Friday, November 28, 2008

Fabulous Fun Fridays/ Just As I Am

It had been one of those days! 

Luke was a baby, number four,  the Speedy Gonzalez of our family!

The church we attended at that time had Wednesday night services.

Getting four children fed, dressed, and prepared for the public was quite the chore on some

One evening I didn't have time to get Caleb (2) as ready as I would have liked. I had a standard.......perfection........yep it was pretty much perfection that I was after.

This particular day it just wasn't coming together for me, but we were going to church regardless.

I dropped Caleb off at the toddler nursery whispering to the teacher as I left the room, "Caleb would like to sing 'Just As I Am' tonight."

I didn't know it then, but the teacher didn't understand which song I said so she kept trying to get him to tell her which song he would like to sing during his class time.

He just kept looking at her with those big baby blues like "I don't know what you are talking about."

After church his teacher wanted to know which song it was that Caleb wanted to sing to which I replied " 'Just As I Am'. Did you look at him? The poor child was rushed from the table to the car with a barely wet cloth that only removed the biggest remains of his dinner from his face, hair, hands, and clothing. Tonight he was arriving "Just As He Is"......... We both laughed!

Today I look back and marvel that I ever got to church on time! And usually my kids looked perfect.........(well when I still decided what they wore and such)! I probably looked a bit frazzled.......because I was! 

Hope your Thanksgiving was amazing! 

Be blessed with smiles, laughter, and many joys!

Love to all,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fabulous Fun Fridays/ Josiah's Haircut

I guess this is Josiah week.
I love the memory of the day I took him to see Ray, the barber.
First of all, let me introduce you to Ray. He is the most gentle, kind, loving man you ever met. My boys really love him. He had to retire from cutting hair, but we all still adore him!
When Josiah was you all can picture him..... : ) (November 18 post)
I took him to see Ray to get his hair cut.
Ray was always so good to give the boys a piece of Super Bubble Bubblegum after their
haircut was finished. Ray stored the gum in a little round tin on the counter. After Josiah's haircut that day, Ray reached for the tin, opened it and let Josiah take his piece of gum. Ray started to put the lid on the tin when I said, "Josiah, what do you say?" He looked right up at Ray with those charming blue eyes and said, "Oh yeah, Ray, can my momma have a piece?"
It had not even occurred to the child that I wanted him to say "thank you!"

Well, girls, I got a piece of gum that day! I happen to love Super Bubble!!!!!

Oh that boy can make me smile!!!!!

Have an awesome weekend filled with bubbling laughter, sweet smiles, and a multitude of joy!

I love you all!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Balloon Bouquet

It had been gray for awhile.

Days had been dreary........wintry, sullen.......

Josiah, three, played about my feet, sunshine naturally beaming from his cherub face.

Giggles and smiles spilled from his joyful heart.

Our friends at the nursing home needed some of his rays.....some of his joy.

We would share.

We put his little blue hat on his head.........(the hat had been passed down from grandpa. Grandpa had worn it at the age of three...for Easter. It was a little man's hat that fit just perfect on my little man's head.).....We found his little red sweater and wrestled both arms in..............his blue eyes twinkled..........we were going to visit our friends.........

We stopped by the flower shop........balloons............that would add to our gift of joy..........
like the bow on top of a beautiful package.........

A big bouquet please...........mylars............sunshiny, bright, colorful balloons.........

Every balloon had a message......

"God Loves You!"

"This is the Day the Lord Has Made!"

"God Bless You!"

"I Love You!"

We got the biggest bouquet we could and my little man........

Josiah's smile grew bigger, his eyes brighter as he gazed at the colorful cloud of mylar above his head....

Long faces instantly turned happy as we entered the nursing home.........Josiah handed balloons to the residents........ he sat on laps..........offering big wet kisses to time worn cheeks.......followed by a gargantuan hug, then we would move on to the next pair of open arms..........

Sonshine went before us and behind us.........giggles, momentary happiness filled the home.........

Our joy doubled as we loved on our friends............

One of our friends was losing her sight......blindness overtaking her ability to see......

Several days passed.

One day I returned to her bedside, to visit, pray, and love on her.........

The balloon we had given her days before hung on the door right in front of her bed.

It was very bright, colorful, displaying the message, "God Loves You!" in very big letters......

"Honey"..........I knelt in close to speaking softly........"I see you have your balloon on the door.......the balloon that Josiah gave you..........."

She squeezed my hand and a tear fell from her eye........."Yes, dear, it will be the last thing I see on this earth. I look at it every morning. When my eyes no longer see, I will remember what it says."

I could not swallow the lump in my throat...........tears freely fell as I left her side.......

I had been totally unaware of how much that balloon would mean to her......

It was just a balloon...........

Josiah doesn't remember that day..........

And our friends are all gone now..........

The Lord speaks in so many ways.........we do not always have the blessing of knowing how He has spoken through us.........I think we will be surprised when we get to heaven by the times others have heard Him through something we have done, said, or the way we have lived........

We will be asking Him, "When did I.........?"

He will be answering, "When you did it unto the least of these...."

And we will enter into the joy of our Master.

And sometimes He gives us glimpses while we are still here......


Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy God

God is angry, isn't He?

He is ready to find a flaw that can never be corrected and squeeze it out of me until it is no more. Once that flaw is well hidden away, He discovers another one the size of Mount St. Helen's and He begins processing again, twisting, turning, challenging, forcing, hating the flaw, discontent until it is out of sight.........gone......forever.

I have seen my Lord this way in the past. 

He has been unhappy with me, wondering why I continue to fall short.

The mural painted on the coffee shop wall made me stop to ponder...........

An image of a happy Jesus was brushed upon the wall in pastels, running, skipping, laughing, singing with children....lots of children. They were having a great time.........

I have not seen very many pictures of Jesus laughing........

I have not had very many thoughts of Him laughing either...........have you?

The fruit of the Spirit is: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control...............

Did Paul leave anger out?

How about disappointment?

Fruit is produced when we are grafted into the vine........Jesus..........."it is to my Father's glory that you bear much fruit"

The fruit represents His Spirit...........His Divine Nature and Character........

He is Love:  1 John 4:7-8 "Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because GOD IS LOVE."

He is Joy:  John 15:11 "I have told you this so that MY JOY may be in you and that your joy may be complete." 

He is Peace: Ephesians 2:14 "For He Himself is OUR PEACE......."

He is Patient: Romans 15:5 "Now may the GOD OF PATIENCE and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

He is Kind: Titus 3:4 " But when the KINDNESS and love of God our Saviour appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy."

He is Good: Psalm 136:1/ Psalm 145:9
"Give thanks to the Lord, for HE IS GOOD. His love endures forever."
"The LORD IS GOOD to all; He has compassion on all He has made."

He is Faithful: Lamentations 3:22-23 "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassion's never fail. They are new every morning; GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS."

He is Gentle: Matthew 11:28-29 "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I AM GENTLE  and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." 

He has Self-Control: Isaiah 53:7/Matthew 26:63
 "He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth."

"But Jesus remained silent."

He is the fruit of the Spirit.

The Great I AM is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Beautiful God! Joyful Redeemer! Patient beyond understanding! Providing Peace! You are kindness that leads to repentance! Faithful to the finish line! Gentle Lamb! Lover of my soul! Master of the Universe! How great is our Happy God!

Jesus is the Bridegroom preparing for a wedding. The Bride has been purchased, a feast is being prepared. He is looking forward to that day when we will stand by His side! His pure one! Made pure by His sacrifice! Precious Redeemer! 

Glory to the one who saves! He is rejoicing over me! He is smiling..............mansions rise in His presence that will soon be a holy habitation for the ones He came to save! The day is approaching..........anticipation arises in His heart! My heart beats faster with the thought!

When I stand before Him there will be the most beautiful smile on His lovely face I have ever seen. With a gleam in His eye, He will wrap me up in His holy embrace and I will see Him as He is...........not with a scornful scowl, but with a glorious smile.....the smile reserved for His beloved.......

Hasten the day, Lord!

I long to see Your happy, joyful, peaceful beautiful face!

ps. I love the fruit of the Spirit. They are wonderful virtues that I long to have in my life. The one that has been blessing me so much lately is Patience. God is so patient. He has proven His patience with me in various ways, demonstrated through various ones. I long for a patient heart, desiring to follow in His steps........Thank you, Lord Jesus for patience.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fabulous Fun Fridays/ Creamy Down Under

We think we will never know those cute little things our children say, but somehow they escape. But there are a few things that are truly unforgettable!!!!

A friend of mine shared one of those moments. 

Her little girl was just learning to read when her little brother was born. My friend was a Desitin momma. You know the kind, the baby got Desitin every diaper change. (Desitin is a diaper rash cream).

One day her little girl was watching her momma change her little brother's diaper when she saw the word "creamy" on the tube of Desitin. She asked, "Momma, does it come in "crunchy" too?"

May your day be full of fun, smiles, laughter, and many joys!

Sweet blessings, 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Preparation For the King's Chamber

Sarah invited us to her home to celebrate her birthday.

She prepared a meal for us. It wasn't fancy, but so delicious, simple, filling, delightful. Friendships were rekindled as we, twelve ladies,  broke bread enjoying her delicious chili.

The movie, One Night With The King began to play as we gathered around the television. Our hearts were united as we watched Queen Esther being prepared for her king and then plead for her nation.........with determination, wisdom, and grace. We all wanted to be Esther. Her dresses were very pretty! She was very pretty! However every outward appearance paled compared to the  inner strength she so ravishingly demonstrated.

Next, Sarah opened the book, Finding Favor With The King by Tommy Tenney and read a few pages. The pages described the chamberlain who had prepared Esther for her night with the king. 

"We don't succeed by doing things our way to please 'me, myself, and I'. Success comes when we heed the wisdom passed down from the King's chamberlains about what most pleases the King." (T. Tenney)

Ointments described seemed to invite their fragrance into the room as we listened to the delicate words..........Esther was in the finest spa of the day.........and we all wanted to be her!!! But it was so much more than that.......Esther  surrendered to the King's ways........She wanted to please the King so she willingly bowed to the wisdom of one who knew Him well, knew Him best.....She was preparing for an encounter with the encounter that would make history turn and take a bow, so she listened to one who had been in the King's most inner courts. One who had captured His secrets.

Tears fell from Sarah's eyes as she read the words. She looked into our eyes......each one had gathered to celebrate Sarah...........and she was celebrating us...... thanking us through tears for being like chamberlains in her life like the one described from the pages she had just shared....... the one who prepared Esther to meet her king. She was gratefully celebrating that we had been mentors, friends, godly examples for her........Our hearts were humbled.......we were saying "when did we?"..........

Her gratefulness was demonstrated as she took an oil, made to be an exact representation of the anointing oil used in Bible times she had saved for this special occasion, bowing over each one of us with prayers of blessing. Tears fell, fragrance filled the room, humility danced in our hearts, wonder she prayed over each one of us.....

She turned to me with oil in her hand, tears in her eyes, a question in her heart, "Would you anoint me?" 

I took the oil from her hand, placed a drop on her face, and began to pray as we all gathered around her..........embracing the beautiful young woman she had become........and we all wanted to be like her!

A hush settled in the room as if an unseen stranger had come to celebrate the beauty of the moment with us...........the King of glory........He had found His chamber.......

Gifts were shared......... beautiful photos Sarah had taken, given to each one.........verses chosen through prayer carefully selected for each special guest inscribed on the back.

Sarah was 22.........

Today is Sarah's 23rd birthday...........

A year has passed, but a memory is etched in my heart, treasured, archived.........I will take the gift of honor Sarah gave me that night into an eternal chamber prepared for me.

We all left Sarah's home knowing that we had been in the chambers of our King......... a fragrance escorting us home.........anointing, blessings, gifts, love, gratitude, beauty.........abundance of grace..........

Isn't that we can expect in the chamber of our King...........

Happy Birthday, Sarah!!!!


Esther 2:15 & 17 "When the turn came for go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the harem had suggested. 
(17) And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her.  Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sowing and Reaping


Casting seed on all kinds of soil hoping to find a fertile field where roots will be nurtured, plants will thrive, fruit will form.........I pray while scattering.........


I sow believing I will reap, in season, expecting a rich harvest.

In due time. 

Weariness threatens my step......... 

Storms mock my hope........... 

Thirst threatens my endurance.....

Is a harvest possible here, Lord? Am I wasting effort? Believing for the impossible? Expecting foolishly? Waiting, investing, hoping...........will I ever have the reward of seeing what I have believed?

You reward faith! 

You bless efforts..........

You equip fertilize, provide seed for sowing, bringing rain to nourish the seed..........

I feel yoked with  You in this venture........

You do not waste time........

Glimpses........You encourage me with glimpses......... You give me a peek into a heart once appearing barren, now beginning to sprout........

It is enough for me.....I tighten the strap on my bag of seed and set out on another lap......

Scattering, praying, believing.............

Mockers come........I speak Your Word...........

Storms come........I persevere.........

Doubt comes...........I remember the glimpse..........

I pick up my pace......

I will continue to believe until I see...........what my heart is believing for..........

Should I die sowing without seeing...........I will die believing......... and expecting a harvest.......


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fabulous Fun Fridays/ My Momma Says!

Our fourth child, Luke, came into the world with the idea that he was going to get something accomplished.  He didn't waste any time. He began to crawl at breakneck speed at four and a half months. He would disappear in our house so fast and we would frantically have to look for him. 

He loved to hide.  Even at his very young age he could find a place to crawl into, wait silently, and enjoy our panic as we searched for him. He would be listening as we frantically called his name. He would be so very still and then burst into a rapture of giggles when we finally discovered his hiding place. After he was found he would laugh and roll all over the floor. He never hid in the same place twice!

I was very thin in those days, in the best of shape, because keeping up with Luke was a daily workout! Did I mention that he was our fourth child? He could have kept me on the run all by his little lonesome..........but there were three others that kept me on the go as well!

Luke really was an amazing child, agile, and so coordinated! We still marvel at some of his tricks. 

That was Luke in action.

He was also very vocal! He could scream...........really scream! He could twist my nerves like a pretzel. I would say, "Give him what he wants! Please stick it in his mouth! Quick!"
I never professed to be the best mother in the world. I was not thinking of my child at that time, nor the possibility that this could develop a very selfish and spoiled nature! I was thinking only of myself........I needed him to be I had a serious breakdown!

(He fared very well, regardless. He is a very compassionate and thoughtful young man. Could we call this grace? Thank you, Jesus!)

He really was a good kid! Even at the age of two or so he was obedient and felt that everyone should be! He would say to everyone that came along, "My momma says!" Over and over that was his defense! He thought if he added "my momma says" to everything he wanted it would validate his wishes. Sometimes it worked, but sometimes it was obvious that he attached my approval when it in fact I would not have said so. For instance:

"You cannot go outside barefoot. There is snow on the ground."

His reply, "My momma says.........!"

"You cannot have ice cream because it is almost supper time."

His reply, "My momma says.........!"

"You have to go to bed now."

"My momma says.........!"

"You need to eat your green beans,"  I said.

That time he set his gaze on my face, his beautiful green eyes outlined with the most gorgeous lashes you have ever seen and said, "My momma says........!"

To which I replied, "I AM the momma!"

There is a spiritual application in this story! Really there is! I have thought about it so many times! What do you see? 

Luke was so much fun to raise! Oh, I was busy, for sure! I couldn't ever say that I was bored! There was plenty of adventure in our house. We called Caleb and Luke "Chip and Dale" and they made life very interesting! I could tell you stories! Some great stories! Another Friday will come and I will share some of them. I think they will make you smile.

For now, have a great weekend filled with many joys and smiles! Blessings to all!

I love you, Sisters!!!!!


How Many Praises Will I Sing?

The message was whispered to my heart at a baby shower during a prayer of blessing.

Maddilyn Rose is less than a month old and the Lord has already counted the words that will be on her tongue before she has spoken one of them. 

Psalm 139:4 "You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord."

He knows. 

He has counted the times we will speak His name. 


He knows when we will sing our next song of praise.

I know, I never thought of it this way before either. I always thought that verse meant two seconds before I speak, He will know what I am going to say.  If it were just that it would be baffling to me considering I don't always know what I am going to say!

How can I write? I am as overwhelmed as the Psalmist was.......

He knows the words I will speak. He has already counted all the praises that I will bring Him in my lifetime.  

He can hardly wait to hear my next song of praise! Words of adoration that spill from the overflow of my heart. He is bending His ear, listening.......

When my lips refuse to voice the message of my heart, He still hears. He listens to the song my heart is singing! 

Before I could speak, He counted sweet nothings, those lovely baby sounds as praise to Him. 

How He loves our praise! 

How much rejoicing will there be in heaven? More than we can imagine.  More than we have ever seen or heard. Our imagination cannot dream big enough to describe our future praise. 

For now we praise what we see in part, but then we will praise with unhindered vision as we gaze on the one who is holy.

All the praise that I will ever give Him will never be as much as He deserves! 

I have long forgotten praises from the past, but He was treasuring them before I spoke them. 

Our all-knowing God...........He knows our hearts and listens to the message they are beating. I pray that my heartbeat will be in rhythm with His........and many praises and songs and prayers will flow from my heart to my tongue. 

He already knows.........

So I ask, would you give me grace to praise you more, Lord? Moments spent in praise are never wasted. They are moments You treasure for eternity. Oh, for grace, to praise You more!

Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Rejoicing with you~

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Exploring Foundations

Fall stopped by for a visit yesterday. 
Oranges, yellows, and reds refused to be still but soared on a gentle breeze.
Leaves dismissed from their posts skipped and danced across the ground where little bare feet used to tread. The sun kissed the maples and oaks that were wrapping a mantle of glory around the hills.

My aunt and I were in the country exploring places that few visit these days. We were back in the country on gravel roads by crooked streams that laced hills and trees. It was beautiful!

Aunt Virginia was taking me back in time exploring old home places where my ancestors used to live. Most of the houses and outbuildings have been gone for many years, but memories of them were very much alive in my aunt's mind. She delighted in sharing timeless tales with me.

One of the farms was at one time located in the most beautiful place. It was my favorite location. I don't know what it looked like back then, but today the farmhouse would sit among the most amazing surroundings.

 Most of the families had ten children. Every place we went was so quiet and peaceful now with only the leaves whispering among themselves, but I was imagining another day. A day when many voices were heard, singing, whistling, shouting, whispering, teaching, praying.......

Back to my aunt's memories.........

Story after story was passed on to me. Stories of ways of doing things, so different from today. Growing, processing, and storing food for long winters. An art somehow lost.

Later we poured over photographs that revealed faces of long ago. Character and natures were matched with the images as my aunt shared memories etched in her mind about each one.

Some were described as gentle and quiet. They were not weak as some would suppose, but very strong. They ruled their dispositions with a gentle nature. The meek.

Some were dominant, vocal, opinionated, and you might say stubborn. They were allowed to think that they had total control by the gentle, quiet ones. When it came down to the fine print, the gentle ones had the final word.

One of my great grandmother's was named Mattie Etta, but she didn't like the name Etta so she changed her middle name to Hattie. (She was one of the strong-willed ones.) Her children used to tease her in later years when she would do or say funny things (she was a funny one!) by saying, "Now, Mattie Hattie!"

I learned about Model A stories, one-room school house stories, chores and play stories. I learned that my Grandpa would go upstairs where his children slept, tuck them in and kiss them goodnight every night. That really touched my heart. I pictured him bending over their tiny little frames, assuring them of his love.

The physical structures of the farms that we saw were, for the most part, gone. I learned of one great-grandpa that had built an amazing barn, very large, on the cutting edge for its day. The barn is now gone, the whole  farm is under a lake that was built a few years ago. A barn built to last, gone forever. Even the foundation is permanently hidden.

Foundations are so important, but it is only the spiritual ones that will be eternal. Disciplines, natures, convictions were passed down in our family but houses, barns, things are gone. 

I love this scripture:

"We are God's fellow workers: you are God's field, God's building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it. For no man can lay a foundation than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet as though by fire. Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"

There is a foundation which can be laid, Jesus Christ, which can never be destroyed. 

The next time I travel those country roads I am likely to find the hills wrapped in a different season, blanketed with snow, dressed in the grandeur of spring, or basking in the summer sun. Whatever season I visit, wonderings of what used to be will rise to meet me. 

I wish I could reach back to the days when there was more among the shadow of the trees. I want to see what used to be. I want to meet those who lived here, ask them questions, judge their character for myself......taking ahold of all that was good, excellent, worthy of praise. Getting a grip on the baton of the past and passing it into the future. 

A sadness comes over me as the reality settles in that just as season pass, the season to touch those generations is gone. Some of them will meet me in eternity, some I will not be able to find. Like their homesteads, not even a foundation left to explore.

Our little explore has reminded me that there is only one thing that really matters:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace. 

This world is not our home, we are just passing through. 
A home awaits us, with an eternal view.

Blessings, dear friends!