So he sleeps with it.
Friday, July 31, 2009
I've have been convicted lately of the difference of the important versus the urgent in my everyday life. As a mother, I see most of my duties as urgent. When the dryer goes off, it is urgent that I get the clothes out & put on hangers or they will get wrinkled.
Sometimes, I know I get urgent & important confused. My children are important, not the clothes in the dryer. My husband is important, not posting to my blog.
Do you get these confused also? We are not the only ones. This is an age old problem. The disciples of Jesus also had this confused. In fact, I think Jesus spent most of his time trying to teach the disciples that it was the people and the condition of their heart that was the most important, not the Law. They were still held tightly to the law of the Pharisees. This is what they grew up with & this is all they knew. Jesus did not teach what the Pharisees had been teaching for hundreds of years. They added hundreds of rules & laws to God's law and this is what the Jew was expected to live by. It was hard for the Disciples to change their way of thinking and understand what Jesus wanted of them. He wanted them to stop looking at people through the eyes of the law, but see them through the eyes of God, with love and compassion.
In Mark 10:13-16 parents were bringing their children to Jesus for a blessing. The disciples tried to get them to go away. Children were not worthy to be with Jesus. Jesus did not agree. He understood that these precious little children were very important and he told the disciples to stop & let the children come to him. I'm sure the disciples felt that there were much more urgent matters to attend to, not children.No one knew better than Jesus how precious the souls of these children were and how innocent their faith was.
I have become more conscious of the importance of the heart of my child these last few weeks. My youngest daughter was sick with a fever last week. I so badly wanted to get my laundry done & out of the way, but she wanted me to lay down and watch cartoons with her. I set my laundry down, knowing that it would take me a long time to get all of the wrinkles out, and laid down with her until she went to sleep. This was important to her for me to lay with her while she was sick.
Issues of importance are on a vertical scale. They deal with your relationship with God first and then your relationship with others. They are self sacrificing, they are private and often invisible. It is choosing others over yourself.
Issues of urgency are on a horizontal scale. When addressed they do not enhance a relationship with others. It is putting yourself before others even though we think we are doing it for someone else. They are often simply tasks to perform. There is a time & place for the urgent; but, our world has replaced the important with the urgent. Urgent things when done are usually very visible to to others. When I cook dinner, everyone knows it because they can smell it. When I check email, the sender knows because I respond. But when I pray for that sender, no one knows but me & the Lord.
Do you see the difference? It is the things of importance that really matter. Those urgent things can wait; really, they can. What is the worst thing that will happen if you read with your little girl and don't clean up the kitchen right after dinner? You might have to scrub that pan a little harder. But the reward is that you have filled up your daughter's love tank by stopping the urgent and doing the important with her.
I have never regretted putting aside the urgent for the important. I have always looked back and wondered why I put so much importance on what I thought was urgent and regretted it. I have missed wonderful conversations with my teens because I thought I just had to get that email sent out, or missed out on baby doll tea parties because I was determined to get the whole bathroom clean.
Today, evaluate your day. What is on your list that you would consider urgent and what is there that is important. Usually the important things are not on the list, they are hidden within the list. Don't miss them! Be mindful of what important things that God is placing in your day. You will be greatly blessed for choosing the important and I think you will be amazed at how you will still get the urgent things done also.
I Am Frugal has great idea's on how to save money. But here is her recipe (super easy!) on how to make your own dishwasher detergent for only about $7!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Have you heard of Stellan?
If not, it is probably because you are not on twitter, or you may not be following one of the thousands who follow Stellan's mom.
A few days ago I saw a post about praying for Stellan. Then I saw another one & another one, so I decided I had to check it out. I followed the link and found myself at a blog called My Charming Kids. The authors name is "McMama". It didn't take long for me to find out about who Stellan is and why everyone is praying for him.
He is a 9 month old baby born with a heart defect. If you want, I encourage you to read his story here. Stellan is dying, they just don't know when. He could live for only a few days or he could live for many years. I was most impressed by the honesty & transparency of this mom. She knows her God and knows he is in control, but watching her son suffer is hard & she tells you how hard it is. She tells God how hard it is, but in the same breath, she recognizes God's sovereignty and she loves him for that.
Today McMama wrote an excellent post about their struggle to stay focused on the daily issues at hand. I chose a part of her blog as my "Wednesday Words".
But therein lies the challenge of the Christian walk: It is so daily. Daily I find I must die to myself and refocus my eyes on the Lord. And, here in the the hospital with our son, it has become a moment by moment challenge.
Life is so daily, but so is our God and he has promised to never leave us, but rather to strengthen us & help us to endure the difficulties we will face when we place our hope & trust in him.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
In her post she shares more about her family and a daily habit they have of reading the Bible together as a family 3 times a day after each meal. I thought of my own family and how busy we are, usually rushing through a meal so we can get onto the next appointment or activity. This family, however takes time each day to slow down and chew on the words of the Lord. She has helpful tips on how you also can "Eat this book". I pray you enjoy & are blessed by Ann's words.
Read her post at Holy Experience by Ann Voskamp
For a few years now, I have received a short little email once a day giving me idea's of how I can be generous to my husband. Some are quite creative, others romantic, a lot of just basic stuff we should already be doing. Many I have read and thought, "Now why didn't I think of that!"
It is easy to sign up, just go to her site, The Generous Wife
Here is today's tip...
Clean up one of your husband's messes. Yes, I know they can be aggravating, but how nice it is to have someone care enough to help you out.
... be ready for every good deed. Titus 3:1 NAS
Be generous! Lori <><
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I don’t know who wrote this poem, but I found it in the devotional I was reading this morning, Streams in the Desert(pg 282-283). I thought it was worth passing on.
Is it when all is calm, when waves the victor's palm, and life is one glad psalm of joy and praise?
Nay!, but the time to trust is when the waves beat high, when storm clouds fill the sky, and prayer is one long cry,
O help and save me!
"When is the time to trust?
Is it when friends are true?
Is it when comforts woo, and in all we say and do we meet but praise?
Nay!, but the time to trust is when we stand alone, and summer birds have flown, and every prop is gone, all else but God.
"What is the time to trust?
Is it some future day, when you have tried YOUR way, and learned to trust and pray by bitter woe?
Nay!, but the time to trust is in the moment's need, poor, broken, bruised reed! Poor, troubled soul, make speed to trust thy God.
"What is the time to trust??
Is it when hopes beat high, when sunshine guilds the sky, and joy and ecstasy fill all the heart?
Nay!, but the time to trust is when our joy has fled, when sorrow bows the head, and all is cold and dead, all else but God!" --Anonymous
A. W. Tozer, suggested several ways for the believer to achieve real joy:
1. Cultivate a genuine friendship with God. He is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother.
2.Take time to exercise yourself daily unto godliness. Vow never to be dishonest about sin in your life, never to defend yourself, never to own anything (or let anything own you), never to pass on anything hurtful about others, never to take any glory to yourself.
3. No known sin must be allowed to remain in your life. “Keep short accounts with God”—never allow unconfessed sins to pile up in your life.
4. Set out to build your own value system based on the Word of God. Meditate on the Word; practice the presence of God. Set priorities as you realize what is truly important. It will be reflected in the standard of values you set for yourself.
5. Share your spiritual discoveries with others.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Here she is with her boarding pass. Scott had her at DFW airport at 6:30 this morning. He just got back from Kids Camp yesterday so getting up & out so early was not easy!
There are 12 others going with her. They are looking forward to ministering to the people of the Appalachia's. It is no secret that they are a poor people in great need.
Here is the group circled up & getting instructions from Jason their Youth pastor. These kids all had to raise over $2,000 for this trip.
This trip is actually starting to close out our summer. It has been busy & hectic since the first week of June.
While Ashley & Morgan were gone to Estes Park, CO we took Sarah to Garden Valley, TX. She had a 2 day training before we went to Alaska for 10 days. She had worked very hard since about March to raise her money & make the arrangements for the trip. We took her on Sunday & they trained Monday & Tuesday and then flew out on Wednesday. She enjoyed it so much that she now wants to be a missionary in Alaska. Here is her story of her experience in Alaska. www.alaskatrip09.blogspot.com
She also has some great pictures on her photography blog, Through My Eyes.
3 days after Morgan got back, she packed up again & got in SUV's with several other 8 th grade girls & 3 counselors from church and drove to Buena Vista Colorado. These girls were on the 8th grade leadership team called Kenosis. This trip is meant to be a "thank you" for all the hard work they did through out the year in the church. We really saw Morgan's heart grow in service to others this past year. It is real important to her to do all she can to encourage and help others around her. So nice to see that in our children.
Morgan got in on Sunday & Scott, Sarah & Ben left for Children's camp on Monday morning. This is Scott & Sarah's second year to go as counselors but Ben's first year to go as a camper. He had a blast. He was so busy he barely had time to change his clothes or socks. The smell in his suitcase was proof!
Here is Scott with his group of 4th grade boys. Ben was in his cabin, but in a different group. They had lots of fun at the camp. There was plenty to keep them busy in between their Bible studies.
Here are pictures of Ben climbing the rock wall. They had a nerd prom one night in which Ben dressed up quite well for. Scott did too, but those pictures haven't been released yet & don't you know I will be posting those also! Sarah made a very good nerd also.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Logos Bible Software is celebrating the launch of their new online Bible by giving away 72 ultra-premium print Bibles at a rate of 12 per month for six months. The Bible giveaway is being held at Bible.Logos.com and you can get up to five different entries each month! After you enter, be sure to check out Logos and see how it can revolutionize your Bible study.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Wednesday Words is a meme that I am starting on my blog. I will post scripture or quotes that inspire me or impress me. It could be something my kids say or my pastor, who knows. I won't comment on the words, I will just let them speak for them self.
If you would like to participate, grab my image & link it back to my blog. Leave me a comment letting me know you are linking me. I would love to see what words have impressed you or what inspires you to be a better wife & mom.
Today's quote is by Anne Sullivan.
"I am beginning to suspect all elaborate systems of education. They seem to me to be built upon the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think. Whereas if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better, if less showily. Let him go and come freely, let him touch real things and combine his impressions for himself instead of sitting indoors at a little round table, while a sweet-voiced teacher suggests that he builds a stone wall with his wooden blocks or plant straw trees in bead flower-pots. Such teaching fills the mind with artificial associations that must be got rid of, before the child can develop independent ideas out of actual experiences."
- Anne Sullivan, tutor to Helen Keller
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
19 years ago today I was getting a manicure, packing my suitcase & getting my things ready to go to the church for my wedding. I was a very young 18 year old girl, madly in love with a 21 year old man.
Looking back, I can't believe we married so early. It was all the Lord though because neither one of us were looking to get married that early. God is so good & faithful.
The past 19 years has brought many many good times & it's own fair share of difficult times too. We have been blessed with 10 children. We never dreamed God would allow us so many. We thought maybe 5 or 6, but He doubly blessed us!
He has strengthened our faith over the years through various trials that have in turn also strengthened our marriage. As we have grown closer to the Lord, we have grown closer to each other. With each turn in the road we have seen his hand in our life as He is working to draw us into a more intimate relationship with him. Our marriage here on earth is such a great picture of our heavenly marriage with Jesus Christ our bridegroom.
Scott is such an amazing man. I could not have dreamed up a better husband and father than him. He has kept our family going through extremely difficult circumstances. When the bank account is empty and there is nothing he can do he is on his knees seeking the Lord's direction.
When our children have rebelled, Scott is up early in the morning seeking the Lord for answers and strength to not strangle the rebellious one. :o) He is so good at sitting back and observing our children, learning their bent & strengths. He parents according to their personalities and wins their heart everytime. His children respect and honor him.
I call him the fun one in the house. If is were not for him, I don't think we would ever have fun. He is spontaneous where I have to plan everything out.
He is still very romantic, he likes telling others that our honeymoon isn't over. He takes me out every Monday night for dinner and just a time of relaxing discussion with no kids to interrupt.
He has a passion for the Lord and the scriptures that inspires me daily. He gets so excited when the Lord reveals new truths to him and I love it when he shares that with me. He loves meeting with other fathers and encouraging them in their walk with the Lord.
Today on our anniversary, he is at Children's Camp with our church. They needed another man to go, so he went. He is hanging out with 10 4th grade boys in the 100 degree Texas heat. He just sent me a text telling me he loves me & is getting a killer tan. :o) I miss him while he is gone, but he is there being available to the Lord to be used in those young boys lives. We are praying that at least one will trust Christ as his Savior and that Scott can be the one who prays with him.
Happy Anniversary Babe! Hoping for 19 more years...at least.
How much do you know about the origins of the names of the constellations? I didn't know much, except that I thought that it was astrology and christians had no business looking to the stars for their future. There is evidence of the scriptures and the existance of God all over the stars. Many of the names of the constalations have Hebrew origins.
I have found a really neat website called Classical Astronomy. It has some really good links telling us what is happening in the sky today. They have a newsletter that keeps you updated. It is geared towards homeschoolers, but anyone can subscribe. The newsletter is called The Classical Astronomy Update. They also have a blog, though it doesn't seem to be updated very often, but it still had a lot of good information available. Also, from the website is a link to their christian curriculum, Signs and Seasons.
Here are some more Astronomy Websites
(author of Exploring Creation through Astronomy)
Monday, July 13, 2009
As a mom, I often yearn for quiet. I don't want to talk to anyone, I don't want to tell someone to do their chores, I don't want to listen to another story, I don't want to answer the phone, I just want some quiet.
I love this verse in Zephaniah 3:17.
He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
We mothers give so much of ourselves & the precious reminder that our God takes great delight in us, and will rejoice over us & quiets us with his love...how beautiful that is.
It makes me want to just sit & meditate on his promises. That is where my strength & joy comes from. The beauty of His creation brings me great peace, yet energizes me. Here are some more promises that bring me to a place of peace & rest.
Psalm 139:5, "You hem me in, behind & before; you have laid your hand upon me.
Habakkuk 3:19, "The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights."
Psalm 7:10, "My shield is God Most High (El Elyon), who saves the upright in heart."
Psalm 16:8, "I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."
A friend of mine's husband is a very talented flutist. Click the link to hear Mark play a very beautiful rendition of Be Thou my Vision & let your soul be quieted.
Have you heard or maybe even said this?
"God will never give you more than you can bear."
I'm sure I have said it to many people, trying to encourage them. I know that I have had many say it to me, especially when they find out I have 10 kids. But, others have said it to me as encouragement. For years I wondered where that phrase was in scripture. I had never read it, but that doesn't mean it isn't in there. The scripture that I think that phrase came from is 1 Corinthians 10:13.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (NIV)
This doesn't say that God will not give more than we can bear, it ways that he will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear.
I have decided that life is more than I can bear. If you have been a believer very long, you know what I mean. There is too much that happens in our life that we just can't handle on our own. I try to handle it on my own & every time I fail & make a big mess of things. We must depend on God for our strength & wisdom to bear life.
6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
The parts of life that we find imbearable are often tests that God has brought our way to purify our faith, or perfect our character(James 1:2-4) or to keep us from sin (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). But most of the time, we don't see it that way. Or maybe you have been at this for so long and you are just really tired of the "purifying" and you are tempted to just give in & do things the worlds way. I have been there too many times.
When we are faced with difficulties we are tempted to to deal with our problems in a fleshly manner, not by the spirit. We must learn to distinguish between temptations & trials. Here are a few points that Warren Wiersbe points out in one of his Ole Testament "Be" Series, "Be Obediant"
Temptations come from the fleshly desires within us while trials come from the Lord who has a purpose to fulfill. (James 1:12-16)
Temptations are used by the Devil to bring out the worst in us, while trials are used by the Holy Spirit to bring out the best in us.
Temptations seem logical while trials seem very unreasonable. Why did God give Abraham a son & then ask him to kill him? (Genesis 22)
Life is hard. Get over it! Does that sound harsh? That is what Paul preached all the time. But the best part is that he also preached how to get over it. Life and all that it entails is not going away. As long as I live I will have difficulties. But the Word has equipped me to not just endure the hard times, but to be strengthened by them so that I can live joyously through them. We also need to know that God will never allow a test that we are not ready for. He won't ever say, Oops! I didn't mean for Dana to go through that yet!" If that happened, he would not be sovereign.
Look back up to 1 Corinthians 10:13. Paul also tells them that God is faithful & He will provide a way out so that we can stand up under it. He is Jehovah-Jireh, he will see to it that when we are in the midst of a trial or temptation, he will provide a way to endure it.
His grace is sufficient
He will bear our burdens
He is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine.
Life is more than I can bear - but He is able.
Is your faith being tested? We are in the midst of the most difficult economic tragedies that our generation has experienced. Job loss & foreclosure is just a part of the everyday news now. It has hit everyone. As a believer, how have you responded to the difficulties in your life? Are you complaining & asking God "why", or are you reading His Word, and asking God, "What can I learn from this that will make me look more like you?"
Faith does not demand explanations, faith rests on His promises. - Warren Wiersbe
10. What do you drive? (A 15 passenger van and no I don't need a special license to drive it, just a pillow in the seat to help me see over the steering wheel.)
9. Where do they all sleep?(in beds, & yes, they all have their own bed)
8. How much money do you spend on groceries?(A lot! Especially now that we have 4 teenagers that eat more than the adults. We are considering starting a fund raiser to help with the rising costs of food. Donations can be made to our paypal account!)
7. Do your kids ever fight?(Why do people think that big homeschool families don't fight? Of course they do & sometimes with fists & bad words.)
6. How big is your house?(When I'm cleaning it it way too big, when Josh is playing his guitar it isn't big enough)
5. Are you Morman or Catholic? (No, but we know some & they are really nice)
4. Are you going to get fixed? (Why, nothing is broken)
3. Are they all yours or is this a blended family? (Yes, I will claim them most of the time. If you mean did I give birth to them all, yes. No multiples, adoptions, or drugs. Just getting pregnant the old fashioned way...one husband & one wife)
2. Are you done?(with what - having babies? If we were, why would we tell you? We like to keep people guessing.)
And the all time most frequently asked
(& most stupid)
question we get is...
(Yes, & we finally found something we are good at!)
Since I have began blogging here about EVERYTHING, I thought I would repost a few things I wrote a couple of years ago that helped to explain who I am & why I am the way I am.
The picture above is of my family. If you are trying to count, there are 11 children & 2 parents.
Here are a few facts about us:
- There is only 1 mom & 1 dad & 1 marriage of 22 yrs (as of 07.14.09).
- There are no multiples, babies were born one at a time with no infertility treatments. Just one at a time the old fashioned way.
- 5 babies have been born at home & 6, in the hospital.
- We are not rich as the world describes rich, but w feel that we are much more fortunate than many whose bank accounts out weigh ours.
- We homeschool and have for 17 years with many more to go.
- We love Mexican food, Chinese food & Italian food and of course hamburgers & pizza!
You can find me on:
You can also find me writing at JoyMoms.com
If you have any other questions about us please refer to our post called, "Top 10Questions we get asked."
I have found a few websites that I like to use in reviewing music my kids listen to, TV shows that watch & movies they see. I have teenagers who go to the movies with friends so I am not always sitting there with them when they see a movie now. But I want to know what they are seeing & if it is appropriate for Believers to see.
SCREEN IT! is a site that I just found and enjoy. One Million Moms calls it the “best parental resource out there” The reviews are free, but there is a membership section of the website.
Another site I often check out is Plugged In. This is a Christian site so the reviews often come from a Biblical Worldview. I appreciate that you can also get reviews of music & TV shows on Plugged In.
So what is your family seeing this summer? You have to be very choosy.
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is a popular movie to see, but do you know what is in it? See what Plugged In & Screen It have to say.
What about Transformers:Revenge of the Fallen? This is a big one among the teenagers. It is rated PG-13, so is it safe? Read the reviews & decide for yourself.
A few weeks ago, Scott & I went to see the movie UP, the Pixar movie that came out in May. This movie was surprisingly good. We were impressed and are planning on renting the DVD when it comes out so the kids can see it. It had a great message to the movie; In the end, our things mean nothing, but our relationships with others will mean a great deal. Plugged In had a good review that I felt gave a good picture of what the movie was all about. Read their review of UP here. Here is the review by Screen IT.
Enjoy your summer!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
This blog is still under construction, but my goal is to have all my posts here.
We'll see how it goes.
I do speak to mothers groups and womens groups, so if you are inquiring about having me come and speak to your group please put "Speaking" in the subject line.
I have another website that is just for our ministry. You can visit there and see what topics I have spoken on in the past. click; Living Stones Ministry
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Monday, July 6, 2009
“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”
Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t know what to do? No possible solution was in sight, you could see no way out.
Your husband came home and told you that he is not happy any more and is moving out.
Your son is hanging with the wrong group of kids and is walking towards trouble if something happens.
You lost your job six months ago and still can’t find one. The mortgage is behind and so are all the other bills.
What do you do?
In Matthew 6:25 Jesus tells us, “Do not worry about your life”. Obviously this tendency to worry about what will happen is not a new thing. It began with the first sin in the garden and still continues today. When uncertainty of our future creeps in we get nervous. We can’t see how this is going to work out. Jehoshaphat struggled with this also. Their lives were at stake here. The lives of the people of Judah, a whole nation were at risk. What was he to do? He knew his God, so he went to him for help.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs to into it and is safe.
But seek first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
It is so much easier to worry about our life than to not worry. It takes effort to not worry. We have to think about it. We have to choose to not worry. When Jehoshaphat first got word that the armies were coming he was alarmed. I’m sure for a little while(it doesn’t say how long) he panicked & thought, “What are we going to do?” But then he “resolved to inquire of the LORD.” He made a choice, he thought about it, he decided that he would seek the Lord for wisdom and guidance. He prayed and fasted and he still didn’t know what to do, but he trusted that his God did know what to do. Don’t think for a minute that this was easy for him to do this. Faith is not easy, but the rewards are more than you can stand.
Jehoshaphat had a very happy ending to this story. HIs armies didn’t even have to fight. Instead they worshiped God in a loud voice in song.
“Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.”
Please note that this was their song BEFORE God had delivered them. That is another blog post all together.
The short ending to this story is the enemies basically destroyed each other. Judah never had to raise a sword in defense. But they were able to take away a bounty of plunder. In fact there was so much equipment, clothing & other articles that it took them 3 days to collect it all.
They did not worry, they praised their God. They sought Him first and trusted that He would provide a way out. We have much to learn from these people. We live in very scary time right now and our future doesn’t always look good. But know that if you are a follower of Christ, your future is glorious!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
It is that time of year when we are planning for the next school year. If you have a child in Jr High or going into High school, you are about to walk into new territory if it is your first time.
I have found a website that has helped me as I plan what my high school kids need to do in their last few years of school. Home Scholar is a very useful site that I encourage you to wander around on.
Here is an article she wrote to help you know what courses your high school kids will need.
One of the key convictions of homeschooling is that parents know the best way to educate their children. A parent's knowledge about their student's learning style can help them in selecting the courses they should take in high school. Homeschooling in high school is very efficient and there is time to give your children an education that has breadth and depth. Here is a list of recommended courses to take in high school. Courses that colleges look for in their applicants. As you read it, think about how you can incorporate these subjects into your homeschool.To read the rest of Lee Binz article go to Home Scholar. com