Monday, November 28, 2011

shades of brown

last of the pretty leaves

first fire of the season

Grandma Miller's couch filled with cousins

banana bread

Tim's chocolate chip cookies

Alex's pine cone turkey 

Tim's pine cone turkey

Acorn Kisses

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!
All this month I have read post after post and status after status of things that people are thankful for this year. I found myself relating to what was written most of the time, but never felt led to write a status update every day or any "top ten things to be thankful for" posts myself. I asked myself why this was one day...and the answer really never came. But I know better than to force myself to write something just because it seems the thing to do. So, I didn't. And, I am okay with this. It is not because I do not have much to be thankfuul for....but, it is because I want to be genuine in my thankfulness. This is something that tmeans alot to me and takes effort at becoming. It is something that I hope others find in my daily life and not just during the month of November.
My Thanksgiving Day today has been a blessed and fun one. Family time, visits with friends, great food, and a walk down memory lane with my childhood friends, the Muppets. In and throu gh the day, God filled me with good things that ultimately He could provide...maybe not the Muppets, but that was simply icing on the cake.
I was reminded just tonight, however, that even if my day had not gone this way, God would still be good. So, tonight, I am most thankful to God for His goodness, His grace, and His unchangingness.
God is good...no matter what!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I should have listened...

That little voice inside my head said to take the keys with me.
I pulled them out of the ignition.  Held onto them for a second thought.  Then, I threw them on the seat behind me when I exited the truck.  I closed the door with credit card in hand in order to begin the process of pumping gas.  I had just entered my zip code when I heard it.  Honk!  Thunk!
In disbelief, I turned around and pulled on the door handle.  It indeed had been my truck horn I had just heard, followed by the ever familiar thunk of the doors locking.  Really?!!  I looked around (as if someone was playing a trick on me or something and they would suddenly come out of hiding with the keys to unlock them again).  Not happening.  I was locked out of my truck...with keys and cell phone staring back at me from inside those locked doors.
At Kroger there is no slow time at the gas pumps.  Always are there cars piled one or two deep in line.  Thankful that a young lady had just pulled up in front of me, I asked her if I could borrow her cell phone so I could call my husband about my situation.  She said, with sympathy in her eyes, of course.  Making that phone call was not high on my list of things I wanted to do for the day.  It wasn't on my list at all.  A last minute write in only because I had to...only because I ignored that little voice just a few minutes earlier.
For a moment, as my words sank in, did hope rise because Scott reminded me of that little godsend blue star button now in most vehicles.  OnStar will save the day.  All he had to do was call them for me and I'd have instant help from who knows where.  Who cares where as long as they can help me get into the truck and out of my embarrassing situation.
Um, yeah...what do you mean they can't find us in their system?
Oh.  They can't find us in their system.
Guess it's driving home and getting the spare keys for me after all.  I'm so sorry!
Am I the only person who thinks time goes slower when you are waiting for something or someone?  Especially when you are waiting to be rescued, doesn't it seem that way?  We don't live that far away from the gas station.  However, those seconds in each minute seemed to be minutes themselves.
Waiting.
Waiting in anticipation.
Anticipation of a hero...someone who would come and save the day...or what was left of it at least.
My mind went to things to be thankful for in the moment, in order to pass the time and keep me otherwise occupied.  Sunshine.  Warm temperature.  Safe area.  Clueless clerk who didn't care a bit that I was now blocking one of his working pumps.  Understanding customers who seemed thankful that I would walk to their car behind me and let them know I wasn't going anywhere anytime fast.  Thankful that it was a weekend day and Scott wasn't at work.  Thankful the boys weren't with me (although if they had been, the doors locking on their own wouldn't have been an issue).  I was feeling better.
I then began thinking about the whole waiting in anticipation concept.  I knew what I was waiting on.  I had hope and faith help was on the way.  There was nothing I could (reasonably) do for myself to get myself out of my trouble.  I had to hold onto that hope and faith and wait.  Others did not have to wait with me.  They could form their own opinion of my situation.  And make decisions on what to do for themselves.  I had choices to make during my wait...my attitude, my mood, my willingness to let others know, my patience.  Life would go on while I waited.  I could choose to sit and pout, but that wouldn't help my situation.  I could keeping asking "Why?" but that would not unlock my doors.
So, I waited by my truck and with a smile on my face, until I needed to make that walk to those folks who pulled in behind me to wait their turn for gas.  I got alot of "Bless your heart" responses.  (If you don't know, that's not a "sorry" kind of remark, but more of a "pitiful you" kind of remark.)  And, humbled, I waited.
I remembered some people in the Bible who had to wait.  In anticipation of the Savior, those in OT times lived out their lives while waiting for the promised Messiah.  NT times gave us the Messiah...and the people walked and talked with Jesus.  They saw Him born, crucified and buried, and risen again.  Some believed.  Some didn't.  When Jesus ascended into Heaven, we went back on the waiting list, awaiting His return.
Lessons on waiting are found in other people's life accounts in the Bible, too.  David had to wait 22 years to be king (1 Samuel 16-2 Samuel 5).  Hannah had to wait on having her first baby (1 Samuel 1).  Jacob had to wait to have Rachel as his wife...twice, even. (Genesis 29).
Waiting can be glorifying to God.  It can be a time of learning, leaning, and growing.  It can be hard.  No matter the 'why' of waiting, I need to think on the 'what' of waiting.  What am I to do while I wait?  I cannot change the wait, but I can do something while I'm waiting.
My hero came with the spare keys.  My day resumed.  
All those precious minutes of my day were not wasted in waiting.  
They gave me all the time I needed to remember the good that can come out of waiting.  I lived out life in those moments with a smile and with precious thoughts of God's people whose lives can help me learn about glorifying God in my waiting.
And, reminded me that I need to listen to and trust that little voice inside my head...just in case.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Li'l Chef

Thursday evening found myself and Tim elbow to elbow in the kitchen making chocolate chip cookies together.  It was so much fun!!!  I ♥ my li'l chef!













3 in 30: November {week 3}

3in30 I'm In!!Consistently get back to the Y in the mornings...Made it every day but Friday.  Didn't hear my alarm.  I went this morning in order to make my 5 days. Yay, me!
Begin making/shopping for Christmas presents...Still working on calendars and photobooks and my nephew's blanket.  Every minute of work now is a minute less I'll spend being rushed in December.
Use gift of encouragement...Focused on encouraging my boys this week by spending some special one on one time with each of them.  On Tuesday, Alex and I went to work out together in the fitness center.  He's allowed in there now that he's nine and has been wanting to go with me.  We had alot of fun together!  Encouraging good and healthy habits in his lifestyle now can only help him continue in them on his own as he grows up.  Tim and I spent Thursday evening in the kitchen together making chocolate chip cookies.  He got to do everything...and alot of it all by himself.  Loved seeing him work so hard at getting the job done!  Encourging him in helping cook and teaching him how to do things in the kitchen will help prepare him for life on his own.  You can see photos in my post, Li'l Chef, of our baking together.  So fun!!!
Hope everyone is having a great month of getting some goals met!  God bless as we celebrate Thanksgiving next week!
  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

missing the point

 “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”
                                                                                                                                ~Mark Twain
I was reminded of this quote as I thought over Pastor Brian's sermon from Sunday morning.  Too many times we speak too soon.  It may be because of nervousness, confidence, or, as it was for Peter in the following passage, fear.
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up on a high mountain by themselves to be alone. He was transformed in front of them, and His clothes became dazzling extremely white as no launderer on earth could whiten them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah" -because he did not know what he should say, since they were terrified.
A cloud appeared, overshadowing them, and a voice came from the cloud:
This is My beloved Son; listen to Him!
Then suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus alone.
Mark 9:2-8
Oh, Peter...quick to speak, Peter.
First, he spoke the obvious...to Jesus, even.
Then, he continued to speak and removed all doubt that he totally missed the point of this awesome encounter.
I've been there...done that.  I can relate.
I sat there Sunday morning, either hearing the message for the first time in such a way, or finally understanding it so that it sunk in and took up residence in my brain.  Either way, I am thankful for PB's faithfulness in preaching God's Truth to us.
I always wondered why Moses? why Elijah?  Out of all the OT peeps was it these two?
Here's the point Peter and I were missing...
Moses represents the Law.
Elijah represents the Prophets.
The Law & the Prophets both pointed toward the glory of God in the OT...to a Messiah yet to come.
Their presence together here, with Christ, points to the Glory of God, too.  Peter spoke out of line when he suggested building three tabernacles, one for each of them.  He was equating Moses, Elijah, and Jesus...giving them equal rights to glory.  God, alone, deserves glory.  God's glory is not to be shared with any one or any thing.
I sat there listening and thinking of the passage in Exodus we had just discussed an hour earlier in Sunday School.  The lesson covered Exodus 32, the time when Moses was on top of the mountain receiving the 10 Commandments and Aaron, down below with the people, gathered gold, threw it into a fire and *poof* out came a golden calf. {PB also covered this passage in his message, too...God moment! :)}  He shared the glory due to God with a man-made, golden image.
In SS, I had shared that I can relate to Aaron's failure at leading his people in giving God all the glory.  He should have been helping them choose to wait and see how God was working, being faithful in serving the one, true God.  Instead, he gave them an idol to worship.  He lead them to share God's glory with an image.  I do that with my own children at times.  My life's choices sometimes share the message that something or someone else is deserving of some of the glory that should only be reserved for God.  My choices send a message to my children, just like Aaron's did to the people of Israel.
So, Peter, I feel your pain of the moment.  I miss the mark at times, too.  I am convicted of not always giving God first place. (Hmmm...where have I heard that before?)  God's glory should be guarded in my life, so that my children and others see and hear the message of God loud and clear.  People and things are important, but they are not to be recipients of shared glory, but rather avenues for God's glory to be revealed.
It was good to be there Sunday morning!

Monday, November 14, 2011

3 in 30: November {week 2}

"When you feel like giving up, 
remember why you held on for so long in the first place." 
                                                                            ~ Unknown

3in30 I'm In!!Consistently get back to the Y in the mornings...Made it to the Y every day last week!
Begin making/shopping for Christmas presents...More progress made here with using my hours alone on Friday when the boys went to their Nana & Pawpaw's house to start purchasing some of their presents.  I was also able to begin calendars and photo books for my extended family.
Use gift of encouragement...Little things sometimes mean the most.  Made a friend's day when she received the flowers I sent her "just because".  Emails, notes, and phone calls all were taken time for this week, too.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

my boys...and the tree









While my camera is still missing...the latest vicitim to the Burmuda Triangle effect happening around here...I took the annual fall photos with my cell phone.  I so miss my camera...but I'm pleased that we were able to get photos taken before it became cold and the wind/rain came through.
The little yellow tree makes me smile each year...it's my favorite one on our property.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

And, so, it begins...

Ask the LORD for rain in the season of spring rain. The LORD makes the rain clouds, and He will give them showers of rain and crops in the field for everyone. For the idols speak falsehood, and the diviners see illusions; they relate empty dreams and offer empty comfort. Therefore [the people] wander like sheep; they suffer affliction because there is no shepherd. My anger burns against the shepherds, so I will punish the leaders. For the LORD of Hosts has tended His flock, the house of Judah; He will make them like His majestic steed in battle. From them will come the cornerstone, from them the tent peg, from them the battle bow, from them every ruler. Together they will be like warriors in battle trampling down the mud of the streets. They will fight because the LORD is with them, and they will put horsemen to shame.      Zechariah 10:1-5

Already the stories of spiritual warfare have been heard from His flock preparing for mission work in Alaska next summer.  Expected it.  Not surprised by it.  Still, one never knows which direction it will go until we find ourselves in the middle of a battlefield...
Financially.
Materialistically.
Relationally.
Spiritually.
Emotionally.
Physically.
One is no more difficult than the other.  It always hits too close for comfort...that's how satan plays his game.  However, we can fight because our God is with us.  For His glory we endure such battles.  With His help and in His strength we make it through.  

Be strong and courageous; don't be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my mountain where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:2

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November 3 in 30 {week 1}

3in30 I'm In!!Well, week one is coming to a close...getting back in the game wasn't as difficult as I anticipated.  That being said, I'm thankful there are 3 more weeks to make progress.
Consistently get back to the Y in the mornings.  The morning air is crisp and refreshing these days.  Makes me especially thankful for the garage keeping my car free of frost on the windshield.  Made it to the Y 3 mornings...1 evening instead of morning...and the other day was spent on my feet running, just not in the Y. :)
Begin making/shopping for Christmas presents.  Progress on both fronts.  Will have all afternoon tomorrow, too, to make more headway on the projects in the making.  Thankful for the joy brought on when handcrafting presents for others.
Use gift of encouragement.  Sent a few emails this week sharing my heart in them with good friends.  Shared a good word with a new friend I'm making at church, too, and was told that she is thankful for the encouragement God gave her through me.  Thankful God is bigger than my biggest imperfection and makes beauty from ashes.
Hope everyone has had a good first week of November!  Remember, tomorrow's another day...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Year of Jubilee

jubilee [ˈdʒuːbɪˌliː ˌdʒuːbɪˈliː]n
1. a time or season for rejoicing
2. a special anniversary, esp a 25th or 50th one
3. (Christianity / Roman Catholic Church) RC Church a specially appointed period, now ordinarily every 25th year, in which special indulgences are granted
4. (Non-Christian Religions / Judaism) Old Testament a year that was to be observed every 50th year, during which Hebrew slaves were to be liberated, alienated property was to be restored, etc.
5. a less common word for jubilation
[from Old French jubile, from Late Latin jubilaeus, from Late Greek iōbēlaios, from Hebrew yōbhēl ram's horn, used for the proclamation of the year of jubilee; influenced by Latinjūbilāre to shout for joy]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
(definition courtesy of thefreedictionary.com)

I remember the moment I knew what kind of year I would be having in 2011.
Worshiping for the first time at a {then} new church, we sang "Days of Elijah" at the end of the service.
Yeah, we sang a praise song after the sermon...exuberantly, even. 
And, it was this one.
Totally a God moment.
For so many reasons, this song spoke to my heart.
God gave me just what I needed when I needed it...as always.
In His time.
For His glory.
A year of jubilee.
He doesn't disappoint.
Ever.
Amen!