Monday, November 30, 2009

I Forgot (with a winner!)

In my rush to get out of town for Thanksgiving last week, I forgot.

I forgot to take my son to his scheduled appointment to get the flu shot.

I forgot to go pick up my dry cleaning. It's been there for a week and a half now. I'm sure they think that I'm never coming back.

I forgot to announce the winner of the Pearl Girls book. So, without further ado ( and before I forget something else) -- the winner is:

Jen, please email me and send me your address and I will get the book out to you asap. SO, now you all know why I have to have a TO-DO list everyday. Otherwise, I will forget everything. Let's just call it "mommy brain" !!
Have a fabulous Monday. Lots of catching up to do around here from being out of town. Talk to you all tomorrow!
in HIM --

Monday, November 23, 2009

101 Dalmatians

This past Saturday, A and M made their Theatrical debut in this awesome production...

They did a fabulous job! They were both dalmatians. A was one of the
Canine Narrators so she stayed dressed as a dalmatian for the whole program.
M got to be the dogcather at the end of the play and
drag Cruella off stage. So she had a costume change.

Here are the girls with Ms. Valerie, their teacher.
We LOVE Ms. Val! She is amazingly
talented and does a fantastic job with these kids!
(sorry for the blurry picture-- I very much dislike my camera sometimes.)

We had lots of friends in the show, too.
M's friend W was a Dalmatian, too.
M is wearing her dogcather costume in this one!

This is another friend, S, with A and M.

And, lastly - one of A. because I just this it is a good one!

SO, the girls had a great time in their first musical.
And while it was a LOT of work, I think I had fun too!
Ya'll have a fab. Monday. I have a million and one errands
to run and the ever present laundry to do
before going over the river
and through the woods to Grandma's this week!
Talk to ya'll soon!
In HIM--

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pearl Girls

I'm absolutely delighted to get to tell ya'll about the book called Pearl Girls. When I first was given the opportunity to look at this book, I wondered what kind of book it was. Was it like a devotional? Would I like it? Well - it isn't a devotional but let me tell you that it really could be!!! These stories are all pearls! I have loved reading the experiences of these women and how God has taught them things in their lives. These stories will make you want to pay attention to what God is teaching you so that you can share your pearl story, too! Thank you Litfuse for providing the books for me to review and giveaway!

Here are the details ---

About the book:

With His love and grace, God covered the unexpected pain in my life of becoming an adult orphan and transformed this pain into a pearl. We are all Pearl Girls. Each of us has been touched by God's gift of love and grace, and it's a gift that I want to share with others. That's why I am launching Pearl Girls.

Actually, my very first gift from my parents was a pearl. The gift of my name. Margaret means "precious pearl." So perhaps this is what I was always supposed to do. My heart's prayer is that Pearl Girls will be a blessing to others - to the women who contribute their literary talent to the Pearl Girls projects; to the readers who are inspired and comforted by the life experiences shared through these projects and to the women and children who will benefit from the proceeds given by Pearl Girls to various charities. This is a win-win for everyone, and each of us has a special part in making the Pearl Girls projects "blessed sellers."

After the first Pearl Girls tea in Atlanta, I went to my brother, Claude's home to help sort through our parents' boxes in his basement. It was an emotional experience and tedious process to discover what was in each box, to decide what to do with each item and to discard those belongings which we needed to let go. After several long hours of sorting, I received an incredible hug from heaven - a confirmation that Pearl Girls is something that is meant to be. I discovered a three strand necklace of painted pearls belonging to my grandmother from the early 1900s! Isn't that amazing?

Read an Excerpt here!

It’s about Connecting Hearts and Souls to Impact the World.

As you know Margaret doesn’t keep a penny of any proceeds. When getting the word out about Pearl Girls, please let people know that 100% of the royalties go directly to two charities:

WINGS (women in need growing stronger). The proceeds will help fund a Safe House in the Chicago suburbs. It costs $50 a night to provide safe shelter for a woman and her children. During this economy, WINGS is receiving even more phone calls for a safe place to stay. Already, the Pearl Girls have provided 60 nights with the advance royalties.

Hands of Hope. The proceeds will help build wells in Uganda for school children. Can you imagine a child at school without a water fountain in the hallway where he or she can grab a quick sip of water in between classes on a hot day? These children have to drink from puddles and other water sources which carry diseases and parasites. It costs $12,000 to build a well in Uganda. Already, the Pearl Girls have provided funds to build ¼ of a well. www.handsofhopeonline.orgFirst and foremost Margaret would like you to highlight above all else that 100% of the book’s royalties go to Charity.

Link to buy the book online:

Check out this video!

Pearl Girls from Michael J Garvey on Vimeo.

And Guess what else! I have an extra copy! If you want a copy of this fantastic book, leave me a comment on this post. I will draw a winner on Tuesday morning. Sorry that this is such a short giveaway but we are headed out of town for Thanksgiving on Tuesday and I wanna get the book out to the winner asap!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

In HIM -

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Should I be Concerned?

SO, this morning I was watching the news when they started talking about "Twilight". Now, in my younger days, I will go ahead and admit to you that I would have jumped all over this series. Because I was all over "Interview with a Vampire". I will also go ahead and and admit that I did read (and enjoy) the Harry Potter Series. I tend to think that as long as one realized that these are stories and FICTION -- then it's no big deal. I mean I don't believe in vampire or witches and wizards that fly on brooms. It is just a story the same as any Disney movie one might watch.
However, I was completely appalled this morning when I heard that this series had spawned a book entitled "How to Date a Vampire". I'm sorry? What? Obviously, someone believes in vampires?
I don't think that a book like that honors God at all.
So, now I'm left wondering -----
Should I rethink Harry Potter (my kids are NOT old enough for HP yet...)as well as the Disney movies I allow my kids to watch? Or as I tend to do--- am I being legalistic about it all?

I don't know..... what do ya'll think?

Monday, November 16, 2009

How Beautiful!

Dear Breaking Free Girls,

I'm so sad that our journey together is over. I hope that you feel like this study has changed your life. I know that it has changed mine. Now is the time to go forward in our own journeys without the daily lessons to spur you on. My hope for you as you go is that you will remember what you've learned and how far you've come in the last couple of months.
Keep on the right trek of breaking free from the things that are keeping you from having those amazing benefits in your relationship with Christ. Keep on praying for one another and keep on reading your bible.
A few things we learned that I wanted to remind you of on this first day of being completely 'on your own'.

**Don't forget what we learned from the Kings we studied! Tear down those high places -- we don't want to pass those things on to the next generation.

**Don't forget those huge obstacles to the awesome benefits and get do the work to get rid of those obstacles. Lay them on the alter and let them go!

**Remember that HE is God! He has the Right to Rule and His Rule is Right!!!

**Remember that He loves you UNFAILINGLY!!!! Give HIM your whole heart -- every ugly little part and let HIM change it and make it new!!! Read Ephesians 3:14-21 here -- this was my favorite scripture reference from that week!

**Remember the battle of the mind and the steps you learned to put ON the TRUTH! If you haven't already -- buy those cards and start working on replacing lies with truth. Take those thoughts captive!!!!

**Lastly, don't forget to write your binding agreement with God. Make a covenant with him and get serious about it!

Do all of these things and imagine the beauty you will have as a true display of HIS splendor! And! AND!!!! Remember what we heard Beth say last night?!!? People are drawn to us when we are truly a display of HIS splendor. YOU can be a part of a REAL revival in the life of others in your life, in our church and in our community.
And isn't that our purpose that we have learned? We are here to know Christ and make HIM known to others!!
What an awesome responsibility. Are you up for the task? Are you ready? Let's get going together!
And check this out --- This song is about Jesus. But remember you are HIS bride --- Make yourself ready for HIM and become a magnificent display of HIS splendor reflecting HIS character!

I love each one of you and can't wait to do join you for another journey. Be looking for information on that soon.

in HIM --

********PS*********** For those of you who are reading my blog and wondering what in the world this is all about ---- you MUST do this study at your church. And I got a flyer in the mail that said Ms. Beth has just updated the whole shebang! Go do it now. You won't be sorry!!!!
Have a fabulous Monday everyone ----- I have two loads of laundry to fold and put away and a little boy that just woke from a nap!

Friday, November 13, 2009

M2M Scavenger Hunt

So, Lisa at The Preacher's Wife is hosting a scavenger hunt for all of us others who are "Married to the Ministry. This is the last day to play along. Hope I get my name in on time!!!!
Here are the questions and answers =)

1. Name ---- My real first name is Melinda. But everyone calls me Mindy.

2. State and Country of Residence -- I live in North Carolina these days. But Georgia will always be my home....(don't tell my hubby ;) ). Both of those are in the good ole USA.

3. Husband's Ministry Title-- ummm....slave. NO, sorry. Senior Pastor

4. Length of Time in Current Ministry Location -- We've been in this little mountain town for 1 year and almost 5 months now.

5. Children? Gender and ages? I have three very dramatic girls ages 8,6, and almost 5. I also have 1 very much all boy -- he's 14 months old.

6. Number of unique homes I've lived in during my marriage? They've ALL been unique -- they are parsonages of course......we've lived in 3.

7. Cook Sunday lunch or eat out? Well - I prefer to eat out but a lot of times I can't convince hubby that it's the thing to do so we eat sandwiches.....I never cook Sunday lunch.

8. Typically on time for Sunday School or not? Well - since I attend the 9 am service, then yes - I'm on time for Sunday School. Whether or not I'm on time for the 9 AM worship service remains to be seen.

9.Favorite TV Show. Hmmmm. This one is hard for me. I love NCIS and hubs and I like to watch The Big Bang Theory.

10. Something I watch/like/do that I would never tell church people? Well. Let's see.....every once in a while I get a hankering to watch Days of Our Lives just to see who is still on there and what is happening in good ole Salem.

11. Most annoying church related pet peeve. People who expect things from hubs and I that they don't do in return. Meaning.....that PW never calls me and asks me to go to the movies.....and yet -- they've never asked me either. Also -- people who don't like us just because we aren't someone else and yet they've not tried to get to know us. this might be a bit of a sore spot for me so we will move on now....

12.One thing I need to throw away but can't bring myself to do it. LEFTOVERS! I hate pouring out leftovers from the fridge.....i make hubby do it.

13. The one food I cannot live without....I don't know. I Like all food!!!! I love Reece's PB Cups and Peanut M&M's but they don't come into my house much -- lest I be the size of a house.

14. Parsonage or I have my own home.....parsonage.....but long to one day have my own home.

15. Freak when the doorbell rings or always ready for visitors? Are you kidding me? FREAK!!!! And by freak I mean I might not answer the door at all!!!!!

There it is. Feeling a little cheeky today ladies. Can't wait to read the rest of the posts!

in HIM --

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Griped by Fear

I'm having a bad day. Honestly, I'm having a bad week. And I'm feeling REALLY guilty about it all.

A bad week how? Well - physically, mentally and spiritually! All of me!!!!

Physically, I've been having heart rhythm issues lately. It's been too fast at times and too slow at times too. I've been dizzy a lot, had lots of heart palpitations, chest pain, shakiness and many other symptoms that I don't understand. So, I've been wearing a heart monitor for a month and I go see the electrophysiologist on Friday to see what is going on.

And then there's this....***.WARNING -- if you don't want to hear about "womanly issues" then skip on down to the next paragraph.***..Since my menstrual cycle has come back after B was born, it has been different. It is has been VERY heavy for the first two days, and then would stop completely for a day and then come back for a few days getting lighter each day. THEN last month it came and was VERY heavy for two days and then stopped altogether. I really didn't think much of it -- maybe just that I got lucky for once....And then -- on day 18 --- I started bleeding again. That was last Friday. I spotted the first day and then it got very heavy for the next couple of days and then lightened up for a day. Yesterday there was NOTHING and today? I'm spotting again--- pretty heavy spotting too. I'm having lots of cramping, too. I have NEVER had issues like this with my menstrual cycle. I see my Gynecologist tomorrow.

All of this plays right in to the battles I am facing mentally and spiritually. I'm not going to lie. Ya'll. I am scared !!! I've told ya'll before about my struggles with fear. All of these physical problems are making my anxiety and fear go through the roof. And just to be completely honest -- I'm so scared that I am going to die and not get to see my kids grow up.

I am desperately trying to use my "Truth Cards" and fill my mind with scriptures reminding me that God doesn't want me to live in fear and that He is good and that HE is in charge. But right now, I'm losing that battle.

I'm terrified!

And quite frankly, I feel really guilty about all of this. I know that there are people who are living with things that are a lot worse than what I'm dealing with and they aren't complaining. I feel guilty that I was so griped by this fear that I didn't go to sleep until about 2AM this morning for fear that going to sleep would slow my heart rate too much. I feel HUGE guilt over the lack of faith that is making itself obvious in my life.

Why am I being so open and honest for all of you to read about the ugliness that is in me? Well for a few reasons I guess. I know that secrets are where Satan thrives and so I need to be honest about this stronghold. Second, I guess I am writing it down because it is somewhat cathartic to write it down. Third, I am begging for your prayers tomorrow and Friday as I see these doctors. I desperately want to ask that ya'll will just pray for complete healing, but I'm not sure I have the faith.

I'm also so uneasy about being so brutally honest and vulnerable about where I am right now. I know that there are those who would read this and see me as weak and basically think I'm just losing it. Frankly, I am in agreement with those two things.

I don't know what to do. I keep crying out to God and saying I NEED YOU!!!!! I long to feel his presence. At the same time I know it isn't about feeling that is about choosing to believe! '

Today -- I'm scared. I'm empty. I don't know what to do......

can you please say a prayer for me?

I feel guilty even asking.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hokie Heaven

I mentioned on Friday that hubs and I were getting away for a couple of days. Well ---- I have a confession to make. I had Friday's post scheduled to appear then because we actually left on Thursday.

We let A and M skip school on Friday (I know! Bad parents we are!) and so we left as soon as they got off the bus on Thursday. We met my in-laws on the way and they took all 4 kids for a couple of nights.So, we drove to "Hokie Heaven" which is my in- laws mountain home near Blacksburg, VA. Hubs and I had that evening and the following morning to ourselves. It was really wonderful. We've not had a night completely alone since before B was born so it was so NICE!
The view from Hokie Heaven....pretty huh?

Hubs and I took a pic. of ourselves with the view!

Our friends arrived sometime after lunch on Friday. Since our friend, Rob, is a graduate of VT, we decided to spend the late afternoon/early evening in Blacksburg. We drove through campus and then went downtown and walked around. Checking out of the maroon and orange! Matter of fact, hubs and I bought B the cutest Hokie shirt in honor of hubs step dad who also attended VT. It is adorable!

We went and ate supper of Cabo Fish Taco (delish) and then had dessert here....

On Saturday we ate a great breakfast and then went to the Draper Valley Overlook and saw this.
And took a few pics!!!
We then took a detour and ended up an hour away, sick to our stomachs from the curvy mountain roads just to have to turn around and go back the way we came. SO much for an adventure.

Saturday afternoon we drove back to meet the inlaws and get the kids. The kids were all so excited to see us which made this Mama so happy!!! We had supper and then headed home.

It was a wonderful weekend! Now we are back to reality!

Hope ya'll have a great Monday. I doubt there is anyone out there who doesn't read McMama's blog but just in case you don't know. Stellan is having his ablation today (RIGHT NOW) instead of tomorrow. Be in prayer for them!!!!

In HIM --

Friday, November 6, 2009

I'm seeing a Theme Here

SO - after I had that whole day this week thinking about the depraved mind, Wednesday came.

And on Wednesday, the Lord showed me and spoke to me about what it is I need to work as far as 'changing my mind'. Let me just tell you about Wednesday.

On the way to my Women's Community Bible Study, I was listening to Greg Laurie and he said "Heaven is not for good people. Heaven is for forgiven people." I know -- you are thinking "duh - we all know that". And yes we do....but let's just continue shall we?

Then at bible study, it was all about Jonah and the Ninehvite's. You know the story. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh. Jonah didn't want to - told God no and ran. God on a boat-- a storm came-- Jonah says throw we overboard and the storm will stop. So, that's what happened and he gets swallowed by a big fish- sits in the belly for 3 days and then cries out to God. God has the fish spit him up -- and then Jonah goes to Nineveh and does what he was told to do but then he's mad at God because he didn't like the Ninehvites and he didn't think God should give them a second chance. So that was the big question. "Who do you need to give a second chance?"

Also at bible study, I heard the Lord say to me "You've just been playing at breaking free. Now you need to get serious about it."

And lastly, I came home this afternoon and did my Breaking Free study for today which had me practicing Beth's process of changing the thoughts in my mind to His Truth. And guess what the topic was that she had us practice with. You guessed it : "FORGIVENESS!!!"

SO! Looks like the Lord has in mind what he wants me to work on. See, I know WHO he wants me to forgive and I know that I don't really want to do it. I'm just being real here. These people. They've really hurt me and my family and in my own humanness I don't really want to forgive them. BUT GOD -- he has other idea's. SO, I will choose his way because it is the right way.
I am on a road to forgiveness. It may take a LONG time. But the Lord will be with me and I will keep trudging on til I am free!!!!

Ya'll have a fabulous weekend. Hubs and I are getting together with another couple who are also clergy. We are going out of town for a couple of nights. The kids are going to stay with my inlaws. SO, say a prayer for our safe travel and for my kids to be good....and for B to sleep so his Nana can get some sleep too!

Talk to ya'll next week!
in HIM -

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Depraved Mind

I think I've mentioned a time or five that I'm doing Beth Moore's Breaking Free Study at church right now. Now, I've led this study about 5 different times and each time I still have things to break free from.
A small aside here: Got a flyer in the mail that she just updated this study! I'm so bummed that we are almost done with it. I wish we were just starting so we could do the new and updated version.....dern!

Anyways -- if you have never done this study, I highly recommend it! It is an awesome study!
This week marks week 9 in the study for my group of ladies. It is all about the "Battlefield of the Mind".....based on taking our thoughts captive and making them like Christ's (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) and also Isaiah 26:3 "He shall keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast. because he trusts in you."

Everything was going along great in my lesson that day until I ran across this nugget.

Romans 8: 28-32
"Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not be done. They have been filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil' they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they do not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."

Whoa! Those are some strong words. Like I said -- I've done this study 5 times and for some reason these words are striking me hard tonight.

Then there were verses of God giving his people over to their depraved minds for a time and even permanently. Check out 1 Corinthians 5:5 and 1 Timothy 1:20.

Ya'll. This has rocked my world this week Let me just tell you that I DO NOT want to be given over to my depraved mind! I have a feeling that you don't either. As I've worked though the rest of this week of study, I'm becoming more aware of of the thoughts in my head that don't line up with God's thoughts. I am becoming more aware that there are things in my life that I need to change...people I need to forgive, fear to rid of, the need to love people as God loves them, as well as some unbelief.
These are the kinds of thoughts that can be controlling for me and it's time for me to work though them and get RID of the wrong thinking and replace it with God's thinking.

I want my thoughts to be Godly. To have the Mind of Christ about everything in life. There is a LOT of work to do but I'm up for it! Because I don't have to be handed over to a depraved mind!

I'm sorry if this post seems random, just sharing my thoughts here tonight. Ya'll have a great Thursday! I'm working on changing my mind today.....

In HIM -

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Blue Ridge Parkway

I am lucky enough blessed enough! to live near the Blue Ridge Parkway. This past Sunday after church hubs and I decided to take some family time and go for lunch and then a drive up on the parkway. The kids didn't think that sounded like a lot of fun -- they wanted to go to a park. Especially M. But we promised her she would have a good time and off we went. We ate lunch at our favorite Mexican Restaurant because it is fast and cheap. And by cheap - I mean my family of 6 can eat there for about $25 (including the tip!) I know, right? Can't beat it! Then we headed up the parkway. Most of the leaves had already fallen so it wasn't as beautiful as I had hoped on the way up. I did enjoy looking at the big, beautiful houses that I could see since the leaves had already fallen off the trees. Silver lining at it best.
Then we got to an overlook. And decided we'd hike up for a better look.
.2 miles feels like a long way when it is straight up.
M. "Take my picture climbing this rock.!"
Going straight down was almost as hard as going up.
God's handiwork!
We got to the bottom to find some church folks were there, too
The kids had a great time playing
And B had a good time finding his bellybutton.
And then they played Hide and Go Seek.
SO cute!
And as usual, B made friends with a dog we met there.
Headed back to the car!
I loved how the fog was setting in!
It was a wonderful family afternoon. Smile.
in HIM -

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Winner!

Ya'll!!!! I'm completely a flake sometimes!
I totally forgot to choose and post a winner for the Swiss Courier book yesterday. I got busy doing laundry, putting away the Halloween decor, and switching out my fall clothes and forgot all about it.
I'm so sorry about that !

So --- without further ado --

the winner is:

Kristin from These Little Girls of Mine

Go by and congratulate her yourselves.

Congrats Kristin! Hope you enjoy the book!!!!

In HIM ---

Prayers for my friend

My friend, Deidre, just lost one of her best friends very unexpectedly. I would love if you would go over and give her your condolences.

I was lucky enough to have met Pam. She was an amazing Christian woman. She will be missed.

Please stop by today!!!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween 2009

Our Halloween fun started a couple of weeks ago with this pumpkin painting party. Such fun. And then remember my to do list from last week - with the to -do task of finishing up some halloween costumes. Our Nana LeeAnne is a wonderful seamstress and she makes the kids Halloween costumes every year. They are WONDERFUL!!!! Ken and I needed to finish up the details though -- so we spent part of 3 days last week working on M's crown and scepter. We also had to find B the large lollipop he is eating in this picture (through the plastic). I think it all turned out great!!!!

Check out these adorable costumes up close!!!! Just in case you couldn't tell -- we had a Wizard of Oz theme going on at our house.....

A as Dorothy

M as Glinda the Good Witch

L as the Lullaby League

B as the Lollipop Guild

On Wednesday night we had our church's annual Trunk -or-Treat. I joined the theme and dressed up for the occasion myself......wanna guess who I was?!!? I will give you a hint -- it involved face paint....=) We had a great time at trunk-or-treat and it was a great outreach event. We have over 300 folks pass through our doors to enjoy a hotdog supper, 6 inflatables, games and trunk-or-treating with tons of candy.

Then on Saturday it was raining here all morning. And by raining, I mean pelting rain with wind and leaves falling all over the place. I was thinking our trick-or-treating was going to have to be canceled. BUT -right at 2:00 when we were to head out -- it stopped raining! YEAY!!!!

We went trick-or-treating in the downtown area of our town with some friends and we had a great time. Here are some pics of the event!

A Family Shot

M's friend Cody was a cowboy. SO cute!
And this is our friend C, also a cowboy.
Isn't he adorable
One of the shops downtown is a bakery.
They had cookies for the kids to decorate and eat.
This is L "sharing" her cookie with her Daddy.
I say it that way because she broke off a tiny bite and gave it to him.

One of the shops went all out with the decor....

Our friend W was an ostrich!
Her costume was SO cute --
it even had plumes coming out of the tail.

We had such a great time on Saturday. Thanks, Stacy, for inviting us to go downtown with you all!

Ya'll have a great Monday. I'm off to pack away the Halloween decorations!!!

I will be back in a little while to announce the winner of The Swiss Courier.

in HIM -