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Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Wish

I wish every day were happy and good days.

I wish I could eat chocolate cookies everyday without worrying about it

I wish no one ever lost anyone they love… especially that kind of love that lasts from childhood to old age. Too many strings tied too tight… pull too tight when they are gone.

I wish I never allowed myself to be frustrated with anyone. Especially my child.

I wish my favorite jeans would never wear out!

I wish we’d never get use to the fact that Jesus DIED for us… and just sit in a worship service.

I wish being a mom wasn’t so hard.

I wish I could cook better.

I wish we had a fence so we could have a dog.

I wish life weren’t so messy.

I wish I could play the piano and sing.

I wish to live my life to honor God and to no longer live for man. I wish that everything I did I asked Him first and that I didn’t make such hasty decisions and I wish that I trusted Him more. Loved Him more. Spent time with Him more. Honored Him more. Praised Him more. Sought Him out more. Listened more. Feared Him more. Reverenced Him more.

I wish I obeyed Him more.

I wish I were less selfish. More concerned for others than myself.

I wish for the rest of my life to be lived better than the first part of my life.

I need it to start today.

What do you wish?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fun Times

A few posts back I posted this new wreath that was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest! I posted it on Facebook and I got a couple of orders! Who knew!?!? I was so surprised! So I made this one… 001

and this one…

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for two of my friends. I just changed the ribbons and they both look really cute!

Also, this past weekend we had a meeting with folks from our church and needed some childcare. These two NEVER turn down the opportunity to take a girl to dinner and ice cream!

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She also scored a new toy and some new clothes!

Hello! What about the parents??

Since then  I have been under the weather and have spent more than my share of time on the sofa. It’s just a virus so I am sure I will be back to normal soon. Well, normal is totally relative in my case!

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Remember

His Body the bread…

 

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His Blood the wine….

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Broken and Poured out all for love…

 

Love so amazing!

We must remember His sacrifice and how He shamelessly gave so that we might live.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sweet New Look and a Challenge!

I am so excited to have a new blog look! I have no extra funds to really purchase a new look but I found this free one at this website and I am LOVING it! It was very easy to download/upload… oh! Whatever I did! I am NOT very computer savvy so if I can do it ANYONE can! Everything seems a little big to me so I will be working on the details, but in the  mean time I am enjoying the colors and fun-ness!

In other news I am really excited about a new challenge that our church has taken on. We are ALL, the entire church from kids to Sr. Adults, are going to read through the Bible in a year! We are going through it chronologically and we’ve just started… because it’s Jan. 13th and all… so we are in Job! It has been very cool for my daughter, my husband and myself to all be reading the same thing at the same time! We’ve discussed what we’ve read and we all have questions that we want to research. It is just really cool and I am pumped about our Sunday school class and church all being “on the same page!” Literally!

Yesterday my daughter was riding in the back of the car and she said, “Mom, tonight me and dad are going to read Job! I have never read that book before. I know about Jesus being born in Luke 2 and I know about creation in Genesis, but now it will be something new!”

I love that God’s Word excites us and that it IS new… no matter how many times we read it He is always speaking and we learn something new every time if we just listen!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Some Things are Coming Along

In the past I’ve shared a good bit about our daughter and the mild special needs that she has. Since it has been a while since I’ve really blogged I wanted to do a little update on her because of the hopes of encouraging someone (even someone who never leaves a comment!) that things DO get better with time and maturity! april 2011 040

This year Caroline started the 3rd grade. She has a great teacher (in public school who loves Jesus… YAY GOD! He meets our needs every time!) She has made some sweet friends and she’s trying really hard in school. While math is still extremely hard she continues to work and claims that math is her favorite subject. 031

 

Her determination to try is really inspiring to those around her. We all know that math is hard, and in the 3rd grade they start multiplication. The teacher sent a note home asking parents to commit to helping our kids learn their facts and I asked Caroline what she wanted to do. “Well,” she said, “Don’t you think I need to at least try!?” Yes. I do think so sweet girl, so let’s get to it!

She continues to do Occupational Therapy and that has helped some with her ability to plan and organize her thoughts. She has also worked more on handwriting and writing this year than ever before and she’s doing much better at putting her thoughts on paper in an organized fashion.

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In the last few months of 2011 we did a speech group with her where she was in speech but participated in different social situations with other kids around her age. It was GREAT! They discussed and role played manners, appropriate conversations with peers vs. adults, conversation starters and other socially appropriate areas of communication. She can still be a little socially inappropriate, but it does seem to be helping some. (There was the time we were at lunch after church with friends and saw different friends while eating. She said, “I’d RATHER be with (and named the other table of friends)!” in front of those that we were eating with. I wanted to climb under the table!!!!!!!!! Oh… so embarrassing! There is just  not a built in filter and you never know what she will say!! We still have some work to do!)

One thing that I love is that she is growing to love God’s Word. Even if she can’t comprehend all that she reads in school she still LOVES to read and wants to know what the Bible says. I love this kid’s version of Jesus Calling for her. We started it on the first day of 3rd grade and pretty much use it every night.

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It is really special that though there are struggles, the things of the Lord are familiar and something that she longs for. I hope she never looses that!

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If you have a child with special needs I DO know the fears and the dreams that have changed for you and that child. It is not an easy road, but I want to remind you that God is ALWAYS in control. He is always at work and so NEVER stop praying. Never stop pushing for the best and never give up hope for things to get better. Sometimes it seems that things will never get easier or she will never grow and mature and then one day something improves (like getting completely dressed without DRAMA to the max!) and I think…”Oh! There is hope!”  There is hope for you too! Just never give up and always seek out the best help that you can and stick with it!!

Even though she is 10 now and I expect her to do so many things on her own I do  have to remember that she HAS only been on the earth for 10 years! Just 10 short years!! And I have to remember that she’s not where those that are her age are so I need to give a little grace and try to be understanding. Things are coming along, though ,and I am praising GOD for His faithful hand of mercy in our lives!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Laundry Love

I mentioned in this post about a special local outreach project that I participated in during 2011 and I mentioned that I really hope to do it over and over again. I think that it’s such a good idea that I want to spread the word to others who might be willing to do it their communities. It is such a neat way to minister to the community and allows opportunity to share the gospel in a very effective and different way.

So… here’s what you do!

The goal is to reach out to those in the community who having clean clothes is a financial hardship.

1) Start collecting quarters or funds and laundry detergent. I’d encourage you to enlist Sunday School classes of all ages to participate and get the entire church involved. We asked our youth and two adult classes to help collect quarters for the first one that we did and it worked great. Most Laundromats do not use quarters now (you load a card to put into machines) but people associate quarters with Laundromats so that’s how we did it. We asked a ministry within the church to help with detergent.

2) Go to a local Laundromat and ask the owner if they’d allow you to come in one day/night and pay for the laundry to be done of those who come through the doors during a specified time. ** WARNING! They are going to look at you like you’ve lost your mind.**  Determine how many people you feel you may be able to help based on your budget (funds collected) and time frame. We chose 20 people and determined to be there from 6pm until 9pm. We decided that we had enough money to do 2 washes and 2 dryers per person. We also gave tickets to those people so that as we paid  for the load we could take a ticket and keep things fair.

3) Get together items to help entertain children. We took coloring pages and crayons, pipe cleaners (to make things with) and beads to string.

4)Collect information to help present the gospel and info about your church to give to those that you meet. We took witnessing tracks and visitor info about our church.

5)Determine if you would like to serve some sort of food. Once the laundry gets in the machines you have about 20-30 minutes to chat with those in the Laundromat. That is your opportunity to get to know the people a little, offer them a snack and share Christ. We chose to offer a light meal and so we bought subs from Subway and had classes donate chips, drinks and cookies for dessert. Often you are dealing with those who live in hotels, on the streets or who are very needy. Offering food and clean clothes means so much to them!

6) Show up and get busy sharing Christ’s love! We had a few youth to work with kids that came in. We had men that held the loaded money cards and they’d go to the machines as people loaded their items and pay for the wash/dry cycles and women who helped with food distribution.

The neat thing was we were able to encourage the Laundromat owners and the Subway employees as well as the people that we helped with their laundry.

This idea is not original with me or my church. I am including a link to a ministry that can give you more information about this type of outreach and how this idea came to be. Let me just say… those who participated that night are currently trying to arrange other Laundry Love projects in our city. It impacted all of us and we are eager to share Christ in this unique way all around our city!

Here’s the link! If you like the idea but are not sure how you can get your church involved you can give to this ministry who consistently reaches out in this way! It’s awesome!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Something New

Since it’s the New Year I have been wanting some new things to spruce up around our home! I don’t really have much money to spend but I was recently on Pintrest (OH MY WORD! I could be on there for days on end!) and I saw some cute wreath ideas and I thought I’d give an old grapevine wreath a makeover. The flowers and ribbons were so faded and so I didn’t mind tearing that thing apart and trying to give it some some life.

I had recently bought some burlap for fun gift wrap so I decided to use the rest of that to cover the vines and then I found this adorable “G” initial on sale at Hobby Lobby. Their ribbon was on sale, too, and so I  spent less than $10 to redo this…

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I think it turned out pretty cute and I know that I will love having something different on our front door. When Christmas is over it just always seem so BLAH! Hopefully this will be a fun new look!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Fun to be Back!

It has been so long since I’ve really blogged that I really do not know where to start! So many things go on in our lives that it’s hard to know where or how to begin! I saw this post on my friend, Faith’s, blog so maybe that’s where I’ll start! Here we go!!

1.What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

I made hand dipped pretzels to give as neighbor gifts at Christmas and they turned out cute and yummy!

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And I helped a couple of people decorate their homes for Christmas! THAT is stressful!! 

I also participated in a local mission project called “Laundry Love” and it was an incredible experience that I hope to repeat again and again!

2.Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions and will you make more for next year?

I do not really make resolutions but I did start consistently exercising and plan to keep that up in the new year!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth this year?

We had a couple of  sweet friends  in our Sunday school class have precious babies!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My mom’s sister passed away around thanksgiving. I was not especially close to her, but my mom really struggled with losing a sibling. It was an honor to sing at her funeral and we know that one day we will see her again!

5.What places have you visited?

In the spring my husband’s cousin got married and we went to Alabama with our entire family! Here I am with my husband and daughter and my husband’s brother and his family. We had a great time, but man was it HOT!

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In the summer I went on a women’s retreat with girls from our church. We had such a great time in the North Carolina mountains!

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I also went just a short drive to meet my college roommate for breakfast over the summer! I had not seen her in SOO long and it was great to catch up a bit!

 

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In the fall we headed back to the NC Mountains and this time I got to lead a retreat with one of my sweet friends! It was such an honor to be asked and I was a nervous wreck, but God, in His faithfulness showed up and we had a terrific time!

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6.What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

More discipline in my life to be in God’s Word and to be healthy. I also want to be obedient to some things that I know God is calling me to.

7. What date from 2011 will be etched in your memory and why and why?

Probably December 3rd because my family surprised my brother with a 40th Birthday party and ALL of my aunts and uncles drove from hours away just to be there for the big day!  He was SOOO shocked!

 

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My uncle drove 3 hours just for this!          And this is his best friend from High School!

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8. What was your  biggest achievement this year?

Probably starting to exercise and sticking with it. It is not something that I really enjoy but I decided that in order to be here as long as possible for my family I could not just sit around any longer! I did not lose a ton of weight, but I have felt better and look better in my clothes so at least SOMEthing’s working!

9.Did you suffer illness or injury?

The only thing that happened was I woke up on my birthday with the flu. Going to see my family doctor that day was not exactly what I had in mind!!

10. What was the best thing you bought?

My camera and a Wii game for our daughter for Christmas this year.

11.Where did your money go?

Therapies for our girl (it’s helping so we are not complaining!) and bills. Yay for bills.

12.What song will always remind you of 2011?

Oh gosh! Nothing is really standing out to me.

13.What do you wish you had done more of?

Spend more time having friends and family over for dinner and fun, spend more time being still and letting God work instead of being in a tizzy over things and taken more pictures!

 

14.What do you wish you had done less of?

Worry about silly things. … lack of trust in the Lord. I wish I had been less aggravated with my daughter over things that now seem silly.

15.What was your favorite TV program?

I am happy to say that I didn’t watch as much TV this year!! When I did watch I liked the talent shows like Sing Off and X Factor.

16.What was the best book you read this year?

I loved reading Jane Eyre and I did So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore and it was AWESOME!  

17.What was your favorite film of the year?

I loved The Help and we thought Mr. Popper’s Penguins was fun!

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18.What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?

Well, since I had the flu I spent my 41st birthday on the sofa and my husband brought me a fun little cupcake from a local bakery! Once I was well he took me out to a sweet lunch and we went and bought my camera so all in all it wasn’t too bad! Just a little delayed!

19.What national/world event stirred you the most?

We enjoyed watching the Royal Wedding and we’ve been a little more aware of the protests that have taken place due to the economy. It has been a rough year with so may pay cuts and job losses and people striving for a better life. Just very interesting.

20. Who was  the best person you met this year?

There is a new youth intern at our church that the Lord brought at the perfect time! I have been really challenged by him and he has some wonderful ideas about how to reach our city for Christ. I am looking forward to serving along side him and others in the coming year .

I pray that the Lord blesses this coming year and that as we move into 2012 we will see His hand at work and that our lives will reflect a heart of obedience even in small ways.