The other day, my eleven year old son walked in and had a scroll tied to some helium-filled balloons that he had received the day before. Quite curious, I asked, "What in the world are you doing?" He said, "I am sending a note to God." If you have read much about my son, you know this is a little odd because he usually just prays. He asked Christ into His life at a very young age and I sincerely thought that he knew all he had to do was to just speak to God. There are literally no strings attached, just open your heart and pray.
Being the science whiz that he is, he realized quickly that the note was too heavy to allow the balloons to get very far with the note. He decided to reduce the letter to about a sticky note size. It honestly looked like a scene out of the movie, "Up." The balloons were large and very colorful. He just had to get the right weight balance between the balloons and the note. Finally, the work was finished and the balloons were about to be sent to God so that he could get his very important note to Him.
I did not really ask what the note was about, but I thought it might be pretty important since eleven year old's very rarely take time for important things (aka baths, homework, piano practice).
A few minutes after he had stepped out of the door, a very disappointed eleven year old came back in from the cold. His balloons had gotten caught in a tree and his message was intercepted by the dead limbs on the tree. I was so sad for him to say the least.
I was sad for him for several reasons. For one, that just stinks to have a goal of getting something to someone and it not happening for whatever the reason. Another reason is that it is just somehow wrong for such a beautiful experience as sending a letter to God via balloons to get interrupted. And lastly, I know how he felt.
I have felt that my prayers were hanging in dead branches on trees many times in my life. Did I not pray hard enough or loud enough? Have I sinned so greatly that He has fingers in His ears blocking out the sound of my voice? What is going on? Where are you? Where is your hand of protection or Your voice that is supposed to be leading me?
David felt the same way in Psalm 4: 1 and 3
"1Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer. 3 Know the the Lord set apart the godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him."
We can be assured that He does hear us when we call out to Him. It says in my all time favorite Psalm, Psalm 34 "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles."
Obviously, the Lord knew my son's prayer, without the balloons making it all the way to Him. In fact, God is in my son's hear. Just sometimes it does indeed feel like the Lord is far away. When you feel like your prayers are being intercepted by a bunch of dead limbs, know that the Lord heard you. He will deliver you out of all of your troubles because He is so good and His love endures forever.
As a side note: I went to Wal Mart the next day and looked for some kind of helium balloon that was big enough to take up a big prayer on big paper. The only one I could find was a birthday balloon and I figured since it was almost Jesus's birthday that a birthday balloon might work. I left it in Hansel's room and when he found it he said, "Oh, that is perfect, that is all I really wanted to tell Him anyway."
I found the larger note that he wrote in my office today confirming the fact that Hansel just wanted to say Happy Birthday to Jesus and asked God if He could possibly heal him from this cold or fever that he has.
By the way, Caleb is at school today with no fever and really not much of a sniffle. God is good and hears you when you pray even if it feels like your prayers are caught in the dead branches of a tree in your front yard.
On the night that we went, she spoke mainly about her real life and time playing Blair on "The Facts of Life" and many of the obstacles she faced. She is a really neat Christian lady. I want to share the link to her website for any resources that you might need. Her older books are mainly about homeschooling and creatively correcting young children. Her later books are about raising teenagers, taking care of yourself as a mom, and the friendships of women.
I encourage you, that if you are struggling with finding good, creative Biblical ways to correct your little ones then this is the website and book for you. She will give you the real scoop on "The Facts of Life" as a mom. Enjoy!
This morning I had an opportunity to do a little jogging, listening to music and thinking. I went by one of the houses in my neighborhood and I almost gasped. Not because I was gasping for air (which could have possibly been happening too), but because I saw the most beautiful flowers.
One of my neighbors decorated their mailbox by planting Morning Glory's right beside it. It takes awhile for these flowers to shoot up to the top of the mailbox, but they were definitely there this morning in full presentation. They had such amazingly beautiful bright bluish purple petals. They were alive in all of their morning glory! I started thinking about those flowers. I think I am a lot like those Morning Glory's.
I wake up in the morning all bright and chipper (after a cup of coffee). I am ready to face the world. I feel beautiful, even if I don't look it quite yet, and I am bursting to show the world just how beautiful I am. I am full of life and energy; just asking the world to bring it on. Now the problem with all of that is it wears off by around 3:00 when I pick up my kids from school. Then my flower changes.
The flower I change to is called an Impatient! :) It is so sad how my once lovely flower petals change into a foreboding Impatient who wants to seek shade and comfort in her bathtub. :) I try so hard to be such a good little flower, but unfortunately I am parched by 3:00. I need the gardener to come along and give me some fertilizer and maybe some root stimulator (I think we call this caffeine). :)
I thought you might like to tell me that you identify with the way that I am or maybe we can make it goal to try to be Evening Glory's together. Have a glorious day! I'm going to pick up my kids from school now. :)
The last few months, I have felt like I was in a corn maze. I would go one way and it was a dead end. I went another way and yet another dead end. Finally I feel like I am going in the right direction. All of this began last year when my daughter, my precious Gretel, decided she was ready for public school. I have given in reluctantly feeling that the battle was not worth it.
Last year, I worked full time and home schooled her and let me tell you that is no easy task. Since my Prince Charming and I still feel that I need to continue the full time work I knew that Gretel was going to get the shaft again. I enrolled her in school early this summer and it took all summer to realize what I really was doing. I was relinquishing control of every detail of her day. What she eats, what she hears, what she does with her friends, what she learns. . . .everything until 3:00 pm. Man, that is hard! When you go from knowing every minute detail. . . .even if they are using the bathroom enough, to not being in the know about anything.
While my heart aches, I know it is just part of the growing up process and entering a new season of the maze! The other part of the confusing journey was knowing which job to go with. Should I go back to teaching in brick and mortar, set out on a new career all together, or stick with my virtual world of teaching. The Lord provided clarity to that just this month. When I was fretting about finances earlier in the summer, my friend asked me when my last paycheck was for this year. I am on a 12 month contract and so I said August 15th. She said the Lord will show you around that time. She was right, I just found out yesterday the last piece of my full time job August 20th. The Lord was a few days late in my book! :) Right on time in his I suppose. :)
This year I am working with the Virtual School again teaching Special Education part time and another part time role that I am not sure that I can discuss just yet. Both pieces are with the Virtual School working with 1st -8th grade. Wow! What a maze of obstacles, dead ends, and waiting. The Lord was faithful once again though. He showed us the way and provided for our needs and the desires of our hearts once again.
Now to figure out how to teach Special Education and the other piece of my job while keeping my head on straight and my family from being neglected. I am sure that the Lord will be faithful to A MAZE me once again when I call out to Him.
This has to be the dreamiest part of my whole day. I have a glass of iced tea, my Bible, my computer and I am on the back porch/deck that my hubby built. It is the late afternoon and the cicadas are really loud. I love it!
I have had a couple of weeks off of work. It has been so good for me! I have transferred all of my work energy into my house and I have just about all of the spaces just about where I want them. The exception being my office where I really need to channel a tornado full of energy!
My job situation is in limbo this year. There is potential, but its really hard to say exactly what I will be doing in 3 months. I know that the Lord has a plan, but I don't like this lighting my path one step at a time thing! It is really hard for me. Hmmm, maybe that was part of the plan! :)
Anyway, I don't like being in limbo because I am a planner and I like to know what I am doing at all times so I can check things off of my list. Right now, my list looks something like this. . .
- Repent, because I am frustrated and disgusted with waiting!
Meanwhile, I will sit back, have a glass of tea on my back porch and listen to the cicadas. and oh yeah, I will wait. :)
Honestly, I cannot think of another time I have taken a picture of my fingernails. On Friday, I had a French manicure, but today it looks more like a Circus Manicure.
The last few days I have painted my son's room orange and off white, repainted the bathroom blue, and refinished a piece of furniture for my bathroom.
I am smoked! I think I am in need of a bath in mineral spirits!
His Voice . . .How do you know it's God?
This is our fifth day at Perdido Key. It has been fun to be with my family and have few obligations to fulfill. But it is definitely not the beach vacation of my dreams. We only have one more day for the weather to act right! Did you hear that clouds, go away!? I have a tan to work on. :)
GeoTagged, [N30.31834, E87.42475]
We are in Perdido Key, Florida on vacation. Thus far, we have had one nice sunny day out of three because of the tropical storm brewing in the Caribbean. The oil spill debris is steadily getting worse. It makes me so sad. I am hoping for some divine creativity for my kid's sake.
On a sunny note, it is good to be with my mom and dad. I love that it is stress free. The only real chores are pertaining to the dishwasher and washer/dryer. We have made dinner a couple of nights and gone out to eat at McGuires (which is another post). :(
I have had time to make three bracelets and a necklace. I have a feeling I will be making a whole line of jewelry this week! :) Lots of pics to come.
They were singing really fun songs and he asked me to come up and sing and dance one with him. He is 10! He is still at the age where I am somewhat cool, maybe not for long and definitely not coordinated. I went. They gave all the t-shirts out and lots of applause for all of the help to pull the camp week off. We got in the car to get his belongings from the dorm and when he gets in the car he says in his very raspy voice, "Mom, I got a little God this week and a little strength." He pulls up his shirt sleeve to reveal his sweet ten year old bulging muscle. He goes on to tell me that he needs to read from Matthew 4. He reads in his hoarse voice how Jesus was tempted and then he attempts to exegete the passage. He said one of the boys in his dorm wants to be a pastor and preached this to them.
He read the Bible a lot on the way home and had a glow about him. He was on the mountaintop this week. I remember that feeling. What an awesome feeling. He told me he was going to have to borrow my Bible for church from now on because he needed to follow along at church. I realized before he left that he did not have his own Bible (other than a picture Bible and a Precious Moments one). When he got home I had a present on his bed waiting for him. It was an Adventure Bible with his name on it. He opened it up and looked at it like it was better than a ginormous pack of Pokemon cards. He thanked me and said he was even going to keep the box it came in.
Now he is in his freshly made bed, reading his Adventure Bible, sipping hot mint tea and honey to get his voice back, and getting ready to drift into a very deep after-camp sleep. Praise our Holy and Precious God for moments and days like these. Thank you Jesus for allowing my son to have "a little God and a little strength" this week. You are Incredible.
He really is the most "good-natured" kid you could have. He loves his family, especially his sister. He would do anything for anybody. He is a great helper around the house as you can see in this picture.
I am going to miss him this week, but I am just thankful that he is not going off to college or getting married. I have a few years on that one! I am trying to savor the time that I have with him right now. It is good.
11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Using paper plates is quite contrary to what I have instilled into my children. My son, who I think is kind of pre-adolescent (10) because he has become quite argumentative about such topics has really taken offense to this new commandment in our home. He said that I am destroying the earth one paper plate at a time. Can you believe anyone in my home could be so opinionated!
I have decided to fight back, not by giving up the paper plate rule because I do not want to clean up behind them all summer. I have decided to, as often as possible, walk him to swimming instead of drive. I did not make it to the gym this morning, but I needed some cardio. It is only a little over a mile away and it is a great way to start the day. Hansel loves the idea of walking because we are being mindful of the earth and it is a great warm up/talking time. So Hansel and the Princess are saving the world one step at a time. . . at least until the summer is over. Then onto new adventures.
That brings me to, what should I do with the extra $45 a month. Gretel talked about it a little more and we thought we might should give it to Shirley, our church's Compassion International little girl. I thought, "Mr. Savings" is always crying for more. But what could I do that would give me "the Biggest Bang for my Buck" so to speak. Perhaps, paying more on my car loan? Perhaps investing eternally in missions. Perhaps contributing more to the incredibly huge building project for our church? There are so many things, people and events that need my monetary help. Where do I start?
I am going to ask the Lord for guidance. I hope that I can invest my money wisely instead of squandering it only to feed my flesh just a little more.
So what would you do with an extra $45 a month? Inquiring minds want to know.
So, I got on their website and can you believe that there it was plain as day, $69.99 unlimited local and nationwide calling. The other amazing thing is that I saw a button that said, "Change your plan." What?? I don't have to haggle with anyone to spend $30.00 less a month? I was really amazed at the AT & T website.
Then, while I was feeling really lucky, I started to look at how much I was texting a month. My highest month was 180 texts. I had unlimited texting. I know, you probably think, "what was she thinking signing up for all of that?" I had no idea how much or how little I would talk or text so I asked for the "Platinum package." :) I've had it since September and had too busy to really think or look at it. Guess what! I could go down to the cheapest texting package with my measly 180 texts a month.
All in all, I was able to save $45 a month on my I phone bill. Let's face it, I phones are expensive, but fun! If I can have fun at a lower price every month, I will take it.
The moral of the story is, start looking at your bills each month to see if you think you can save a dime here or there. I think it will be worth every dime you save!
Dear Olive Garden,
Yesterday, I talked my whole family into eating at your establishment because I thought I could trust you. I just knew you had a salad that I could eat on my diet. I was careful on your breadsticks because they are 150 calories a piece. I ate 1 1/2. Yes, that is a record for me! I ate your Zuppa Toscana soup. Even though it was unlimited I ate only 1 bowl because that is another 170 calories.
Your salad, though, was something that I thought I could trust to fill me up and make my trip and self discipline worth it. I had 2 bowls and swiped a couple of other little pieces of lettuce from the bowl too when everyone was finished. I topped this lovely meal off with 1/2 a mint. Perfect, I thought, I am not hungry. I probably got away with maybe around 500 calories.
Little did I know that your salad would betray me. What I thought was the safe dish, so much so that I did not check the calories beforehand, was an evil calorie breaker. As you know, I have a food diary where I log in my calories. When I opened my book on calories, I saw that one serving of your lovely disguised salad was a whopping 350 calories per serving. Olive Garden, I had two bowls + of your salad and I because of you making your salads so caloric I had to eat a salmon burger for dinner. Blah! I went over my carefully regulated calories for the day and now I have to exercise more to lose the weight. I ate at least 700 of my 1400 calories a day on salad.
Could you please tell me what you put into that salad dressing that makes it so caloric? Is it heavy whipping cream? :) Is it a pound of chocolate? Although it is good, it was not worth wasting 1/2 of my calories for the day on. :) If I could make a suggestion. . . .could you put a warning label on the side of your salad that tells us calorie counting dieters to beware? I know this would mean a lot to many others besides me.
Thank you for letting me tell my story and get this off my chest.
Frustrated Calorie Counter
For the past six months I have been going through Beth Moore's, Breaking Free Revised Edition. I had some "revised bondage" so I thought I would venture through the Bible Study for the second time.
You know the Bible Study is actually only 10 weeks (2.5 months) and it took me since November (six long months) to make it to the last line. I was joking with my friend who led the study and told her that I think that it took us longer to go through it than it did for Beth Moore to write it. It took so long to finish the Bible Study my friend thought Beth might have another revised version coming out again. :)
I am glad that I "savored" it. I really felt like it impacted me more. We had some incredible discussions in our group. The whole experience really bonded us as sister's in Christ or siestas as Beth would call her groupies.
This afternoon, as I was working on History with my daughter and my friend's daughter, who we co-teach, I realized a very important part of my "Breaking Free" journey. We were talking about the American Revolution. I am not a history buff, although I really love learning about it the third time around. (Sleeping in history in high school, sitting by the love of my life in college did not help the history to stick very well the first and second time.)
This afternoon we discussed the fact that they signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Then I realized that they were not actually free on that day. This is probably where you say, "duh, where have you been?" (Sleeping?) That was near the beginning of the American Revolution. They were not actually free until 1783; seven years after they had declared their independence.
I realized that although I am declaring my freedom this day upon completion of my Bible Study, the war has really just started for me. I have worked through a lot of my past again, but I will still have to continue to fight each and every day to not to continue the negative patterns of my lineage. I have to walk in faith that I am free. Just like our forefathers, I am writing my own Declaration of Independence in faith that someday I will be completely free.
My Declaration of Dependence and Freedom
We hold these truths to be self evident that she, created in God's likeness, is given certain unalienable rights, that among these are abundant life, liberty in Christ and the pursuit of an eternal joy. She is beautifully made, a hand-crafted work of art. Being His workmanship and in His likeness she is free to worship her Creator in any way that she chooses, whether by raised hands, clanging cymbals or dancing in an undignified way. She is free to make different decisions than the ones who have gone before her. Given wholeness and security in Christ she has been given eternal blessings that far outweigh anything here on earth.
Whenever any form of bondage appears, it is her right to abolish it. She will aggressively pray for her children, grandchildren, and even her greats to be men and women of God who are free from any form of bondage; free from drugs, alcohol, depression, manipulation and any other form of chains chemically, physically, mentally or spiritually.
She refuses to allow Satan to have even a toehold in her life. She will defend her family, her life in Christ and her Christ to the grave if need be. A rich walk with Christ is not easily established or should be changed for light and transient causes. She will stay close to her sister's in Christ, and the bride to which Christ died for so that she may be rich in knowledge and faith in Him.
She, therefore, a representative of Christ, appeals to her Almighty God to help her each and every day to fight the good fight. A fight not against flesh and blood, but from all rulers and principalities of evil. And for the support of this declaration she pledges to her Lord: her life, her fortunes (how great or how small it may be :) ) and her pride.
---- Clappy Shoes
Both my husband and I have I-phones. We were sitting around the other day thinking about how we needed an iphone app that would sync between our phones that could keep up with our grocery list. We always have a running list that we struggle with communicating when the other ones go to the store. Usually he will call and say what do you need at the store and I will text or email him my list.
Eureka! We struck gold with this app. It is called Grocery IQ. It not only has a list that syncs between our phones, but we scan our favorite (name brand items only) items and it tells us exactly which ones to pick up at the store. So when my hubs goes to the store and cannot remember which coffee creamer I like, he can just look at his app and it stores my favorite. It really is amazing. You can scan, just like a grocery scanner, any item even including books and it will store it in your phone.
There are other cool features like storing items by the aisle, ability to mark off items as you go, possibly coupons for your items and the ability to clear your list once you are finished shopping. It really is amazing.
So, the moral of the story is, if you have an iphone, get this app!!!
Lots of App Love,
Anyway, after breakfast we worked on the house a little, cleaning our rooms (except I did not take the lead there, which I need to desperately). I did laundry, which was much better than the 498 loads I did last week. I think I might have been a week or so behind last week which made this week's so much better.
Also, we watched my favorite house flipping show called "Property Ladder" where I decided that is my next venture. . .flipping houses. Actually, it is Prince Charming's next venture, but he does not know that yet. Also, don't tell him, but I am going to be his boss and he will work for me and I am going to be a very rich woman. :) Just kidding, honey. It does look fascinating though.
There are many many other things going on in the recesses of my mind about my future, but lets just keep those in my mind for now.
What is your normal Saturday morning look like?
I need a translator. Can you figure out what my kids are talking about? I typed up a 3-5 minute conversation of my kids this afternoon. Please help, I think I am being taken over by Pokemon.
This guy is a manake
Those little guys who are sting rays
I am on level 38 and I just killed it
It is a lot for a level 1
I have oxcelery, I got the evolution of evelray
Ah, the evolsion of manake
Oh wait, walterpulse, stinkers
Down to the ground on top of the hound
How much did you get
1,412 almost level 50
Monster raptor wants to learn bravebird
Whirlwind isn’t that good
One time whirlwind saved my live. . .
Have you experienced any of this strangeness in your home? Please tell me that I am not the only one.