It’s a beautiful day…

Yesterday was such a nice day here in Texas. I just had to get out and capture a few photos of my sweet ones before we see temps in the teens tomorrow. Here are a few of my favorites:

I’ve been pretty quiet lately on here…we’ve got a lot of big decisions to be making and we’re still trying to process them. If you know us, and think of it, we would sure appreciate your prayers.
Blessings to you all!

Giving our everything to the Lord

In our class at church, we’ve been studying the book of Acts. This past week, we looked at Acts 4. Toward the end of the chapter, it talks about the people who believe in Christ selling everything they own and coming together, so that everyone’s needs can be provided for. They gave it all up for the better of the whole.

Acts 32-27: The Believers Share Their Possessions
 32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

While we were reading the chapter, I was reminded of a book I recently read with Ashley about sharing. The book talked about the importance of sharing with others, but it also introduced the concept of putting away/keeping out of reach things that are very special to us that we want to make sure others don’t break or misuse. Though arguably a valid solution for teaching our children, I have to consider what things I hold so dear to my heart that I’m not willing to put out there, to share, to risk that they get mistreated. I guess we should probably appropriately name those things our “idols.” This week, I’m left to consider, what are my idols? What am I holding back from the Lord, what are those things in my life that get in the way of me being “one in heart and mind” with the body of believers in Christ.

Lord, please help each of us to recognize that EVERYTHING is YOURS. We just SHARE it. Lord, help me to  be willing to “share” all you’ve entrusted to me.

New Family Photo

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our family to yours.

Here is one of our best self-done family photos from our photo shoot this evening.

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Ready to ride

Ashley and Joe were shopping tonight and so Jacob and I got some extra time to hang out. This was his activity of choice. He rode all around for an hour, weaving around chairs and other obstacles.

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Simple fun today

One of my greatest joys these days is watching and listening to my children play together. Here’s a snapshot from this evening when they jumped out of the vehicle and onto the slide so they could slide down into the pile of leaves at the bottom.

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Gifts that Give Life

If you’re looking forward to the holidays, but dreading those thoughts of, “what am I to buy for the person who has it all,” my friend Amy has put together a list of some gift options where the profit of the gift item goes to support things like adoption or food and education for those without. Check out her blog for some options. You just might be able to bless more than one person with your gifts this Christmas season. And, if you find yourself just loving something listed, consider adding it to your own list.

May you seek to change the world this Christmas, just as Christ did, that very first Christmas.

When things get quiet…

When things get quiet, I’ve learned to go looking.
Here is what I discovered after a few silent moments this week:

Exhibit A: Jacob, on top of the dining table, drinking from my water bottle.

Exhibit B: Ashley said, “I ran out of room on my paper,” so she painted her face and hands and arms. 
Thank goodness it was watercolors.
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Halloween 2010

The “Ship”man Pirates. I’m the ship and then the others are the pirates.

Joe retrieving Jacob from a house he invited himself into to go pet their dog and explore for more candy.

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A young lady of influence…

While going to pick-up Ashley from preschool today, I was stopped by one of the other moms. She told me that her daughter cut her hair to be like Ashley’s. This sweet little girl, who had BEAUTIFUL, long, golden curly locks, cut her hair off (all on her own), so that she could have short hair “like Ashley’s.” Oh my…she still looks so cute, but I cannot believe her long hair is gone. Her poor mother cried for hours over it. Oh dear!

On the bright side, I guess these little ones are beginning to gain confidence in their own preferences.

The Help of a Father

I am amazed at how quickly my daughter can become incapable of doing anything when you ask her to pick up her books or her room or the living room, etc. It is as if she loses all sense of ability and forgets all she knows and she can just sit there, not knowing what to do or where to begin. She becomes helpless.

However, if Joe or I stop what we’re doing and simply sit down and help her, she can accomplish anything. 
Alone as a parenting tool, this is helpful. However, let’s take this one step farther…
To me, this is a beautiful reminder of how God is our Father and our Helper. 
Sometimes, life can seem overwhelming and we don’t even know where to begin. However, we have access to the Great Helper at all times. His agenda is never too full to sit and help us sort things out and determine our next step or task.
There are also times when we begin thinking we need no help and we attempt life on our own. This approach isn’t great either. Though we may not look like we’re “falling apart” and incapable, we’re missing out on the important things-relationships. We were not created to check things off our trusty to-do lists. We were created to be in RELATIONSHIP. First and foremost with God. And then also with people. 
Too often, we find ourselves happy to do things alone, and we forget that we need the help of a Father or a God-sent friend. Our pride gets in the way, or perhaps our infatuation with perfection. And as a result, we get the task accomplished or the line item crossed off our list, but we feel empty at the end. And, after continuing on in such a way for some time, we finally realize that we’ve MISSED IT. We’ve missed the point of it all. We’ve missed the opportunity to trust, to care, to love, to let the Holy Spirit use us as part of something bigger than ourselves.
So, as you take a moment today to reflect, consider asking the Lord to help. Help to do the overwhelming things, and also help to do the things you’ve always done on your own.  Ask Him to help you view common things with new eyes, so that you may depend upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 
After all, don’t they say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get different results. Let the Holy Spirit take you to a new place today with the Help of our Father. May your day yield different results because you dared to consider that perhaps you don’t really know it all.
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