Monday, April 25, 2011

Our Easter Weekend In Pictures

My Easter wreath--finally finished!

Our weekend began on Good Friday, when we enjoyed a rare visit from John's brother-in-law and niece and nephew (John's sister passed away 4 years ago at the age of 32). It was the first time the girls have played together since they were babies....

The girls watching Ainsley's pet butterfly (no, I'm not kidding).

Elijah & Kaleb having fun in the Bouncer.


John, my husband, just because he's so good-lookin' ;).

Sisters Forever! My but I have beautiful daughters!

Our neighbor was talking about boogers, trying to get them all to smile. It worked :).

The only decent pic of the three of them. They've grown so much since last year!


Sorry to disappoint, but I don't have Easter pics up yet! They have to be uploaded to the laptop and then emailed to me and then get the picture (no pun intended). But hopefully it will happen soon! For the record, my children were beautiful (they get it from their Daddy).

I'm hoping you had a wonderful Easter. Ours was a little...well dampened by prior events of the week. Well I'm gonna just say it. It was the week from Hades. No, really. It was.

I remember last Easter, how heavily his suffering weighed on my heart, the awe I felt at the realization that He did it all for me. FOR ME. For us. How unworthy we all are. Last year I meditated and praised and really felt Easter. This year I stumbled to church and pushed myself into worship mode and felt really guilty about my state of distraction. But you know what? He blessed me anyway. I barely got my heavy hands lifted in the air, and there He was, ready to bless me and renew me. He washed away all the dust and debris from the week of destruction and reminded me that his mercies are new every morning. On a day that should have been all about HIM, He reached down and helped ME. How could I not serve a God like that?

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow

Because He lives, all fear is gone

Because I know He holds the future

My life is worth the living just because He lives!

Whatever the state of events for your life, rest in the hope that He arose, and made all things new, and He can likewise renew you in the midst of your storm.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hold On!

I've been thinking about you today, my bloggin' sisters. My friends--you really are, you know. We share our best moments on here, our hopes and our joys and our victories. But for the most part, we try not to let things get too personal. We try to use discretion and refrain from venting about mothers-in-law, neighbors from you-know-where, and church dissensions {did anyone else just have a flash back to Ray Stevens?}. The raw, ugly truth is, we face these things. We deal with the ugly and stickiness of LIFE.

We choose to celebrate the good on here, though, and as I read your blogs and enjoy your pictures, I wonder, what are you facing behind the blog? What giants are looming over your shoulder? Whatever it is, dear sisters, I wanna say, Hold on.

Keep the faith.

Stay true to what you believe in, for what you stand for.

Don't back down, no matter how hard the pressure builds.

And sometimes, swallow your pride and take the low road. I'm not saying it's gonna get you anywhere--maybe only eternity will reveal the reward.

But do it anyway, so you can say you did, or if you can't, let Him do it through you.

You're gonna make it.

Everything is gonna turn out right.

p.s. I could use some sister prayers today. My knuckles are white and tired from the grip.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Monday Moment {It's Not What You Think}

It's Monday again and Operation Weekend Cleanup is in full swing. Each child is sent to his/her room to do their morning pick-ups, which is a little more involved since we have the added debris of weekend mayhem.

I hear Elijah walking up behind me and turn to ask, "Is your room clean yet?" and this is what I see:

It takes a moment for it to register and then we all fall into peals of laughter at my son's shenanigans. And the fact that he knew what I was going to say before I said it. Am I really that predictable? Apparently.

With moments like these, I think we can make it through Monday.

p.s. It's 10:46 pm. I composed this post at 9:03 am. It's been a looong day :).

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Catching Up

Yea! I finally got some pictures uploaded to the ole 'puter. The cantankerous thing decided it doesn't read memory cards anymore sooo....we have to use Daddy's wildlife camera to upload them...which has been hanging on some tree deep in the woods of the wild for some months now...I mean gracious, what's it doing out there shooting pics of coons and hogs when I could be using it for my blog?? Silly thing.

Going back a month or so...

I spent a week at my Mom's in Alabama back in April and man did we love it! There's no place like home. My kids cry for the first 30 miles when we leave and I fight valiantly not to join them in their's some of the reasons why we love it so much:

*Big ole' cuddly Papa Bears who sit on the front porch and rock and read, in Papa Bear Fashion, while we play in the yard...

*Papa's shed/workshop, where a 6 year old boy can tinker and tanker and build marvelous imaginary inventions (and probably misplace a few tools in the process):

*Acres of green grass where two sisters can explore and play and take pretend trips to Wal-Mart in their stylin' Coupe De Ville....

*Cousins to play with and sing in Booster Band with!

*And for Mama, opportunity to steal a trip to the nearest Dirt Cheap to snag some deals:

~organic vegetable broth

~organic apple juice (in a glass jug!)

~organic lemon ginger echinacea drink

~not shown--3 bags of unbleached all purpose flour

All (except for the honey--which was extracted from my Dad's honey bee hives) at 80% off!

What's your favorite place to visit?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Got Wisdom?

Do you ask the Lord for wisdom? Do you seek for it, thirst for it, hunger for it? And yet, does it seem to elude you?

Ladies (and gents), we need it. We need it to make out our grocery list. We need it in our conversations. We need it when we discipline our children. We need it to love our husbands. We need it to encourage other sisters in the Lord. We need it for home school. We need it when we minister. We need it to witness effectively.

So why does it seem so hard for some of us to obtain it? It is, after all, a gift of the spirit. Think about that. It's a gift. Here--I want you to have this, the Lord says. Be blessed.

I've prayed, for months, maybe even years it seems, for God to give me wisdom. I've dug deep in study of the Proverbs. And, finally, I feel like I'm gaining some ground. And let me tell you what made the difference.

One morning I was reading my Proverb for the day (there are 31 of them, for each day of the month) and a portion that I'd read at least 50 times before just jumped out at me. Isn't it cool when God's word does that?

Proverbs 18:1-2~

1. Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.

OK, so #1--you gotta have a desire. #2--you gotta separate yourself. #3--you gotta seek for it.

2. A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.

This is the verse that really stabbed me in the heart. You may not see it, but what it said to me was, Amy, are you just trying to discover your own heart? In other words, what is your *motive* in asking for wisdom? Is it so people cay say, "Wow. That gal's really got a lot of wisdom." Ouch. Sometimes the Lord knows how to cut it down to the chase really quick! The reason He gives gifts is so that we an use them to glorify HIM. Not ourselves.

So that was the beginning of my progress. But He wasn't finished with me yet {He's still not}. I started to apply what I had learned, and to separate myself. Through a series of sermons (don't you love how God uses your pastor to speak to you?), times of prayer, and reading different materials from other wise women, I realized the reason that I was not being filled with wisdom, was because I was too full of other stuff. It was time to separate.

Stuff like:


***Christian fiction (romance novels)


I'm not saying you're sitting in the lap of sin if you take part in these things, but they proved to be a huge hindrance in my life. Facebook is a huge, huge, time-waster. It leads to speculation, gossip, and carnality. If used in the right way, it's wonderful. I had deleted my account but recently re-activated it because there is no other way for me to contact some people that I need to be in contact with. I use it strictly for getting in contact with friends and family.

Please note these things are personal convictions and I'm not slamming anyone who takes part.

Christian fiction--. Y'all, I love me some Francine Rivers and Lauraine Snelling and Dee Henderson. But, really, what does it profit us spiritually? The romantic tales push our female-emotion-mush-loving buttons and we fall in love with the hero and then we put the book down and suddenly we're discontent with our own in-the-flesh husband. Not good.

But I love to read!! So I'm reading books on homemaking, spiritual growth, herbal remedies--things that interest me and that I can apply in a practical way to improve the quality of life for me and my family.

I recently read "A Woman After God's Own Heart" by Elizabeth George and let me say if you have not read it you NEED to read it. It's powerful. Elizabeth suggests that you start 5 "Fat Files", or categories of things that interest you in different areas and collect information on those things. Or in my case, find all the books you can on those things and read them.

And finally, SELF. Me, myself, and I. There is no room for selfishness in the life of a Christian, wife, or mother. True JOY: J= Jesus, O=Others, Y= Yourself. And you know what I've found? When you put God, your husband, and your children {in that order} first, you'll never feel like you're last!! My husband does things daily to let me know that I am FIRST in his heart, as do my children. You should see the bouquets of wildflowers that don my kitchen windowsill.

Since getting rid of some of this "stuff", I feel SO free, y'all! I didn't realize that they were in fact weights that were slowing me down. Did you ever play the tread water game as a kid? We would all go to the deep end of the pool and see who could tread the longest. Can you imagine doing that with weights on your hands? You'd give up a lot sooner and sink to the bottom.

I don't wanna sink. I wanna soar. I wanna fight without anything holding me back. If there was every a time to fight, it's now.

Get wisdom. Use it as a weapon. Fight the good fight.