Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. I Corinthians 16:13, 14 NKJV

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Heat Wave is Here

"What dreadful hot weather we have.
It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance."
Jane Austen

Well this is what our weather looks like right now. This is the worse thing about living in Texas. The rest of the year it is a great place to live, but come summer it can be miserable. And what is the hardest to handle, at least for me, is when we get the temperatures in the 100's for days on end. And it only getting to about 80 at night - no cool off and no refreshment.

I am so thankful that this past Wednesday night I went out to the lake with my husband and sat out there and read on my current "Little House" book. There was a cool breeze and it was actually refreshing. If I had have known it was going to be that nice - I would have wanted to get out there earlier than we did. But I am sad to say - I think that will be the last time for a while that we have any refreshing weather.

And wouldn't you know it - when it is the hottest outside - is what my husband discovers a problem with our AC ducting. And he worked up there yesterday for a while.

Well ever since we have moved into this house the end of the house with the beds rooms is much easier to keep cool and the end with the kitchen, dining room and living room is usually at least 5(give or take a few) degrees warmer. So after my husband worked to get the hole that they found fixed, he started thinking about what changes could be made to the AC ducting to help the air move around better and keep our house at a more constant temperature. So he has bought some more supplies and is working on that. I am hoping that the results that we are striving for - actually will be.
Oh and my husband also has gotten part of the mini blinds up in our sun room. The back of the house faces the west so that afternoon, HOT sun - usually really shines in and you can feel the heat. So we are hoping that if we have the blinds up it will block off some of that heat so it will be cooler. I think that will make a big difference in our house.

We also bought some curtains that I am hoping I will be able to alter to make fit our back door. Because in the afternoon - the sun really shines through that window. So we wanted curtains to put up but I wanted curtains that I can open up and have it look cute as well. Wish me luck as I alter them- they are too wide and too long.

Well I hope you all are staying cool this summer. :o)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Whoops...I wasn't following the Leader

Well wouldn't you know it?! I write a post about trying to incorporate the question - "What Would Jesus Do?" into my life and then I came right up against something that hit my buttons. I don't like injustice. I just don't - I have been this way as long as I can remember. And something is going on in our extended family that has injustice written all over it.

A family member has already - basically disowned her family - and she found herself a new family - even changing her name. If that wasn't painful enough for the family - now she is accusing one of the family members of abuse - something that we do not think is true. And it is a situation that is a - she said -he said situation. So you can just imagine - that my big button of injustice was pushed and I was very upset. It really brought me down - feeling panicky and sick. This situation is tearing at a lot of people's hearts. It is like salt is being poured into the deep gashes of hurt already there from her turning her back on the family.

So I am stewing about this situation. And I get home from getting groceries and get everything put away. Then I turn on the computer - thinking I will check and see what is going on with the blogs I like. I click into view my own blog and what do I see? "Follow the Leader" Oh boy... Yep the very day that I am writing about how important it is to follow Jesus' example of how we should act and I find myself - way off base. I need to have some mercy and some compassion. Trust me - I still think what she is doing is wrong but I am trying to turn it over to God and to trust Him to take care of this situation. And I am trying to realize that somehow there must be a lot of hurt in this girl's heart for her to want to hurt those that love her the most. I still don't understand what is going on. But I realize that I have to learn the lesson that God wanted me to learn in all of this and that is to look to him for how I should respond to situations. If I follow God's way - I will not be disappointed. Another lesson learned - maybe I can remember it tomorrow... :O)

Following the Leader

This week I shared about my belief: that it is just as important to teach our girls not to hit boys as it is to teach boys not to teach girls. Well I shared this same believe as a status update on Facebook. Someone ended up taking some offense from it - thinking I was talking about her children. I don't know if I ever convinced her otherwise. But the truth is this is something that has bothered me for a long time(like I explained in my blog post and on Facebook.)

Anyway I was blessed by a friend who wrote to me privately to tell me a personal experience that she had - she had been a girl who hit the boys. And when she got married she would hit her husband, and he told her that it really bothered him. So she quit. She told me she appreciated me having the courage to share this believe and stand up for it.

In conversation that we had - she explained how she was wanting to be an example of who Jesus is to her children. This brought to my mind - the question that was so famous for a while: "What Would Jesus Do?" This is really an important question to ask ourselves. Many times in our lives we have choices to make and one of the best things we can do is to ask ourselves - "What would Jesus Do?"

Then today as I was listening to a sermon - I was intrigued by a pastor as he explained about the game "Follow the Leader" - The leader does something and all those following the leader are to do the same thing. Well in our day and age of so much technology - we have gotten away from playing games like "Follow the Leader." He went on to say that we as Christians have gotten to the point of thinking that when we read the Bible - as long as we study and memorize it - that we are doing all that we should do. But he pointed out that we should be following the Leader - not just studying and memorizing but we should be doing what the leader is telling us to do. Bible Application! What a great example of how we just do half of the job and not follow through.

I am so glad that I was reminded that I need to be asking the question: "What would Jesus Do?" And also do my best to follow my Leader and do as He has instructed. :O)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Our "new" Couch

After my husband's Grandparents passed away and after a garage sale - we were lucky enough to get to get what we wanted from what they had left. We are SO thankful for the furniture that we got. Well this couch - was being used by my son and his wife. Well when my mother got a new couch - she sweetly offered her Burgundy Leather couch to son and dil. They were very happy to get it. It fit in their living room so much better and was much more comfortable for them. We are so thankful that we were able to get this couch back! I have not always appreciated antiques. But now my husband and I both love them. I especially love the wood trim. And the details with the wood!

With antiques there are stories behind the different piece. And even though we don't always know the stories I am so thankful for each piece that we have. Here is a photo of our "new" couch!
We do not have our sun room done yet but we cleaned out one side of it so that we could put the couch out there. Our cats have totally enjoyed having the couch there. They love it. I think they think we got it for them! Black cat is Stewie and the Gray cat is Dewie.
Now we are on the look out for a nice - wing back chair (I think is what you call them) to go out there with our couch. I want a chair with wood trim as well. Not sure that we have the room for it but an ottoman that matched the chair would be great! Praying God will bring just the right one. :O)

A few more photos from my collection/ Question

Today - I thought I would share a few more of my salt and pepper shakers. This first set - is one of my favorites. My husband got them for me when our granddaughter was born. They were at the hospitals gift shop for a pretty reasonable price and he could not pass them up. I LOVE them!
One time when we went to Cracker Barrel we found this cute salt and pepper shaker - I thought it was adorable - I love squirrels!

We also found these sock monkey salt and pepper shakers at Cracker Barrel. There is some really cool stuff in their store. And these were on clearance and I could not pass them up!

This next photo is of a salt and pepper set that my son bought for me for a late birthday present. He found it at an Exxon gas station. Isn't that neat? It is so cute but the holes in the eggs are too big so it is more for display. The chicken is so realistic though.


Ok - here is something I wanted to share and ask if any of you have experienced this. About 2 months ago or so I decided to buy some healthier deodorant - I bought some Crystal Essence stuff. I have heard how aluminum can be bad for you so this was my reasoning to go for a more natural deodorant. And believe it or not it actually works pretty good. Well about 2 weeks ago I started getting heat rash under my arms. I have NEVER had it before. So..I was just wondering if any of ya'll have ever had this happen and what is the best way to get rid of it? Any help would be wonderful. Thank you! :O)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Fortified Cities" in our Lives

A lot of people I know are going through some really tough times. Last week my sister called and was telling me a whole LOT of things that they were going through. God brought it to my mind to tell her that there are some times that we need to come against things in our lives that WE can do nothing about. And that is because if we could solve all of our problems - would we really need God? When life is going all great and wonderful sometimes we have the tendency to fall away from a relationship from Him.

Then yesterday, I was reading from one of the books I am reading, "The Refiner's Fire" and he asked why it was that God asked the children of Israel to march around Jericho without a word for so many days in a row without doing anything. Well Jericho was a very fortified city with high, and mighty walls. And as they walked around they could not help but think that there was NO way that they could defeat this city. Then they would have to realize that if the city was defeated that it would have to be by a miracle from God.

I think there are many times in our lives that we came up to a "fortified" problem and we know that there is NO way we can solve this one on our own. And that is when we realize that the only way it will be solved is with a miracle from God. I am so thankful that God loves us so much that he wants us to totally depend on Him. I just wish that I had not been so stubborn in my life that I needed Him to take me up against a "fortified" problem- in order to learn this lesson. May I learn to have such a dependence on Him that no matter what I am facing in life - I will learn to lean on Him for leading. And that I not try to hold so tightly to my problems worrying about them and trying so hard to solve them myself.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In My Circumstances

As many of you know by now, this is one of my favorite songs:

"Shackles (Praise You)

It sure is hot out here
Ya know?
I don't mind thought
Just glad to be free
Know what I'm saying, uh!

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise you
(What'cha wanna do?)
I just wanna praise you
(Yeah, yeah)
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
(Uh feel me?)
And I'm gonna praise you
(What'cha gon do?)
I'm gonna praise you

In the corners of mind
I just can't seem to find a reason to believe
That I can break free
Cause you see I have been down for so long
Feel like the hope is gone
But as I lift my hands, I understand
That I should praise you through my circumstance

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise you
I just wanna praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I'm gonna praise you
I'm gonna praise you

Everything that could go wrong
All went wrong at one time
So much pressure fell on me
I thought I was gon lose my mind
But I know you wanna see
If I will hold on through these trials
But I need you to lift this load
Cause I can't take it anymore

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise you
I just wanna praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I'm gonna praise you
I'm gonna praise you

Been through the fire and the rain
Bound in every kind of way
But God has broken every chain
So let me go right now

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise you
I just wanna praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I'm gonna praise you
I'm gonna praise you
[repeat x3]

Take them off
What'cha gonna do, yeah

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise you
I just wanna praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I'm gonna praise you
I'm gonna praise you

From the very first time that I heard it - I loved it! Lately I have been doing a lot of thinking on "Praise." Praising God when life is good and blessings are flowing - is really easy. But when things are hard? When you are in the middle of a trial? Yep- then too. This is something I learned quite some time ago.

Once I was sharing with my Mother-in-Love(I have loved that phrase ever since I read it on Copperswife's blog) about a tough situation that I was going through. And she told me that - when you are going through a hard time is the most important time to Praise God.

The line that has stood out the most to me on this song is :"I understand That I should praise you through my circumstance." I think that when we are going through hard times we get all caught up in self. And when we Praise God - we can turn our attention to God. Where it needs to be. So any time that I am feeling down now - I try to remember that I need to Praise God.

And if you are going through a rough time - You might want to go to Youtube and look up MaryMary's Shackles and listen to it. It sure is a good song on praising God. Praising Him all the time - even through our "circumstances." Praise God for all His many blessings!! :o)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Something I am Passionate About

I was raised in a household with one sister. So you can imagine that when I ended up having boys- it took me into another world. As my boys grew older, I began to notice things. Things like at schools - since boys are more active - they tend to get into trouble - just for being boys. And then TV show's - it seems to me that most of the shows today show so much disrespect for Men. This made me sad. So I am very passionate about the fact that God created men - to be men - not like a woman - and we should not try to make them as such. Men - deserve respect. Paul tells us that men need respect.

So this brings me to something that I am truly passionate about - I believe it is just as important to teach our girls not to hit boys as it is to teach our boys not to hit girls.

When my 17 year old son came and told me that it really bothered him how a girl he knows likes to hit boys. And was hitting on him and he did NOT like it. It really got me thinking. Oh and trust me - this is something that I have felt very strongly about for at least the last 10 years or more. So Why it is it ok for girls to hit boys?

As I have been reading the "Little House" series - it has come to my attention that back then girls were taught not to hit anyone. Ok - so then the feministic movement came along and girls/women can do anything.. Ok - I understand but what is so sad is along with them pushing for equal rights - it ended up doing much more damage to us ladies than probably anything else.

Anyway, so we fast forward to the present - when it seems that it is ok to hit on the guys. And to show so much disrespect. Why is that ok? What happened to - do unto others as you would have done to you? So as you can tell I really care about this. I think that we need to teach our children - whether they are male or female to treat the opposite sex with respect. We will be doing our children a favor if we do. We will help them have happier marriages if we do.

Ok - I will get off my soap box. I really don't intend to offend anyone. I just really want this message to get out there. I want people to realize that this is not right. That it may seem really innocent - but the consequences that can come out of it - are not good at all.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Great Song

I know that quite a few of the people I know are going through rough times right now. SO I just wanted to post a song that is very encouraging. :O)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Found Something to Add to Collection

Last year my husband and I went to Tyler for a week end getaway. Well we stopped at a BBQ place and I was very impressed with a lot of cool things that they had. One of my favorite things was a collection of small salt and pepper shakers. Well I decided I wanted to have a collection as well. Mine are not particularly small - even though I would probably prefer all small one but it is hard to find just small ones. Anyway so I have a good collection so far. I am going to share a few of them with you guys today. And then later - I will have a post sharing some more of them. The ones I have taken photos of today - are my favorites and they are all vintage. Maybe could be considered antiques but I am not sure what the requirements are to name them antiques. So we will stick with vintage.

My son found these on E-bay for me for Christmas. They are really pretty.

Last Christmas my Mom got this cute set of a rooster and hen. Aren't they just cool?
This past week-end - I found these and I just could not pass them up. I am actually pretty picky about my salt and pepper shakers. I don't like just any set. They have to be cute!
Now this next photo - is of a set that I found today. I have had to work extra this week so as a little treat for myself - I went to a local Goodwill. And I found these adorable Hallmark - brand new in the box set. I thought they were adorable and for only $2.00 - I could not pass them up.
Oh - I also found a cool book called "The 365 Day Bible Word Game Challenge - A Bible puzzle for every day of the year" I thought it looked cool and would be challenging. Well I flipped through to see what it was like and guess what I found? A Christmas postcard photo of a family from my church from 2009. So I wanted to share this little story to remind you all - if you donate things to thrift stores - you may want to make sure that you get all your personal things out. I bought this book - for two reasons - because I liked the book and also - did not want this photo and info on this family just floating around.

I hope you all have had a good day! I am trying to get caught up on laundry and some other cleaning around here. I also need to get my chickens fresh water and gather eggs.
Oh yeah - we got a rain shower today! Wouldn't you know it--it hit when I was at the store picking up some groceries so I had to push my cart out to the car in the rain. It could have been a lot worse. I sure wish we could get some more cause it was gone from my house by the time I got here. I wanted to get to enjoy it from my house. Oh well. Maybe next time. :O)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Another Item Checked Off

Checked off of my list of things that I want to do - that is. On Tuesday of this week, my husband had to go in early for a power cut at work. So he was able to get off early. Well I have been wanting to go see an exhibit about Leonardo Da Vinci that is temporarily at a museum nearby. As I was checking out the times and prices and all on the Internet - I was very tempted to get a family pass so that we could go every time a new exhibit opened up. My husband thought that would be a good idea.

Well we drove to the museum and lo and behold - they had done a total remodel job to the building. It is really a nice building, however, the problem is that along with all the changes to the building the city decided to make ALL the parking lots in that area charge $5.00 for parking. This area used to have free parking unless it was stock show time and then you might have to pay but that was expected and understandable. So after we got past the initial shock of having to pay for parking- we got a parking spot. And went into the building - the first thing I noticed was how LOUD it was. It is in the middle of summer and I am sure there are a lot of people trying to do things that are cool to entertain their children.

Well we decided to just get one time tickets and then see if we still thought it would be a good idea for the family pass then get them later. Well we are SO glad we did not do the family pass thing. The museum is really neat but here's the thing - if you have children and they get to enjoy all the areas of the museum - the price for the tickets would be worth it. But if you are an adult, then to me - it was not really something that I think is worth the price. I have to be honest though - I don't like loud places that are crowded. I like quiet, peaceful things.

A couple of years ago we went on a vacation down to Port Aransas. Well we took our RV thinking it would be the best way to go. When we got to the RV park - we were parked in rows so close together that you could hear other people opening and closing cabinets and it sounded like it was your own RV. We were put right in the middle of about 5-6 families that go there every year. And one of the men greeted us with a LARGE bottle of Jack Daniels in his hand(at 4 in the afternoon). To say the least this was not the best vacation that we have had. We had stopped at a small RV park on the way in a small town - and we actually enjoyed the two nights we stayed there better than the rest of the time. We figured out right then that we needed to make sure that our vacations from then on - were quiet places - were we could relax and enjoy life. Ok - all of that to explain that we prefer quiet - to loud, overcrowded places.

Well we did enjoy the exhibit. And we looked around at a few of the other exhibits. I have to say that I have just not gotten into this being a blogger and carrying my camera around thing yet. I could have gotten some great photos to share with you. And I got a few from my camera on my phone and that will just have to do.

Leonardo Da Vinci was a brilliant man. He had some really awesome ideas that were ahead of his time. Now if I understand correctly - he had a lot of different drawings. They had a copy of it on the plaque telling about each of these things but my phone camera was not getting a good photo. Some of these things he invented and some of them he had the ideas and they were invented from his ideas. That is the understanding I got.

This first photo was a machine to measure the wind speed.

This one I thought was cool. A boat that had a double hull. So that when enemy ships would come and ram the boat trying to make a hole in it to sink it - it would not sink. Isn't that smart?
I think the rest of these speak for themselves.

And a post about Leonardo Da Vinci would not be complete without a photo of "Mona Lisa." There were about 6 paintings total and I am upset because we looked at 3 of them that were on one side of a room and I thought that we would look in an area back in there and then come back to that room but we did not go back into that room. And we did not remember till much later - too late - that I wanted to see the other paintings. So glad that I got to see this one.

By the way, I am feeling better. I wanted to say Thanks so very much for the prayers. I really appreciate them. :o)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Clinical Trial Appointment

Remember I have shared how my husband is in a clinical trial for Parkinson's? Well today was his 3 month check-up to make sure everything is going OK. We had to drive to a large town nearby. Well about an hours drive to the hospital. Anyway had not been prepared for the feelings that came over me when we got to the floor of his appointment. I had been dealing with the Parkinson's pretty well. But it was as if the feelings from several months ago flooded over me. I went to the bathroom and prayed that God will give me the strength that I needed to keep it together. I am so thankful that he answered that prayer. Of course tears had some to my eyes and I wiped my face dry. But when I cry my eyes get red, of course, but the color part turns more of a green color than their usual green. I had not planned on going back into the room with my husband but he asked and I figured I would do better if I was there with him than just sitting in the waiting room with nothing to do.(I had forgot to bring my most recent book)

We learned a lot of new information. My husband was the last person accepted into the clinical trial - for their hospital - I think is what the guy said. And it was going to be a 5 year study from when he joined. So the first person who joined actually started a couple of years ago and so that guy will continue on for another 5 years now. They drew blood and are checking out his kidney and I think they said either lung or heart function. Apparently there could be damage done by the medicine - if he is actually one of the one taking the Creatine.

As we sat in the little room waiting on the Dr an older man with a lady - we are thinking it was his wife were taken to the room across the hall. The lady was talking to the man - kind of like he was a kid. Telling him not to do something that she knew what she was doing. He finally said something like OK. In the conversation we could tell that he lived at a nursing home or such. And a little later she was telling the man that if a hallway had people in it that he needed to wait and let someone push him where he needed to go but if the hallway was empty he could go ahead and go where he wanted to- that way he would not run into people.

So with the feelings flooding back in and then over hearing this conversation really brought back to my mind some of the things that I have been concerned about. So I have been sad this afternoon. I decided I need to accept when I feel sadness - feel it - cry if I need to and then I can move on. I know God has a plan for our lives and I know that I need to trust Him. And I will in a little bit but right now it just feels too raw and hurts too much. This is a great time to get my bible study book out and see what I can learn - maybe I might just get my Bible out. I will spend some time praying and asking God for His strength. I have been learning lately that I need to surrender. And I am guessing I am at the point I need to surrender my life back to Him. I am just too much in the habit of trying to drive this bus all on my own. Oh and another thing I REALLY need to learn - unconditional love. I need to love my husband this way and everyone - but right now I know that God has really been laying it on my heart to love my husband unconditionally. Please pray for me as I try to surrender my life back to God and learn how to love my husband(and everyone) unconditionally.

Some Really Pretty Landscaping Photos from our Trip

All these photos were taken at the Wildseed Farms. I thought there was so much beauty and I wanted to share some of it with you all.

And this photo is a photo of the Butterfly house that they had. I thought it was cool! Do any of you know if Butterflies would really live in them if we were to build one? Have any of you ever had a Butterfly House?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Our Week-end Getaway

On July 22nd is our official Anniversary; however, we went out of town this past week-end on a week-end getaway. This is actually only the second time in our marriage since we have had our children that we have had a week-end away just the two of us. Yep - Last year was our first one.

We had a very nice time. We ended up staying in a quiet town named Llano, Texas. We had planned on staying in Fredericksburg, Texas but the hotel that we were going to stay in was booked up already. (We had some points saved up for free hotel night) So we picked a town about 40 miles away. We are REALLY glad we did because we really like quiet places. And especially at night.

The town of Llano has a river flowing through it. There is a cool bridge going over the river.

Along the river is a nice park. My husband spent a few hours Saturday night and Sunday morning fishing. He caught several fish. This one being his favorite! Yeah - He had to send the photo of the fish to our sons to enjoy!

*(Sorry - some how I deleted this picture and had not realized I had)

We loved the county courthouse. I had to take a photo of it. It just might be the start to a collection of them....or not. In the parking lot of the courthouse was a man selling some produce. We bought a watermelon, some peaches and some zucchini. really good peaches are grown around Texas. So I know we will enjoy them!!

We drove over to Fredericksburg and found the town buzzing with activity. We headed east of town to Wildseed Farms. We loved this place. It was probably not the best time of year to visit. I am sure that in March and April - it is a gorgeous place to visit with fields and fields of flowers. You may want to go to the web page above and check it out. It is an awesome place. They have a cafe where you can eat - inside or outside - your choice - we chose to stay inside especially since the temperature was in the mid to upper 90's. In the cafe they have a lot of speciality type foods that they have all sorts of free sample to try things out. We loved some Honey Praline Jelly they had - but forgot to go back and buy a jar of it. There is also an area that they sell wine and have free wine testing every week-end. We did not because we do not drink.

Then we went to the butterfly house. There was and admission fee but it was well worth it. I loved trying to get photos of the butterflies. Let me tell you- they are fast and not only that but I think they are ornery. It's like they sit all nice and pretty till I got close enough with my camera and then they close their wings or fly away. So I took lots of photos -and got at least a couple of photos that were good.

There are a lot of other beautiful landscaping that I will share in another post - so I don't get this post overwhelmed with photos.

Well when it was time to go we were going to take a right to head back to town but we noticed something going on to the left -so we thought we would check it out. Well it ended up being the big Fredericksburg Trade Days - the 3rd week-end of every month they have a big sale. So we pulled into the driveway. There were several cars coming out and one of them rolled down their window and held out a parking pass for us. That was a blessing - saved us about $5.00.

Well there ended up being about 6 big long building with all sorts of booths inside. And then a lot of different things set up out side along several streets. We were thankful when we found a place to get some sweet tea - and found out that if we paid $2.50 a drink - we could come back and get as many refills as we wanted! Well we did not find that till we were about half way done but we got at least 2- 3 refills and made it well worth our money. We were SO thirsty by that time. Remember it is like about 100 degrees by this time!

Well this post would not be complete without me showing you a couple of things that we found at the "Trade Days."
This is a vanity that we found. I loved it! I think they wanted $100.00 for it. And if I had have had a way to get it home(we were in the car) I would have bought it! The middle board there on top has a hinge at the back and it opens up and has a mirror on it. And there is storage under the lid for make up and such. It was awesome!!!

This along with 2 chairs was something that my husband and I both fell in love with. The set was $600. and I am thinking if we had have had the truck and some extra money we would have bought this as well. I would prefer a different color or even a floral - so that stains and such do not show up but I LOVE the design and all of this.

I know this is a LONG post already but I wanted to share one more thing. On Friday on our way to Llano - we stopped at Homestead Heritage . I had taken the boys here several years ago for a field trip and we had loved it. I had seen the furniture and the pottery and thought how nice it would be to be able to get some of it. I mean seriously their furniture is VERY nicely put together. It is high quality stuff. Well anyway Jason and I stopped and we looked around. I wish I had have taken a couple of photos of stuff in there but I can tell you that there were several wooden rocking chairs for about $3000- $4000. There was a child's rocking chair that was $1600. Yep that is right. Well this time as I looked around instead of feeling sorry for myself cause there is NO way we can afford things like that I thought - you know what it is great stuff and if we were rich - I would be tempted to get some of the pieces but I prefer antiques. The details and the quality and story that I am sure if behind each piece. And the price. I know that the really cool things can be expensive but I would have much rather paid $700 and got the vanity and the 3 piece set than to have bought one of the $3000. things any day - even if money was not an issue. It all has to do with perspective.

Monday, July 19, 2010

To Win the Battles ~ You Must Surrender

This week-end I saw the words,"To Win the Battle You Must Surrender." As soon as I read it - A light bulb went off~ I had more of an understanding into something that I have been struggling with.

I have heard so many times the importance of turning our life and our wills over to God. I have also heard that the battle is not ours to fight. But I have never quite understood it till I read those words.

When we surrender our life and will to God ~ He is able to work through us and bring about the changes that are needed. I am so thankful for this because there are many things that I see in my life that I do not like and have wanted to change them. But trying to make the changes on my own does not always bring with the effort the success I'd like to see.

When we surrender our lives to God and take the time to listen for His guidance we can have success.

A good example of this is my schedule. I have felt for the last couple of weeks that some changes need to be made. Well God can not bring about the changes in me unless I follow His directions for my life. See God knows that I can be more successful in my walk with God and in some of the goals that I have if I get to bed earlier. So I am allowing Him to work in my life.

My Battles can not be won unless I surrender my life and my will to the care of God.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Revamping my Schedule

Lately, I have realized that my schedule is not working. Don't get me wrong, I am not the type of person that has a real strict schedule. I really feel that I need some flexibility in order to allow God to lead in my life. When you get so rigid with your schedule - you do not leave some wiggle room to follow God's will for your life for that day. Anyway I did decide that as I was looking at my schedule and realizing that there were some things just not working. So I listed some priorities of thing I would like to see in my schedule, like more time to read, getting to bed earlier, being able to get up earlier so that I can have my devotions in the morning.

One of the main reasons why I knew I needed to revamp my schedule is because I have been very tired lately. My husband leaves for work at 5am. Well I get up with him in the morning and lately I have been staying up way too late. So when he leaves in the morning I have not had enough sleep so many times I have to go back to bed. Then it takes quite a while to get back to sleep since I have been up for a while. Then when I do wake up for the day I am tired. And that is not good. So what I would really like to work towards is getting to bed earlier so that maybe I can get enough sleep by the time I have to wake up with Jason.

So then that takes me to getting to bed earlier. I am going to set a reasonable time to turn off the computer. Sometimes when it is on - I get sucked into checking on this or that and before long time has slipped away from me. So I am going to have the turn off time be about an hour before I want to be in bed.

Well this choice will help with another thing that I would like to add into my schedule - more time to read. I want to have a set amount of time to spend reading in the evenings. I am reading through the "Little House" series right now. And I have two more series that I would like to read once I am done with the "Little House" books. I think the reading in the evenings will also help calm me down and help me get to bed at a decent time at night.

One really cool thing about getting to bed earlier is that I have heard it said many times that the sleep before midnight is VERY important. And I am hoping that if I can get to bed at a decent time that once my husband leaves for work - I can stay up.

This will be the perfect time to have my devotional time. I have noticed that I have much clearer thinking early in the morning. So I think that will help with having my devotional time early in the morning. It is so quiet and there are not many distractions. This will make for a great time to study my Bible.

So basically I want to put some pillars in my schedule just a few little changes -ways to make my life work much smoother. And I will leave the door open to if God leads me to make more changes. I would much rather be in his will than mine. I don't always know the best for me.

So I will do my best to get onto my new schedule. That is once I get back from my week end getaway with my husband. I will also have some great photos to share. Just a simple get away with some pretty scenery! :o)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Red Sea Rules #2

"Be more concerned for God's glory than for your relief." (p. 17)

"For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in. 4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so." Exodus 14: 3-4

"If we could only look upon a difficult crisis as an occasion of bring out, on our behalf, the sufficiency of divine grace, it would enable us to preserve the balance of our souls and to glorify God, even in the deepest waters." C.H. Mackintosh

As many of you know, I have been going through a rough time. In the past month or so I finally feel like I am finding my joy and peace again. If you'd like to read about our rough time click here.

As I read this Rule and the information provided. I find one of the main reasons why I had such a hard time - for such a long time. I was asking the wrong questions. "Why is this happening to me?" Along with other type questions. These questions did nothing to help me.

This book points out that when we are going through rough times ask the question: "How can God be glorified in this situation?"

"One's perspective is entirely changed by the spiritual realities behind that approach. It's like switching on floodlights in a dark stadium." (page 19)

"I know He tries me only to increase my faith, and that is all in love, well, if He is glorified, I am content." J. Hudson Taylor

We find that Jesus "practiced Red Sea Rule #2 when difficulties and demands complicated His agenda."(page 21) When Jesus was "facing the most excruciating week of His life, Jesus asked not, " How can I get out of this? but "How can God's name be glorified?" (page 22)

"God doesn't waste suffering. If He leads us into impossible spots He will deliver us in His own time, in His own way, and for His name's sake. Our job amid the difficulty is to learn our Lord's simple but submissive prayer: What shall I say? Save me from this hour? No, Father, glorify Your name. " (page 22 - 23)

So now I realize that I had been asking the wrong questions. I had been focused on me and that was not helping me at all. Now I have taken the focus off of me and am learning to ask the question: "How can God be glorified in this situation I am facing?"

Friday, July 16, 2010

Look What Was in our Driveway!!

To say the very least, we were giddy with excitement!! Yesterday my son bought a new vehicle. And they were going to change the tires and detail it, so they let my husband bring home a car to use till they pick up my son's new ride. Look what my Husband brought home!!

What a sweet ride it is!! He had to take me for a ride. And in fact, we went to Sonic for a drink. When we ordered our Root beers - the lady said can you repeat your order I was distracted by your car. Then when we got to the window she about hung out the window to get closer and asked if he would take her for a ride. Yeah - I was sitting right there - thinking No we are not getting a car like this. My husband is in love and if we had the money - he would buy it tomorrow!

It is really a sharp looking vehicle for sure.
OK - Here is what my son actually bought! A Dodge Nitro! It is awesome as well! I am sure he will love it. I know when I sat in one last week I thought it was great! They will be picking it up today!
I hope you all have a great day!! :O)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I Heart Freshly Mowed Lawns

Yesterday morning, I mowed our yard. I love a freshly mowed yard. It looks so pretty and neat. Well I started thinking that in Heaven the grass will not be all weedy and out of control. Things will be beautiful all the time - And the feeling that I feel when the grass is freshly mowed will magnified so many times because God's perfection is something that we can not even fathom. I know we all have thought of Heaven and what we think it will be like. And the Bible has shared some of the details with us. I mean really - the foundation of Heaven - all by itself is amazing! Have you ever studied it? If not, it would be well worth your time. The peace - how could there not be peace, we will be in the very presence of Jesus Christ himself! Wow! Just thinking about that just blows my mind.
And to think that God loved us so very much that he sent his only begotten son to die on the cross for our sins. That is a gift that we do not deserve but because God loved us so much he made a way for us to be with him again. I am so very thankful for the gift of salvation. And the thoughts of Heaven and how it will be. And that one day we will be able to experience it for ourselves.

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2.In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:1-3

These words spoken by Jesus himself. What a promise!! :O)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

This and That Sort of Day

This morning before it got too hot outside. I got our yard mowed. I also weed-eated a little bit. I have found that I can not weed eat very long at a time - or it really messes with my nervous system in my arm and hand. So I have to limit the amount of time I weed-eat at a time. I would much rather just get out there and get it done at one time and not the little bit here and the little bit there. But I don't want the consequences so I have to make the choice that bests takes care of me.

So once I got the yard all mowed and looking really pretty nice I cleaned up and ran to town to run some errands. Since I would be in town I stopped by a local Goodwill! I was thrilled to find that the books were 50% off today - making them hardback- $1.00 and paperback $.50! On top of that I found 3 fantastic books that I have been looking for!

I have heard so much good about this series that I wanted to check it out myself. Well I have found 3 - 4 of the books of the series so far -all from Goodwill - for $2.00 at the highest. Well today I finally found book number 1! I had really wanted to get this one because I was wanting to see if I really liked the books before I spent more money on the series of books. But when you only have to pay fifty cents - it makes it an awesome book!! I had looked at 1 row of books and was half way done with the last row of books, thinking I would not find any good books today and then ..bam,bam,bam! I found 3 in a row!!
I also found a great book - I did not take a photo of it because the dust jacket is gone and the book is really boring. But I have been wanting to read this book for a long time. Joyce Meyer's "Approval Addiction." This is something that I have struggled with. I learned at a very young age that it was my place to be peace maker and please people - I did not want to upset people so I learned to work so hard to please people. And this is not really a good habit to get into. By the way, I borrowed this photo from Joyce Meyer's website.
This next book is a book that I actually owned many years ago. And I had gotten rid of it - while I was getting rid of stuff for a move. Well I regretted getting rid of it. I think that the fact that I am older and more mature now - I think that this book will make even more sense to me now than it did back then. It is part of a 2 book set. And I had lucked out to get book number 2 several months ago. I had never had book number 2 before. But I wanted to go through book number one before I started the second one. It is called, " God Cares" by C. Mervyn Maxwell. I only paid $.50 for the book and it is a big book.

I only paid a total of $2.00 for those three books! I love a good deal!!

Well this next one is a journal. I love how it had the gold trim and the end of the book looks even classier but I could not get a good photo of the end of the book. I just could not pass it up. I have not been very happy with a Prayer Journal that I had - just too small. So I am thinking this will be my new Prayer Journal.
Look at the cute Pampered Chef Teddy Bear! I thought it was so cute and I thought we have a granddaughter - we need something cute and fun like this. I will just have to find some good directions of how to use it. Anyone have one and know how to use it?

Well I also found two felt boards that are about 12 X 15. One of them is green on the bottom and blue on the top and the other one is two shades of pink. There were some felts that came with it. Looked like a birthday party theme with a few different felt girls and different outfits. A few animals and then like grasses with flowers and some trees. All this for $2.00. I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to find such cool things for really cheap prices. And once our granddaughter gets older we will have all sorts of cool things for her to do at Grammie and PaPa's house!

Ok - I found a couple of cute things. I thought they would be neat to put into my flower beds. they are each on a long rod about 12+ inches long. My son thought that maybe the flowers were to put candles in? I don't really know. Have any of you see anything like these? And if so how would you suggest I use them? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks! :O)

**Edit~ Well the God Cares book ended up being the same one I already had. I already had volume one - the cover was just totally different. This is good news still because I can start studying when I want to. And I already know who would like the other copy. So I will be mailing the other book to them as soon as I can. Still a great deal!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dynamic Bible Study Method - #3

The Character Quality Method of Bible Study

How to Determine Biblical Character Qualities.


The Character Quality Method of Bible Study involves finding what the Bible says about a particular characteristic of a person, with a heavy emphasis on personal application. It is, furthermore, a combination in simplified for of three other Bible study methods: the Word Study Method, the Biographical Method, and the Cross-Reference Method. ..."

It seems so neat to me how as I have read several different books lately and heard some sermons - and they all are re-enforce things I am learning. This method of Bible study re-enforces to me that one of "the major goals of Christian living is to develop Christlike character in our lives." (p.54)

This method of Bible study is vital in our lives. Why? Because it helps us identify character qualities that are taught in the Bible.

This method of Bible study will use some tools. Here is a list of some helpful tools:

1. A study Bible
2. An exhaustive concordance
3. A Bible Dictionary or word study book
4. A topical Bible
5. An English Dictionary.

Nine Steps for Doing a Character Quality Study

Step One~ Name the Quality
"Select the quality your wan to study and write it down. Then look it up in an English dictionary and jot down that word's or concept's definition. List any synonyms or related words that help you understand this quality."

Step Two~Name the Opposite Quality
"Write down the opposite quality or the antonym, of the one you are studying and write out its dictionary definition and similar words."

Step Three~ Do a Simple Word Study
"Look up the Bible definition of the quality you are studying. Find the ways it is used in scriptural context, then check a Bible dictionary, encyclopedia, or word study book for the way the quality was used in biblical times and in Scriptures."

Step Four~ Find Some Cross-References
"Using cross-references will give you additional insight from other portions of the Bible. Scripture is still the best interpreter of Scripture. Use your concordance and topical Bible to find all the verses you can on this quality. Look up the word and its synonyms in the concordance and topical Bible, write the cross-reference on the form in the appropriate section, and give a brief description of that verse."

Some Questions to ask:
  • What are the benefits this trait can bring you?
  • What are some bad consequences this trait can bring you?
  • What are benefits this trait can bring to others?
  • What are some bad consequences this trait can bring to others?
  • Is there any promise from God related to this trait"
  • Is there any warning or judgement related to this trait?
  • Is there an command related to this trait?
  • Did Jesus have anything to say about this quality? What?
  • What writer talked about this quality the most?
  • What Scripture tells us directly what God things of this trait?
  • Do you want more or less of this trait?

Step Five~ Do a Brief Biographical Study

"Now go back to your Bible and try to find at least one(more if possible) who showed this character quality in his life? Briefly describe this quality and write down Scriptures which refer to it."

Questions to ask:

  • What shows this quality in his/her life?
  • How did this quality affect his/her life?
  • Did the quality help or hinder his/her growth to maturity? How?
  • What results did it produce in his/her life?

Step Six~Find a Memory Verse

"Write down at least one verse from your cross-reference or biographical portion of the study that really speaks to you, and that you intend to memorize during the following week. This verse should come in handy when God provides an opportunity for you to work on this character quality in a specific way."

Step Seven~ Select a Situation or Relationship to Work On

"We are not getting to the application part of the study. Think of an area in which God wants you to work on this character quality - avoiding it if it's negative or building it into your life if it's positive. This can either be a situation or an interpersonal relationship."

Step Eight~ Plan a Specific Project

"This is the practical part of your application and is the actual working out of Step Seven. Think of a project that you will work on to build a positive quality in your life, or one in which you will be working to get rid of a negative quality in your life."

Step Nine~ Write Out a Personal Illustration

"A few days after you have completed the first eight steps of this study, write out an illustration of how you were able to work on this quality you are applying to your life. This is the "measurable" part of your application. These illustrations will serve a number of purposes. When you get discouraged, read over the back log of your illustrations and see how God has worked in your life. ..."

" God often builds character in our lives by putting us in situations where we are tempted to do the opposite."

"A good place to start this study would be to go through the lists of qualities found in New Testament passages. Some positive ones are:

  • Matthew 5:3-12 - the Beatitudes
  • Galatians 5:22-23 -the fruit of the Spirit
  • Philippians 4:4-9 - admirable qualities
  • 2 Peter 1:5-8 - qualities that should increase in our lives

You can also find some character traits that are NOT good to have listed here:

  • Galatians 5:19-21 - a list of the works of the flesh
  • 2 Timothy 3:1-5 - have nothing to do with these!

Well that was a lot of information. I think this looks like it would be a great way to study the Bible. In order to reflect the character of Jesus Christ - we need to spend some time studying what His Character is like and what better way then to read the Bible and find out what is important to him.

* I know that I have been posting photos of the Study Forms at the end of each chapter but I am about out of ink so I will have to take the photo's and add them later. You can look back at the other studies and get a basic idea of how it is set up.

**As with this whole series of Study Methods - the info is coming from the book - "Dynamic Bible Study Methods" by Rick Warren

Monday, July 12, 2010

Three Word Prayers

As I have been reading my "Red Sea Rules" Book I have been very blessed. And I will continue to share the series of the "10 God-Given Strategies For Difficult Times," but yesterday in my reading I read something that I thought was important enough to write a post just for it.

Lately I have been realizing more and more the importance of application of what we learn. Well because I am a visual learner sometimes it is hard for me to understand how to do things with out directions. And this little gem that I am about to share is something that will help me with applying things that I am learning in my life.

It is really important to spend time in prayer, but we don't always have time or are not in the position for a long prayer. In these times it is a good idea to pray short prayers. I am going to share with you in the authors words this section of the book.

"Other times, however, my prayers are quite short. I've recently learned a new prayer technique from the writing of missionary Amy Carmichael. She learned it from the famous Bible teacher Dr. F. B. Meyer, who once told her that as a young man he had been irritable and hot tempered. An older gentleman advised him to look up at the moment of temptation and say, "Thy sweetness, Lord."
Amy Carmichael developed many variations of that prayer. When meeting someone she did not like, she would silently pray, "Thy love, Lord." In a crisis she'd whisper "Thy help, Lord." or "Thy wisdom, Lord." (The Red Sea Rules, page 42 and 43)

As I read this, I realized that this was such a great idea. There are many times that I find myself needing God to supply different needs, but the situation does not lend itself to me taking a time out to say a long prayer. Now I can just in my mind say a 3 word prayer to God and know that he can supply what is needed. I think it is a great way to keep connected to God throughout the day. And as this becomes a habit, it can help me kick some of the other habits - the bad habits - by calling on Jesus for his help. What a great habit to get into to.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Of Lessons Learned...and Learned Again...

Well we have ended up having a pretty good week-end. We got to spend time with our oldest son and his family! That is always fun! Our little granddaughter is growing so fast. I am so thankful that they live nearby. Not everyone is that lucky. My heart goes out to those that deal with grandchildren living far away. I hardly ever lived near my grandparents. And now half of my grandparents are gone and the other half live quite a ways away and so it is not easy to see them. It has been about 10 years since I have seen them. Well it has been about that long since I have seen my Dad as well. I sure wish we all lived closer. I think we miss something when family lives far away.

My husband and son have worked on building our second shed. They are small sheds. The first one we got built about a year ago but had bought two sheds. And we stored the 2nd shed inside the first shed and so we have not had a chance to use either of them yet. I am SO looking forward to them getting the shed done and then we can go through all the stuff in the garage and the attic. I am happy to say that my husband and I both are to the point of being willing to get rid of the things that we do not use or need. It will be nice to go through and weed things out. And to get the stuff we do keep organized. Also it will be really nice that my husband will be able to set up the garage like a work shop - well the area that does not have my car in it. I will say this - Summer is SO much nicer when I can keep my car in the garage when I am not using it. Earlier I needed to run my oldest son on a quick errand and I went out and got into my car and it was SO hot in there. When the car is in the garage - it is not too bad and it is so much easier for the AC to cool it off.

Well this week-end I learned a new lesson. You know I have talked the importance of when we study the Bible to apply it to our lives? Well I learned this week-end that when God teaches me a lesson in life that I need to learn to apply it to my life as well. See, I learned a lesson back in February and if I had have learned to apply this lesson to my life - then I would not have had to learn it again this week-end. But maybe just maybe I am learning that lesson and will be able to apply it and be successful with dealing with the situation in the future - we will see. I will have to pray and ask God to give me the wisdom to know the right way to deal with it. It is so awesome that we can ask God for the wisdom that we need for what ever our problems are. I just need to learn to ask a lot sooner. And be willing to take the time to listen for a reply.

Well I better close - I have a few more things I would like to finish today. Hope you all have had a good week end!! :O)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Tale of the Two Black Trucks

A hot day in August- year 2008. We get a phone call. My husband answers the phone. Our oldest son, was on the other end. He tells my husband that they were just in an accident. Our youngest son is entrapped in the truck. My husband tells me to stay home - as we just heard the scanners go off and it sounded like a very serious scene - said one entrapment and one on the ground. So I stayed home. I called our parents and got them praying. My Mother told me - don't go to the scene till you get down on your knees and pray. I prayed and felt peace from God. The accident scene was only about 2 miles or so from our house. When I got to the scene they are still cutting my youngest son from the truck. And my oldest is on a backboard in the field.

What basically had happened is that my son was driving east on a divided highway. He had went to turn right - driving across the west bound traffic. He had not seen the white truck coming at a high rate of speed. Apparently the other truck did not see him either because this photo shows how far the white truck rolled into the field after slamming into my sons Dodge truck. Oh and remember that this photo is not from the actual point of contact being that was in the middle of the road.

In this photo you can see from point of contact(where photo was taken- but on side of the road) to where my sons truck actually finally came to a stop. - Way down there where my boys are standing. The truck was hit from the front end and turned going down the highway and was hit SO hard it traveled a long ways down.

In the photo - to the left - is the broken hand that my youngest son got in this wreck. Plus a few bumps and bruises. As you can tell from this photo - the passenger side door had to be cut off.

Do you see the angle that the seat was in that my son was riding in?

In this wreck my oldest son - driver got a cut on the back of his head that needed a couple of stitches, a concussion, and more bumps and bruises. He was really sore for a few days.

Several miracles happened on this day. First of all, as the boys were coming up to the turn - youngest son said he heard oldest son tell him to turn the channel on the radio. Before that the window had been down and his arm hanging out the window. It would have been horrible had his arm been out that window at the time of impact. The next miracle we did not figure out till the day that we went to look at the truck.
After the wreck we had been talking and youngest son said his seat belt had come off. At first we were not real happy about that. But when we went to the wrecking yard and I got the seat belt and took it across the seat that was bent sideways - I found that there would NOT have been enough room for my son. And there could have been major damage done to him.

God also blessed - insurance paid this truck off and Oldest son bought a new truck - this time he went with a 4 door Dodge truck.
Well this morning at 7:30am, I got a photo call from Oldest Son. He said he was OK - but he had rolled the his truck. He had driven across a bridge and was on the service road. There is a slick spot on this service road - which has caused my husbands truck to slid before. But apparently with the lite mist it was much more slick than usual.
My son ask the police officer if he was getting a ticket. The cop told him No - that this was the 3rd wreck like this - this week ALONE. And that we needed to contact the TxDot about it. Well as you can see my son had to undue his seat belt and then crawl to the back seat and out the back window.
We are praising God for his protection! My son did go to the hospital and it does not look like there is any new damage done. He has the messed up knee from an injury at work a couple of months ago - that was probably agitated - cause it is hurting more. Which by the way, He had been headed to the Dr. office to have a orthopedic surgeon look at his knee and to find out if he was going to need surgery. That appointment had to be postponed.

Well I am so thankful for our guardian angels that watch over us and protect us. Praising God for His many blessing!

By the way, I think he is looking at something other than a Black Truck now. Seems like a great idea to me.