Friday, May 31, 2013

MtR: It's my BiRtHdAy!!!

"Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; give me life in Your ways." Psalm 119:37
I read this verse early this morning and thought it was very fitting for today...every day, really.
That is my prayer.
I fail.
I succeed.
I try to stay focused on the important things.
As I thought about this month of blogging through each day and finding the gifts in each and every one of them, I realized that this very thing has been a gift.
You see, this month has held some very difficult days for me. Had it not been for the nudge from the Holy Spirit to keep up and follow through with what God placed on my heart to do on this blog, I would have allowed many days to go by without seeing and appreciating their gifts.
Each day is a blessing in one way or another.
I truly believe this.
The rough days still had a blessing in them. I just had to intentionally seek them out. I had to be looking for the good and letting the distractions fall to the wayside. I had to turn from the worthless.
God is so good that He gave me a plan and prepared my heart to seek out the good in each day this month knowing there would be days when the bad definitely outweighed the good.
For me and my good, He gave me a plan.
His plan.
Praise God!
This month I have learned so much! I am more grateful and thankful for the little and big things in life...and everything inbetween.
Today's my actual birthday. I have received emails, texts, phone calls, and FB posts from family and friends (and friends who are like family) across 5 continents! 5!!! That is way cool! God has widened my world through my family and friends everywhere. They are my gift today. Each and everyone of them. I am me because of them. The blessings of friendship and love know no bounds. This has been a wonderful journey this month. Bless you all for making the journey with me.
God has a plan for you, too. Follow Him and be blessed! You will not be disappointed.

Normal...what's that?

Thursday, May 30th
Truth be told, I am very thankful that Friday comes in the morning.
Yes, it is my birthday, but more so because we have survived week one in 900 sq. ft. with a wee bit of sanity remaining.
Living in a constant state of tight corners takes its toll on a person. I personally am thankful for God granting us grace through these days. They linger ahead for a time and we are all longing for a bit of home sweet home again.
In the afternoon hours today, we went to our new library. It is really our old library, but the boys were only 2 and 3 when we relocated across town and to a new library. There were a few moments of wavering faith in this new adventure. The boys loved the Central Library.
Thankfully, it did not take long to find their favorite authors and discover even more books at this library than at Central. Nothing like a good book to make a day better!
We were also thankful for the puzzle section in the library. The hours flew by once we sat down and began to put one together. To have a normal activity in the midst of our not so ordinary days was such a gift!   Add in a few hands of Uno, and you have a grand afternoon!
Said goodbye to my sister and one niece and nephew today. So wonderful to have them for a visit!
I leave for Alaska in one week! So excited!!! God is good!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

two more days

Wednesday, May 29th
How does time go so slowly and quickly at the same time?!?
Twenty-nine days into this birthday season with only two to go...bittersweet!
Today's gifts...
Grass (one day no grass, the next...presto!! We have a yard!) Love it already...but I haven't had to do anything to it yet. :)
Crickets and frogs (they are happily chirping and croaking themselves into my heart.)
Fishing with my sister and niece (very thankful the bass were hungry today!)
Playing Uno with the family...so much fun!
Last, but not least, I was able to check off something on my to-do list of things before I leave. Success is due to my wonderful sister taking the kids to eat ice cream and a few other things that an aunt does for her nephews that her sister won't...like go to the candy store in town...while I shop for window coverings. It amazes me how some things one dreads end up being not so bad afterall.

a good day

Tuesday, May 28
Could you tell by all my mistakes that I was tired when typing my last post?
I really cannot wait to be on my laptop again. My thumbs are threatening an early retirement.
 I also just realized it's now Thursday, so I am officially two days behind on blogging through my birthday season...will have to keep this short.
I will say, though, I had just looked at the posts to make sure of which day I left off on and am amazed at the number of people reading along. Not much happening since school is out? :)
It blesses me, so I thank you.
As for Tuesdays gifts...more warm weather, family time at my in-laws, swimming, and many laughs .
My boys have said some pretty funny things these past couple of days! Wish I could remember them all...but I can't, so you will have to take my word on it.
Spent time chatting with my sister last night. I love her and her laugh! Makes me wish we lived closer still...but at least there are moments like these.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

summer vacation

Monday, May 27th
Happy Memorial Day!
A day where those who have lived, served, and died for our country are remembered and honored.
This morning we finished up our school year.
Happy summer vacation!!!
This in itself is a gift , but I am even more blessed by the gift of homeschooling the boys. It works for us and we all enjoy our time together. The boys made all A's the entire school year and retain the info so well. They make me so proud to be their mom.
In other news today, family came in for a visit, the paint is almost all up on the walls of the house, and it is warm outside!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

a day of days

Typing up posts on my phone is a challenge, so please forgive any typos that I miss correcting. Editing on my phone is even more difficult than typing. :) Also, the new paragraphs never show as new paragraphs...everything runs together. [I have now edited most posts to show the breaks.]
Just a little fyi for those who are like me and proofread things before going for content.
Now you know a little quirk of mine.
Today, it was good to worship and be with fellow believers. After church it was so wonderful to have some time to relax...and eat homecooked food!
Today's gifts include finding a whole bunch of worms, having time to go fishing with found worms, catching a few fish, and hooking the largest snapping turtle I have ever seen.
Thankfully, he straightened out the hook enough to get off on his own.
It was cool to see such a creature! His head was larger than my fist.
Well, let me just add another gift...as I was typing the above stuff, Alex came in banged up from a motorcycle crash. So thankful all he has is some bruising and road rash!!! God is so good! Just a few more days of my birthday season...go out and celebrate! :)

fun and sun

Saturday, May 25th
The final few items were retrieved from the house this morning...happy dance! We had all the final things unloaded by noon and were off to enjoy the afternoon swimming with Nana (my m-i-l). She surprised me with an early birthday celebration! I felt so loved! Can I say that being outside never felt better or more relaxing than after a week of packing and moving?
Today, the gift was family time fun in the sun.
I am blessed.
God is good!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

on the move

Friday, May 24th
A few thoughts on moving:
One never has enough boxes.
Packing takes twice as long as one thinks it will.
Just when you think you have an area all cleared out, something mysteriously appears.
Eating becomes an option as time allows and if food can be found.
Toward the end anything goes in a random box or laundry basket or garbage bag to be sorted out later.
You will look through at least two boxes trying to find something you need.
It is possible to get tired of eating out.
Dust bunnies come to life when you try to sweep them onto the dustpan.
You faintly remember promising yourself that you would hire a moving company "next time."
Things of interest are found and distract you from packing.
As the hours turn into days, one questions his or her status in the hoarding community.
One marvels at the simplicity of one's grandparents living in one house their entire married life.
No matter how big the sale/donate pile gets, there is always more stuff to move.
A little thing, like a hot shower at the end of the day, makes things better.
Your home is just a house after your photos come down.
While someone new makes changes, the memories of how it was will longer on for generations.
One realizes how grown up the kids are when they offer and genuinely want to help you pack.
Just when packing comes to an end, unpacking begins.
God granting you a new home is so worth the hassle of packing!

Friday, May 24, 2013

a backwards glance

Thursday, May 23
Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name;
make known among the nations what He has done.
Sing to Him, sing praise to Him;
tell of all His wonderful acts.
Glory in His holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and His strength;
seek His face always.
Remember the wonders He has done,
His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced,
you His servants, the descendants of Abraham,
His chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
He is the Lord our God;
His judgments are in all the earth.
Psalm 105:1-7
Today, I am celebrating wonderful memories that we have had in our home these past 6+ years.  As I sit here in the living room where I have for so many years now, though usually on the couch instead of the floor, a smile cannot help but come.
God was so good to have brought us here when the boys were about to turn 3 and 4.  Alex celebrated his 4th birthday the day we moved in.  Tim enjoyed a Nemo birthday just a couple months later.
One of the days we were here at the house getting it ready to move into, a large box had been emptied of its contents and the boys took it to the backyard and made a little fort out of it.  We all played out there for a couple of hours...and the box eventually ended up flat from all the rolling around in and on it.
The first time the boys were ever able to jump in a leaf pile was in this yard.  Now, that, was some fun that day!  The next few years, they could hardly wait for the leaves to fall and get crunchy so they could rake them up and jump in them.  One day Alex raked himself up a pile, made a little hole in the middle, and then sat down and read his first chapter book for awhile.
Little memories like these I will cherish always.
Though there have been some difficult times during our years here, the goodness of God and the kindness of our family and friends have made the good definitely outweigh the not so good.
The boys and I had shared some of our favorite memories the other day.  Alex remembers the time when he had learned how to count by 25 all the way to 100.  He told me, "I had asked you the quickest way to count to 100.  You said to be funny, '1...100.'  I then counted for you, 25, 50, 75, 100 and you were so proud of me!  It made me feel so good."  Tim remembers when two friends of ours came over and played in the leaves with him and Alex.  Tim ended up "bending" his foot...his way of saying he hurt his foot, but he enjoyed his friends being over.  If I begin sharing all of my memories, I will be here until next year this time.  The keys are turned over on Saturday, so let me just say that all the memories I have are sweet and bittersweet in their own right.  It has been a good home for us, even if I have come to totally dislike ants...and that's putting it very lightly.
Looking back, I am grateful.  Looking ahead, I am excited.  Sitting here now, I am blessed.
God is so good!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

That's a wrap!

"Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes."
Zig Ziglar

Wednesday, May 22
Baseball, great American pastime.  
Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet.
Take me out to the ball game...
So many iconic sayings and songs about the game of baseball make it seem like the greatest thing ever.
Tonight, it was for the Rays.
Put one in the win column!
It was a great gift to end out the season for Alex...and for his wears-her-heart-on-her-sleeve mom.
Every mom should like to see her son play well, enjoy what he's doing, and succeed individually and as a team.  Success doesn't mean they win every game, but that they learn something as they play and perform better than when they began.
Long, difficult seasons do not always bring out the best in people.  On the ball field or off.
May God give us all an extra measure of grace and compassion through the difficult seasons in our lives.  We all have them.  We all have a chance to finish strong.  We all have a choice on how to react to the unfairness in life.
Tonight, I choose to celebrate the win...while trying to forget learn from the rest.  :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Is it Monday yet?

Tonight I am tired.  Been on the go, with more "going" to do tomorrow.
And the next.
And the next.
Today I celebrate getting more boxes packed.
Tomorrow I will celebrate the same thing.
This is my life right now.  Sleep. School. Pack. Pack more. Eat when you can find something to enjoy and something to maybe cook it with.  Not eating very consistently right now.  It's kind of the thing that goes to the way side when you're packing up your entire kitchen for storage.  It has to get packed and there is no "good" time to do it.
Funny thing:  I have to pack my suitcase for Alaska before we move out.  Alaska is 15 days away, but I pack, as if leaving, tomorrow.  Sure am glad that it has finally warmed up enough to stop having to wear my AK wardrobe here!
Is it Monday yet?  I could use a good holiday about now.

Monday, May 20, 2013

gift of music...part 2





gift of music...part 1





It's the big things in life....

Sunday, May 19th
Usually, one celebrates the little things in life that bring joy and make life a little easier.  Today is the day to celebrate the big things that make all the difference in the world to me!

My relationship with Jesus Christ, my Redeemer and Savior!
My church family and especially our pastor who preaches the Truth, speaks the Word that cuts to the heart, and is not ashamed to call sin, sin.
My husband, who knows my every strength and weakness, and loves me anyway.  He works incredibly hard to provide for us each and every day!
My boys...oh, am I ever thankful for my boys!   
My family and friends across the miles.  They are wonderful and I love getting a chance to visit with them whenever possible!

I could not find the words to type last evening as there were so many things going through my heart and mind.  It's a crazy time in life right now.  A big week ahead for us with many activities and finishing up packing for move out day on Saturday.  I am overwhelmed with emotion when I consider how God is orchestrating everything.
He is God and He is good!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

suitcases and survival

"I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he-she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights."  Maya Angelou

Today has been a productive day.  Packing up more of the house was so much easier knowing it was raining outside.  We were even fortunate to move some of our boxes inbetween rain showers.  We couldn't move them into the new house, yet, so we relocated them to the school room until we get our certificate of occupancy.  It could be awhile.
That being said, we are in the final week of living in our current home.  By this time next Saturday a new family will be settling in and making memories here.  We moved here in the fall of 2006, when the boys were 2 & 3 years old.  I remember how excited we were to move here...all the room, the woods, the large yard.  A mama's dream come true to see the boys have room to run and play and grow.
I remember, though, the hurt of leaving our home then...the place where we crossed the threshold for the first time as parents....the boys' first steps taken...first words spoken.  It did not take long for us to begin making new memories and enjoying our new home, however.
It's not as difficult for me to let go this time.  Different place in life, different circumstances, new home awaiting us in the {near} future.  The boys are having a little more trouble with it, though.  We are working through it one day at a time.  Our month of June is so busy with work, travel, and a mission trip, it will be wonderful to settle down and settle in to our new home in July.
Until then, we will live out of suitcases.
In our little cabin in the woods.
And we will survive.
God is good!

Friday, May 17, 2013

the greatest of these...

Thankful for the gift of love today.
Enough said.
♥♥♥

Thursday, May 16, 2013

only Jesus

Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven
given to mankind by which we must be saved.
Acts 4:11-12
Two ministries that are near and dear to my heart are about to begin their summer outreach programs.  The last week in May, God's Word is going to begin to be poured into the hearts and minds of children and adults alike across the US for the summer months.
What I love about both ministries is that the name of Jesus is spoken...is called upon...is praised!  Be involved with either (or both) ministries and you will experience Jesus in a way like never before in your life.  An true encounter with Jesus will ruin life as you know it.  Then as you experience Jesus, you'll be thankful it did!  Others will see the difference, too...and want it for themselves.
But only when it's Jesus they see.
If it's anything but Jesus, it will wear off and people will wander away empty and still lost.
I am encouraged by what I read in Acts today.
I am convicted by what I read in Acts today.
What Jesus does makes the difference in peoples' lives.  It's all about Him.
How well I reflect His light is dependent upon how much time I spend with Him each day.  And, each day I could always do better.
My gift today is the blessing of being given the opportunity to be involved with two Christ centered ministries over the past several years.  I do not know why He chose me to be involved, but I am so grateful He did!
My prayer is that people will want a personal relationship with Christ as they see Him in those of us serving in His name.
God is so good!
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
Acts 4:13

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

a sure sign

Today had its ups and downs.
Great times and disappointing news.
Having just dropped some things off at the farm, I was about to take off again when I heard something outside that has been missing for some time.
Croaking.
The frogs were croaking again after a very long winter/cold spring.
It was soothing and refreshing; a sure sign of better days to come.
I needed that.
God is good!

a Tuesday-Monday

Having spent the day in the car yesterday, today was a bit off.  I thought it was Monday all day.  We had a good morning doing school, finishing earlier than usual because the boys worked ahead yesterday while in the car all day.
20130514_130932We went to the new house after school to see what all was happening there these days.  I had not been there since the pool and driveway concrete were poured.  Today, the hardwood floors were being installed, the landscapers were distributing topsoil around the flower beds, and the pool guys were around, too.  Busy day at the farm!
Ended up being there 3 hours, looking around and figuring things out with the flooring guy and landscaper. ( I am so ready for the decision making process to move on to the next phase of moving in!)
20130514_130402
Driveway in...getting closer to move in day!
Today's gifts were both from my boys.  In working ahead yesterday and in being patient today while the hours drug on, they were great!  They make me so proud.  Love them.

the cookie monster

May 13, 2013
20130513_131036-1Awoke to sunny skies and a little bit warmer temperatures.
Alex had on the agenda to play Uno with Grandma that morning.  He loves getting up early and playing games with Mom before the rest of us are around.  He was the sleepyhead this morning, though, so we all were up and able to join in on the games.
After the games, I began loading up the car so we could get on the road to home.  It is always a bittersweet moment to pull out of the driveway...want to stay, want to go.  A few tears always make their appearance from someone in the car.
20130513_140141
The Cookie Monster
Driving this route so many times over the past 11 years, I know good places to stop along the way.  Many times these places do not come at a timely hour to stop.  However...
Today was the day for perfect timing!
It was lunchtime.  We were in KY about to get onto I-65 South when I saw the sign of all signs that could make my day.
Cheddar's!!!
It has been my favorite restaurant ever since college.  I love me some Cheddar's!
This day of my birthday season gave me the gifts of wonderful traveling buddies, great weather, and my all time favorite restaurant (home of the infamous Cookie Monster dessert).
20130513_140627
Yeah, I think we liked it.
The next best part?  The three of us all ate really well, with leftovers, and had dessert for under $20.  Score!
Happy! Happy! Happy!

Mother's Day

May 12, 2013
20130512_104639
Nothing says "Happy Mother's Day" better than a wake up at 5:30 in the morning by your son who is barely able to speak, yet when he does it's in a horrible screeching, croupy loud whisper because his throat is swollen and sore.  Tim had me scared when he came to my bedside and was in pain and was having trouble breathing.  Like, "I'm giving you 10 minutes to get better or I'm driving you to the ER", scared.
His croupy cough and wheezing even woke my mom up.  She helped me find some medicine I had purchased on an earlier visit and left there for a "just in case" scenario such as this.
After I gave him some medicine, rubbed him down with Vicks, and gave him a cough drop to soothe his sore throat he settled down and began breathing easier.  I had a feeling that his anxiety level was pretty high and having an effect on him catching his breath.
As I looked up on-line the hours for the only urgent care facility open on Sundays, Tim settled in beside me and I could hear his breathing return to normal, outside of a stuffy nose.  I have listened carefully to my baby's breathing ever since he had RSV around 6 weeks old...it comes naturally to lend an ear his way when he's not feeling well.
The rest of Mother's Day morning was spent with Alex at church with my family while Tim and I were both checked out at the medical center.  I figured since I was there and had been feeling the sinus pressure for a week already, I might as well save myself a trip later on.
Good thing I did.
Tim was diagnosed with a sinus infection and a chest that sounded like it could lend its way toward bronchitis.  He was prescribed an antibiotic and given a breathing treatment on site.
I, on the otherhand, was diagnosed with the same things but prescribed an antibiotic and given a steroid shot on site.  Lucky me.  I was on a short road to bronchitis.  I took the shot because..."Bronchitis!...Ain't nobody got time for that!"  (Yeah, I went there.)
Made it to my sister's in time for lunch.  I was spent after lunch and took a Mom's Day nap...it was wonderful!
Today's gifts...
A day spent with family, especially my mom, on this first Mother's Day without Grandma.
Two wonderful boys who gave me the privilege to celebrate this day.
An intuition to give the medicine a chance to work before rushing out the door in the dark to an ER.
Medicine that headed us out on the road to a quick recovery.
Memories made.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

technical difficulties

My attempt to blog the everyday gifts throughout the month of May was thwarted by a lack of signal last night. So today's gift is a stronger signal that lasts more than a few seconds. :) As for yesterday, there were so many gifts to be thankful for... Safe travels. Remembering my jacket. Wonderful traveling buddies. Family time. Seeing my niece's art at the art show. A bed to stretch out on. All this and what Alex said to me first thing in the morning..."Mom, you rock!" Today I was able to spend part of the morning at a fundraiser for my cousin and her husband who are missionaries with Mercy Ships/Mercy Vision. Saw so familiar faces, friends, and family! The afternoon was shared with family at Grandpa Miller's house. It was good to visit with him even though it was so hard without Grandma there with us. The day ended at Mom's house, a few games played, then snuggled on the couch with my youngest. He fell asleep beside me. Not often does this happen anymore. 20 more days of birthday season...what will the days hold? Cannot wait to find out!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

ordinary things

Today's gifts...
I was blessed to pass on some of my boys' toys to another mom of boys.  Some things are easier to let go of than others.  These toys were something the boys loved for a time and now they were simply taking up space.  I did not want to have to box them up and move them in a couple of weeks only to have to store them again.  (There are a few more things that need to find a new home...one day.)

Introduced the boys to the original "The Lone Ranger" tv show via YouTube.  They thought the acting was so funny, especially during the gun fights and the guys keeled over.  Nice laughs together.  The reason we went there was because of Lego coming out with a Lone Ranger line of toys.  Of course, this is because Disney is putting out a new Lone Ranger movie.  I wanted them to know the true beginning of The Lone Ranger in case...well, let's just say current remakes of classics aren't always the best of ideas.  That's just my opinion.  (The boys had heard of the Lone Ranger originally while watching Happy Days because the Fonz's hero is The Lone Ranger.)

Sunshine and 70+ degrees!  Amen.

Emails and texts from friends, both near and far.

At the end of Alex's baseball game it felt good GREAT knowing we have a whole week ahead without any sporting events! 

Hugs and laughs at bedtime as I was reading to the boys and tucking them in for the night.  Such funny ones, they are!  

Nothing too unusual or out of the ordinary about today.  It is the recording of these ordinary things in life that makes celebrating a birthday season special to me.  It's a whole month to celebrate the little things that I sometimes take for granted.  It makes me stop and take time to appreciate the many blessings that surround me every single day.  Slowing down at the end of the day and thinking over the what we have done or accomplished throughout the daylight hours does wonders for the body and soul.

God is good.
  



moments...memories

20130508_232103
"Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory."
 Dr. Seuss
Today's gift came as I looked down at my wrist, having instinctively slipped rubber bands on my wrist in order to have them handy when I needed them.  
This simple thing took me right back to Alaska...we are given rubber bands to wear around our wrist to remind ourselves to always be flexible while serving with GraceWorks in Alaska.

Things happen.  Plans change.  You make the most of what you are given and what you have.
So many moments turn into great memories.
Even unplanned, most unexpected moments.
My gift is remembering the moments while still wanting to make more memories.  
Greater things are yet to come.
God has just begun.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Jesus and football

"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.'"   John 14:6
I awoke this morning knowing it was Tuesday.  How could I tell?  My second or third thought was about football.  Begin pit in stomach feeling.  
Honestly, coaching football, even as an assistant, has been the toughest thing I have done. Ever.
The rules, the plays, the rules, the chaos, the rules, the distractions...have I mentioned the rules? 
Confusing at times.  Hard to get across to the boys.  Difficult to understand what you've done wrong and why it is wrong.  Just when you think everyone is on the same page...penalty!
So hard to see everything at one time.
So easy to get caught up in it all.
So tough to lose every single game you play.
Soccer was easy and fun:  See the ball.  Kick the ball.  Score.
Football...yeah, not so much.
I have been struggling for weeks, personally, trying to figure out what God was doing in asking me to volunteer.  I felt a failure for feeling so awful about this great outreach to the community.  This battle was personal.  I challenged myself to look only for the positive things the boys did the last two practices.  Some of them made that a real challenge.  I did it, though, and vocalized how proud I was of them.  I pointed out the positive things after the games, too.  
I always left the field, heart broken and stomach in knots. 
Last week Coach P told me he had to work and would miss the practice tonight.  Sunday, I learned that practice was now a game.  A game against the same team that practices/scrimmages with us every week.  
The team who has successfully and thoroughly beaten us two times previously and in every scrimmage.  
Oh, joy.
I could not shake the I-feel-like-tossing-my-cookies feeling this morning, so I went to the Y to get my mind off of football.  It worked until I arrived back home.
I busied myself with work around the house, turned up the Christian music station on the tv, and prepared in my head what to share during team huddle tonight.
Lightbulb!!!  
It has never been about football.
It has always been about tonight's huddle.
For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.  Ephesians 6:12
The huddle in which the Gospel is shared.  God's truth is revealed.  Jesus' victory over death is proclaimed.  Pit in stomach gone.  I had been searching for answers to the wrong problem.  Satan wanted me to struggle. He wanted me to give up.  He wanted me to feel a failure.  If I stayed focused on those things, I would overlook the important thing.
God knew I was going to be the one who shared the Gospel message with the boys tonight.  Somehow I imagine a dialogue as in the beginning of Job took place a few months ago...(not the blameless/perfect integrity part...I'm a sinner saved by grace, afterall, but I do fear God and try to shun evil)...and, so, began this struggle during football season.
I do not know why He chose me for tonight, but He did.  I prayed my way through the afternoon asking for Him to speak through me, give me the words, and somehow block the distractions that would take away from His truth.
I laughed to myself when an analogy popped into my head during huddle.
"What does it take to make a touchdown?" I asked.
Several answered right away, "Running into the end zone!"  Others gave more detailed answers.  However, they all forgot to mention the ball.  No matter what a person does or how many times one runs into the end zone, if he doesn't have the ball he doesn't get a touchdown.  A person with the football in the end zone gets a touchdown.
Similarly, eternity with God requires you to believe Jesus is His Son who came to Earth, died for our sins, and rose again.  Any other way is like expecting a touchdown without the football.
However awkward it may sound here, it resonated with the boys.  You could see their minds processing what was being said.  Some seeds planted.  Others watered.
God humbled me along this journey.  He brought me to my knees more often over football than I ever thought possible.  I am grateful for the opportunity to speak Truth into young hearts even when the struggles abound.
This ends my football coaching days.  So glad to go out with a win...not on the field (we lost 8-16, but we held them to only 2 TD's with no extra points and they were scoreless in the first half!)...but in my heart.

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  1 Timothy 6:12
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.   Hebrews 12:1-3

Monday, May 6, 2013

dig deep

Today's gift...my youngest giving me a head massage because I've had a major sinus headache going on all. day. long. and Alex's prayers throughout today for me to feel better.
I have baby stepped my way through the day and have achieved more than I figured possible, for which, I think my family is probably more thankful for than even I am.  :)
Celebrating the little things called life during my birthday month has made today a day where I have had to dig deep and look for the good in an otherwise icky day...I type, as the rain pours down again...
Oy vey!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

cinco de mayo

20130505_182126Sunshine!!!
The sun was out from behind the clouds for the first time in forever.  
It was short lived, but glorious while it was out and shedding light on my very dreary, soggy surroundings.
So, in addition to the beautiful gift of sunshine, I celebrated with my boys tonight as they received their awards for their hard work in AWANA this year.
I am one proud mama of two boys who both learned over 40 verses each this year...along with completing other activities.  
They work hard, study hard, and play hard.
A Sunday of worship, sunshine, NASCAR racing, and applauding my boys...it was a good day!
(We went out for Mexican last night so as to avoid the crowds today.  It tasted the same as it would have today...maybe better...and without the wait.)

a rainout

May 4th...(fell asleep before writing this post last night)
Both boys' sporting events were cancelled due to rain.  They spent the weekend with Nana and Pawpaw, so Scott and I had all day together.  He dropped me off at the Y and ran some errands, then when he picked me back up we headed into Atlanta.
While browsing around antique and furniture stores, two emails came through and made my day.  Ticket reservations for my mom, sister, one niece and my nephew to come down at the end of May to come and see us!  Happy Dance!
While we are going to go up to Indiana this coming weekend for Mother's Day, it's exciting to have family come down, too.  They are coming down to help us settle in and unpack in the new house.
Add to the wonderful family time news, a new sofa and two new chairs for the living room...and a new work desk for Scott...and you have a wonderful, albeit wet, 4th day of Birthday Season!
Now, let's just hope the house is finished by then... :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

a win-win situation

2013 has been very memorable with its crazy weather patterns...or lack thereof.  There seems to be no rhyme or reason for what the weather may or may not do.  I usually am able to shed the jeans and hoodies by May.  Not this year...and definitely not today.
There is a high point to the windy, drizzly, and chilly day, however.
Being in the final weeks of building our house, it is not feasible to make travel plans.  Too much going on to get away, so we enjoy a staycation at our farm when we can.
Today's gift was having the rain hold off so that we could go fishing in our farm pond.
It is quite evident we are having crazy weather and an upcoming storm headed our way because the fish were acting funny.  Mainly we dealt with hard to catch, little dudes that enjoyed stealing the bait in a flash.
But...
It was relaxing.
It was fun.
It was a win-win situation for us and the fish.
We came.  We caught.  We released.
A good day.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

just in case

It has been a year of decision making.
The choices seem overwhelming at times.  Most times.
One may think that the highlight of the second day of my birthday season would be the exciting moment of choosing our new range and other appliances.  (Whew!  I'm glad that one's marked off the list.)
While it has its place, it falls way behind the decision of supporting Alex in his baseball endeavor.
Tonight, because I chose to sit in those bleachers again, I was able to see my son make contact with the ball and make it to first base on a hit to right field.
I also saw a team come from behind and make a valiant effort to almost win their game tonight.  They were behind 11-6 coming into their final inning.  They lost 11-10 in the end, but to get there, they never gave up.  They chose to keep on believing that they could make up the difference.
I will be honest and say it is difficult to see our team almost always playing the catch-up game.  
Something always keeps me coming back, though...just in case.  
Tonight, I am thankful and grateful to God for a base hit.  
That crack of the bat made a 10 year old's day...and mine. 
What stove was chosen will matter little to me in 10 or 20 years.
Deciding to sit on those bleachers in the rain and wind to watch and support Alex and the other Rays will always matter...and seeing that fist pump from first base will be a favorite memory for a long time coming.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It's May!

Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come. 
 Psalm 71:18
And with it, the beginning of my birthday season!
31 glorious days of warmer weather (hopefully), flowers blooming, and everyday activities turned into celebrations of life!
Today, I had the honor of being invited to lunch at a new neighbor's home with a few other ladies.  Although I only knew one lady before the lunch, I feel as if there is a great opportunity to have new friends in my life as we move into our home in a few weeks.
Friendship is a wonderful gift.