Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We are busy getting the house clean, packing our suitcases, making Cd's for the car and putting together the kids activity packs as tomorrow night will find us packing up the car and heading out to California for a week.  We'll be able to spend some time with Brent's family...  it will be a bittersweet time as his Grandma is in her final stages of her journey here on earth... and then we will be able to enjoy some vacation time before heading home.   

Before we left, I wanted to stop in here and wish all of you a
Happy Thanksgiving.  

God has blessed all of us with so much... we have much to be thankful for.  

Friday, November 21, 2008

A day set aside for Thanksgiving

We took the day off from regular schooling today and instead set aside some special time to celebrate Thanksgiving. My Mom and Sister and her three little ones came over and we spent the morning doing Thanksgiving projects and reading books.  

We made little pilgrims.


Created Thankfulness trees... it's always so fun to listen to all that they are thankful for.  :)


We read two books on Thanksgiving.


For a special snack, I found this here, and loved how it incorporated the pilgrims story.   You give them the snack to put into a little bowl or basket while reading how it represents a different part of the Thanksgiving story.  

  1. Chocolate Earth Balls - The pilgrims lived in England where the king made all the laws and the people had to obey them. He told them what church they had to go to and how they had to worship. The pilgrims believed that they should be free to worship God the way they wished. When they heard about the New World in North America, they thought it would be a great place where they could go and live in freedom.
  2. Tiny Twist Pretzels - The pilgrims believed in God and felt that they should be free to worship God the way they wanted to. They should be able to pick their own pastors and make their own laws. The pretzels represent praying hands. The pilgrims prayed for a place they could go to be free to worship God the way they wanted to. They prayed for Gods protection on their trip across the ocean and for God to help them in the new land.
  3. Oyster crackers or other dried bread and jerky - If the weather was bad on the Mayflower, the pilgrims had to eat cold biscuits and salted meat.
  4. Stick Pretzel - The pilgrims cut down trees and used logs to build their homes.
  5. Mini Marshmallows - Reminds us of snow and the first winter in the new land in which only half the pilgrims survived.
  6. Candy corn and gold fish crackers - Squanto showed the pilgrims how to grow corn by placing four seeds into a little mound of earth and placing fish around the seeds.
  7. Life Saver Candies - God helped the pilgrims survive in the new land. He sent Squanto to help the pilgrims and show them how to find food. He was their life saver.
  8. Maple candies - Squanto showed the pilgrims how to tap the maple trees to get their sap.
  9. Teddy Grahams - The pilgrims had to learn to defend themselves against wild animals like bears.
  10. Trix Fruity Flavors or other fruit shapes or dried cranberries - Squanto taught the pilgrims where to find wild berries and fruits and how to dry them for the winter.

I think the morning was a success...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Not your gifts, nor your grace nor even your glory, could satisfy the desire of a soul which you have made to long for yourself.  You, the Giver of all other precious things, are yourself the choicest, the 'unspeakable' gift!  Lord, into the thirst of my empty heart pour the full stream of your living love! Give me yourself, or I die! 
And having asked, I believe you do give, for your own lips have said it, 'He would have given', and I whisper softly to myself the blessed words, 'Who love ME and gave himself for Me', realizing the sacred, overflowing joy of pardoned sin, and peace with God, filling and satisfying my soul.
So, dear Lord, my spirit, like a weary bird, folds her wings beside this sweet well-spring of comfort, creeps into the blessed 'cleft of the rock', and is at rest.
Sussanah Spurgeon

Friday, November 14, 2008

Belly Laughs

For several reasons we have chosen not to have cable or a TV in our home (we still enjoy a good family movie every now and then, so if you know of one, let me know :) ).  Not sitting in front of the TV every night provides many, many opportunities for belly laughs. 

The other night, Brent was down on the floor playing with all the kiddos before we went to the grocery store...  the calm, quiet playing slowly evolved into Brent becoming a horse for everyone to ride.  The next thing we know, this horse began bucking it's riders off and then standing up on it's hind legs neighing.  

It was quite the sight and it evoked deep, belly laughs from all...

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Proverbs 17:22

Monday, November 10, 2008

I once was lost, but now am found

Last night was amazing...  powerful... life changing...

Last weekend our Church did a conference and it was chalk full of teaching.  They were challenging messages, messages that rocked the core of what you believed and made you question it.  Was it dogma or was it from the Bible?  So, this Sunday our Pastor decided not to preach instead we sat and listened to testimony after testimony.  It was not planned and there was no prescript.  The plan had been to just have a night of worship but then our Pastor let those who wanted to share what the Lord had done in their life come up...  

We heard from both men and women who were radically saved from a life of drugs, alcohol, depression...  they weren't saved because they said this sinners prayer and then began a counseling program.   They turned to Him and believed and from that moment forward they were saved.   Not just saved from hell but saved from themselves.   They saw the power of God in their lives.

We heard from people raised in the Church, having said the sinners prayer when they were young and then having been baptized but still having walked in their parents faith.  Some wrestled with God, some were empty, but then there was this message or a song... the point finally came that they believed.  

They knew who God was.  They knew who Jesus was.  But for the first time they believed that He was, that He is. He had died on the cross for them. And at that point they died with Him and were raised again...  they now had a new life.  They believed.

We heard of miracle after miracle taking place.  Sometimes it took place at Church or in their home, sometimes on the side of a rode and some even took place last night...  

Miracle after miracle...  there is a God that is alive and active.    

He is a mighty God! A God who saves. A God who transforms. A God who takes us out of our darkness and brings us into His life.  

Miracles... each and every one.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A quiet Friday afternoon...

The house is quiet and clean right now...  Both of the girls are taking their naps, the boys are over at Grandpa's working on some projects and I'm enjoying some quiet time on the couch with candles beside me and a cup of hot chocolate in my hand.  I've been able to enjoy some time in His presence, seeking Him, asking Him to fill me with His peace - a peace that passes all understanding...  His love - a love that overflows... His joy - joy exceeding... His life - life abundantly...

This is the day which the LORD hath made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

The week has been full...  last weekend our Church had a conference and an old family friend came to stay with us.  I loved getting our home ready for this young man.  He was to sleep in the boys room so the boys were able to help with preparing it for him... they cleaned their room and bathroom while I washed sheets and towels.    

So between having a visitor, homeschooling, time at Church, a hubby that's been very busy with work, a friend that needs to talk and the joy of seeing our close friends welcome a new little one into their family via adoption...   The days are full and rich.    

I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.  Psalm 34:1

The last week-and-a-half or so I have so enjoyed reading Leslie Ludy's new book Set Apart Femininity and while it is written for those in a different season of life there has been so much that I have been able to glean...  I don't know where to even start...  I think my mind is still trying to wrap itself around all that the Lord is teaching me.  
Why do we stop short of the incredible vision of radiant, set-apart femininity He desires to showcase in and through our lives? Because we don’t truly grasp our utter helplessness; our absolute desperate need for all that He is. We don’t understand that apart from Him, we have nothing, we are nothing, and we can accomplish nothing. We are still looking within ourselves to find beauty and strength that can come only from Him.    

The secret to becoming the radiant, beautiful, alluring, lily-white princess... is forgetting all about self and becoming completely consumer with only one thing - Jesus Christ.

She puts that challenge out there in the first 1/4 of the book and then goes on to show you how to live a radically different life...  one seeped in Him.   Lord help me, I want more of You.
I'm sure I'll be posting more quotes from this book in the coming weeks.  :)

Enjoy your weekend my sweet family and friends...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

God hath not promised
skies always blue,
flower-strewn pathways all our lives through.
God hath not promised
sun without rain,
joy without sorrow,
peace without pain.

But God hath promised
strength for the day,
rest for the laborer,
light on the way.

Grace for the trial,
help from above,
unfailing sympathy,
undying love.

By Helen Steiner Rice.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The day after

There is so much out there to read on the Internet regarding the election for President, both good and bad but I have to say I enjoyed the following letter the most.

Dear President-Elect Obama,

Today I shed tears of joy, along with hundreds of thousands of Americans, for the great victory of your election. The significance of this moment cannot be overstated. Our African-American friends have been oppressed and cast aside for generations in this country of ours. Now, may the shame be completely wiped away and may the glory that this nation represents and strives for become a reality for more and more of our once silenced citizens.

I confess I did not cast my vote for you. Not because you failed to inspire me with your speeches, because you did. Not because you do not impress me with your leadership and vision, because you do. I cast my vote for another based upon my concern for another segment of our society which is downtrodden and cast aside, the weak, the innocent; the unborn.
You can read the rest here

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Teach Me...

There is no power like that of prevailing prayer - of Abraham pleading for Sodom, Jacob wrestling in the stillness of the night, Moses standing in the breach, Hannah intoxicated with sorrow, David heartbroken with remorse and grief, Jesus in sweat of blood.  Such prayer prevails.  It turns ordinary mortals into men of power.  It brings power.  It brings fire.  It brings rain.  It brings life.  It brings God.  -Samuel Chadwick

O Lord, teach me to pray.  

The joy of being a big sister :)

I was going to do a post today on how my sister probably thinks I've fallen off the face of the earth...  I've been pretty quiet in the computer land this week and then she calls yesterday and somehow I just didn't get to calling her back.   Poor thing, I really was not showing her any love and I thought it would be funny to play with it.  What are big sisters for?  But then I missed her second phone call tonight and I guess I lost my chance because now I needed to call her back quickly or then it would look like I was really avoiding her, right?!?