegreatchristmasbowl.blogspot.com/
The website features a note from the author, fun updates from Big Lake Gazette, info on how to host your own Great Christmas Bowl Tea to benefit a local ministry or charity and a fun Recipe Exchange contest!
CONTEST: Be a part of the Great Christmas Bowl recipe exchange! Susan loves getting recipes from friends, and sharing the delicious cookies, soups, breads and other fun fixings that go with celebrating the Christmas season. More than that, she loves the crazy stories about favorite Christmases – serious, touching, funny…whatever.
Will you share your story and recipe with Susan and the readers of the Great Christmas Bowl? She will post your story and recipe on the FRONT PAGE of the Great Christmas Bowl website, and send you a link when it goes up so you can tell all your friends. Then, at the Great Christmas Bowl party (December 5th, 10am, online! Details TBA) she’ll make the entire cookbook available for download! For every recipe/story you submit (up to 3), you will be entered in a drawing to receive one of SMW’s collections (Noble Legacy, Team Hope,Heirs of Anton, Deep Haven Series, Josey series, or THE ADVANCED COPY of Sons of Thunder – Susie’s brand new epic World War 2 novel, due out in January 2010!)Go – run, get your recipe, then come back here and click on the link to share your Christmas memories!
Go see what other folks have to say about this book. I know they loved it as much as me!!!!
Have a wonderful Tuesday. I'm off in a bit to take 3 girls to the dentist. Sound fun to you? I didn't' think so. Hopefully it will go without incident. =)

In HIM -


Monday, September 21, 2009

Homeschooling?

Hey ya'll. I wanted to talk with you all today about Homeschooling. For a while now, I've been wondering if it is something that we should do in our family. Now, before we start this let me tell you that 10 years ago, when I was finishing my student teaching to be a Exceptional Education Teacher, I would have told you that I would NEVER homeschool my children.....for all the stereotypical reasons.....they needed socialization --yada,yada,yada...... While I still believe my kids need to be socialized in order to be able to live in the world, I believe that homeschooling has changed a LOT in 10 years. I believe that there are many many ways to be involved with homeschool organizations so your children get the socialization they need. Plus, let's just get read for a second and admit that my kids? They are with lots of people and other kids all the time -- I mean, the hubs is a pastor -- we are at church twice a week. (if not more.)

You might wonder what has made me even think about homeschooling. Well, I would love for my kids to learn history (as well as everything else) from a christian perspective for one thing. And while I would love to send them to a christian school -- that isn't an option for me. I cannot afford it.
Secondly, it has really struck me lately how much time my kid are away from me during the day, with teachers that I don't know if they are Christians or not. Being from the south, I can guess they probably are -- but I just don't know for sure. And then when the girls do come home from school, I feel like all I do is bark orders....Homework!Homework!Homework!, Supper!Supper!Supper!, Bath!Bath!Bath!, Bed!Bed!Bed!.....I feel like I rarely get to have real conversations with them, because mornings are the same thing filled with words of rushing around for school time.
Thirdly, I love the thought of being able to go on a trip with my family whenever we choose and no on the school systems calendar.....lame but true.
Fourth, I feel like my oldest child isn't being challenged enough in her class. And as a former teacher, I know her teacher doesn't have time to give her the extra stuff she needs. I feel like she could work faster and be ahead of her classmates in some areas.... I know that sounds conceited in some ways, but really A comes home with 100's on everything and I just don't that she is being challenged enough if she can make 100 on everything--just my opinion.

God does keep bringing this issue up in my heart. I am not sure that this IS what he is calling me to do but it just keeps coming up. My husband, however, isn't really in agreement with me. And I do believe that if God wanted us to homeschool, he'd make my husband be in agreement with me.....don't' you?

There are arguments against doing it too......
One - I'd have no time for myself any more.....
Two - I have anxiety/stress issues and wouldn't this just make it worse?
among other small things like this.......

SO -- I'm still praying about this and I am asking that you'll pray for us, too in making this decision. But, I'm also looking into it at the same time.

So - here is what I need to know.....If we decide that we are going to homeschool, how do we go about getting started? How does it work? How do I prove that my child is making progress? AND do I have curriculum goals for each year as the state sets for each grade level each year? For example -- My daughter is in 2nd grade -- is there going to be list of things that she is going to have to know by the end of the year in order for her to pass on to 3rd grade -- per se?

You can tell I have NO idea what the deal is -- so can ya'll help me out?
Give me some advice -- lead me in the right direction?

in other words, HELP!!!!

have a great Monday --- I have 6 (yes 6) dr. appts this week between the 4 kids and myself, soccer, dance, meetings, and a zillion and one other things to do. Not to mention that my laundry pile is insurmountable right now......I'm gonna try and make it back asap, but it might take a while.

Talk to ya'll soon and can't wait to hear the great advice I know you'll have for me!!
in HIM -

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Amazing Grace

Working to break free from the chains!!!! my prayer today!



Friday, September 18, 2009

Beach 2009-Few Words....Many Pictures

We had SO much fun on our trip to the beach. We have not been on a "Beach Vacation" since M was 6 weeks old. We did stop at the beach for a day on our Disney Cruise a couple of years ago and go to the beach before getting on the cruise for a few hours, so the girls have been to a beach. This was B's first trip to the beach and the girls first trip to N. Myrtle Beach/ Cherry Grove beach in South Carolina. I have friends coming over shortly and a baby sleeping which means I NEED to be cleaning house, so quickly -- here is our trip in pictures mostly.

We had a BLAST while we were.....
catching waves....


running from waves....


digging up sea shells.....


and playing in the pool....



We turned L into a mermaid....


and visited with dear friends....


We tried to get a good shot of the kids....
but apparently the sun was too much for them...
and the sand was hot.....
so this is the best we got. (hey that rhymes!)

Here are a few pictures that I just love....
me and B. (one of 2 pictures I'm in....)

Hubs and B....fun in the tidal pool...




Miss M. --jumping waves is dreamy!



Miss A is all smiles! LOVE THIS SMILE!!!


Miss L. love this one!

GROUP SHOTS WITH OUR FRIENDS!
Mr. Donald Duck (as my kids say)
and B. B loves him so much!


Ms. Helen and the kids.
We love her so much!



Julie and the girls....


Ms. Tina and Mr. Don....
Another set of grandparents to our kids....


One last shot of the girls before we go....


A Family Photo....


We had such a wonderful, relaxing time we are planning to do it again next year!!! Thanks W family for allowing us the privilege of vacationing with you. We are blessed to call you our friends !!!!

Have a wonderful weekend! We have grandparents coming to town today. See ya'll next week!
in HIM --

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Boy-sterous Living

I am Mom to three girls. And let me tell you that they are all g.i.r.l!!! They into hair bows, pretty clothes and makeup (which they only play with at home). They are incredibly dramatic! They love to carry pocket books and have their toes and nails done. My life was full of all things pink for almost 7 years.
Then about a year ago, Mr B. was born and I became Mom to a boy. And can I just tell you? He is all boy, I'm finding out. My Mom always told me that boys are different and I am finding out, even at the tender age of 12 months, that it is true! B like dirt and he loves to be dirty. When we go outside, he makes a beeline to the nearest dirt he can find. He also pushes his cars and trucks around on the floor. No one had to teach him to do it -- He just does. He is also a climber and a wiggle worm. He never stops and he wears me out. I am learning that all things blue and incredibly different than pink things.
So, when I got the opportunity to read and review Boy-sterous Living by Jean Blackmer, I was very excited. I just knew that the Mom of three boys would have lots of great advice to this novice at being Mom to a boy. And the book is great! It did NOT disappoint. I love that at the end of each chapter are great questions to use as devotional questions for Moms of boys. There are also scripture references to read as well as some other recommended books. Great book!




Here are all the details.

About the book: Raising boys isn't easy. Life with them is loud. If it's quiet, they're probably up to something. Boys are messy, competitive, fearless, and proud. Living with them pretty much guarantees that you're in for an adventure.In Boy-sterous Living, Jean shares a few of the priceless stories and laugh-out-loud lessons that she and her boys have experienced over the years. With humorous insight and practical advice, she offers encouragement and ideas to help both mothers and fathers impact and shape the lives of their sons. From understanding their love of sports to overcoming the superman complex, Jean shows moms how to find joy and contentment in everyday life by celebrating the laughter, passion, noise, and endless energy boys bring to our lives.
About the author: Jean is currently the Publishing Manager for MOPS International and she's been free-lance writing for 16 years. She has been published in a variety of local and national publications, including: Guideposts, MomSense, Today's Christian Woman, Christian Parenting Today, American Girl, Proverbs 31 Woman, Chicken Soup for the Mother and Son Soul, Chicken Soup Cookbook for the Busy Mom's Soul, Focus on the Family's Teen Phases, Guideposts Miracle Series, and others.She also co-authored her first book, Where Women Walked: Powerful True Stories of Women's Perseverance and God's Provision. (Tyndale/Focus on the Family, 2004) This book was nominated for a Gold Medallion Award.Jean graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a Bachelor's (1987) and a Master's (1992) degree in Journalism. She lives in Boulder with her husband Zane; three boys, Josh, Jordan, and Jake.
Author website: http://www.jeanblackmer.com

Link to purchase the book: http://www.amazon.com/Boy-sterous-Living-Celebrating-Your-Rowdy/dp/0834123908/ref=sprightly-20

Check out what others are saying! http://www.litfusegroup.com/latest/current-blog-tours/89-boy-sterous-living-blog-tour



CONTEST: Enter your grossest or funniest moment as a mom of a boy (No boys? That’s okay – we still want to hear your story!) and you could win movie tickets and a snack for you and a friend to escape! Share your story by emailing your entry to amy@litfusegroup.com or posting it on the Moms of Boys facebook page!

Ya'll have a great Thursday. I'm up to my eyeballs in things I need to catch up on since being gone. Have a wonderful day!

In HIM --

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Break.....Maybe

We are going to the beach tomorrow.....Yes, we are being the parent's who take their kids out of school for a vaca!
And I am so excited about it! The girls are so excited about it! We are all excited about it.

I'm thinking the vaca will necessitate a big of a bloggy break.....I'm not sure there will be wi-fi available.

So, if not -- then I will be back next week!

Hope you all have a great one!
in HIM-


-

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Idols

Did I tell ya'll that I am leading Breaking Free at our church? Well, I am. And we just started this past Sunday. This is literally the 4th or 5th time that I have done this study and God is already showing me things I need to Break Free from....maybe things I need to break free from, STILL.....

Well - today's lesson was on Jotham who was one of the kings of Judah. Jotham was a good king and followed God's ways. However, he neglected to tear down the high places, there fore the people of Judah remained corrupt. The high places were where the people would go and worship their idols. They would go there and make sacrifices to them.

That got me to thinking about idols. Not many of us would say that we have idols, would we? Because really - not many of us are going out and offering sacrifices to other gods, are we?
BUT -- we often do make sacrifices to things that we aren't even aware are idols in our lives.
All kinds of things - -even good things -- can be idols in our lives. Money, things, friends, husbands, kids.....all can be idols. Because an idol is anything that we allow to become more important in our lives than God.

Can't have quiet time with God because you are always driving kids to this activity and that activity......maybe your kids have become an idol in your life.
Can't make it to church because of the million and one other places you need to be.....maybe those things are an idol in your life.
Don't want to give up "partying" because it might make people look at you differently? Maybe "partying" is your idol.
Gotta make more money, so you can buy more things? Maybe "things" are the idols in your life.

Anything that causes us to take our focus off the Lord and HIS ways -- can be an idol in our lives.

SO -- I did some praying this morning. I asked God to show me the idols in my life. See, I so long to become who God wants me to be. I so long to break free from the things that are holding me captive so that I can grow closer to HIM. So, I asked the question.

Lord, show me the idols in my life. I will sit and wait here and listen for you.

And you know what? The Lord, He was faithful to reply. He gave me a list of idols that I need to lay down on his alter. (DERN!!! - I was hoping I didn't have any idols...)

So, I prayed some more.

Lord, I lay this on your alter. Lord, I lay this person on your alter. Lord , I lay this on your alter..... and so on and so forth, except I was calling them by name.

And it was hard! I cried. I really felt the pressure of giving them over to HIM.
But also -- I so wanted to do it! DO I think that I have laid them down for the last time?
Probably not.

I am quite certain that I will have to lay them down again. Some of them, I might have to lay down over and over -- day by day or even minute by minute until I am victorious.

And I will be you know? I will -- WITH GOD'S HELP be victorious. I will break free from these things that are keeping me captive and I cannot wait!

What about you? Do you have idols to lay down before him? Start Breaking Free today!

In HIM -

Monday, September 7, 2009

Living Sacrifices


One of the passages that God is leading me to study right now is Romans 12. There are 21 verses in Romans 12 and I have spend the past few days studying on verse 1 alone. It may take me another year to get through all of this chapter, but since I truly believe that God is calling me to do some in depth study on this chapter, I will stick with it as long as it takes.




SO - take a look with me at verse one, would you?






Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. NIV


In doing research into this verse, I'd like to share with you some word meanings so that we might all understand the verse more.....


Therefore -- Chapter 12 of Romans starts a second half, if you will, of the book of Romans. So, the word therefore, means "in light of all that I've said so far." You could replace the word therefore with in light of all that has been shared in Chapters 1 - 11...


I urge you --- the greek word is parakaleo which means to call on, to beg, to encourage....


in view of God's mercies -- the greek word is oiktirmos meaning compassion.

Paul has spent the first 11 chapters of Romans sharing all of God's compassion (mercies).


to offer -- the greek word is paristemi meaning to place a person or thing at ones disposal.


your bodies --all parts of our bodies (eyes, ears, feet, hands), the physical body as well as all other parts of ourselves.


as living -- alive -- not lifeless


sacrifices -- offerings


holy -- pure (through Christ Jesus)


and pleasing to God -- acting well


this is your spiritual act of worship -- the KJV says it this way: .....which is your reasonable service.....-- I like this version because it shows that Paul is saying that because of all of God's mercies, giving ourselves as living sacrifices is the reasonable (logical) thing to do as an act of worshipping the Lord.


If we understand then words, then the question becomes this: How do we offer ourselves as living sacrifices to the Lord?


Here is what I think.....I think that God is asking us to wake up everyday offer our selves -- all of ourselves -- our words, our activities, our actions, our thoughts to HIM....that they will be for his service and show HIM to the people we come into contact with that day. That means that we will have to choose the things that are of God for that day and probably we will have to give up some things of the flesh for that day. We will have to give over our will and choose God's will for the day.


It means asking God, "What am I to do today and what do I give up doing today?" And then doing what God has asked us to do. CHOOSING HIS way instead of our own. Becoming a living ( all of my activity) sacrifice (offering) to the Lord. That all we do that day will shine His light and give him glory.


Practically, that means being patient when telling my kids to stop fighting for the 10 hundredth time that day. It means being loving and kind, when the hubby comes in asking what's for supper when he has no idea what kind of day you've had.... It means being kind to the person who just cut you off in traffic, or kind to the person who you know was talking about you behind your back a few days before....

It means working for the Lord instead of watching tv and being lazy. It means every choice I make in a day, that I take the time to choose God's way and not the human way.


In this way, we are living sacrifices to the Lord.


In doing my research, I came across the following prayer and thought it was incredibly appropriate.

It is my prayer for this day... may it be yours as well.


"Lord, I hold within my trembling hand this will of mine. A think which seemest small, and only though, O Christ, canst understand how when I yield thee this, I yield mine all. It hath been wet with tears and stained with sighs, clinched in my grasp til beauty it hath none. Now, from thy footstool where it prostrate lies, my prayer ascendeth. Let thy will be done."


Let it be, Lord, Let it be!!!!!


Have a great Labor Day everyone!

in HIM --

Friday, September 4, 2009

Funny L

This afternoon, L and M were fixing my hair. A was reading and B was napping. L was being VERY loud and I said "Shhhh....your brother is asleep."
She leaned in to the back of my head and whispered, "Sorry, Sorry, Sorry."
Then she sat up and said," I said that in the back of your head so you can remember it in your brain."




B's 1st Birthday Party

Finally! I want to share B's first birthday party with you all! Here is a picture of his invitation. So we went with the theme and also keep everything blue and green.




Here are the little decorations I made for outside and stuck in the flower pots on the patio.


Next, we'll move to the inside decorations.....the cups.


The "Buffet" table


I *LOVE* the party hat I made for him to wear....


The cake! A wonderfully talented man from our church made it. On the inside it was Chocolate Cake and the filling was Chocolate Mouse with Raspberries! YUM!!


B's very own little cake with a whale on it!

B wasn't as fond of the hat I made.....we had to sneak it on while he was focused on cake.


SO much fun!!! I think he likes it!

Love this one! Both hands in the cake!

How B looked in the end....


Friends and Family:
Miss M

Miss R
Miss P
Mr. J


Miss L, Miss E, Miss A


Mrs. K and the O Show

Mrs. K and Mr A.


After a bath in the sink, it was time for Daddy to help open the presents. He loves playing with all his gifts but he wasn't too interested in opening gifts.
For Party Favors, we gave everyone a beach ball to take home and some bubbles.






I think everyone had a blast! Even the Moms.




Happy First Birthday B!!!
Thanks for letting me share!!!
In HIM -
Mindy