Monday, January 24, 2011

Our Friendly Neighborhood Pool (May 2010)

One of the things we love about our new house, but didn't get to enjoy right away because of the season, is our neighborhood pool! As soon as it opened we started going several times a week right after school. I even went a couple of times after work before the kids got home and enjoyed some peace and quiet. The kids even discovered that if they check the drains they can, on occasion, find a frog! They get a kick out of playing with them for awhile before letting them go. We love having access to a pool!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Search Me Oh God

Search me Oh God
Search me and find
Any way in me
that does not reflect Your purity
Refine me Oh God
In the fire of Your gaze
That I might be holy
in all of my ways
Take me deeper Lord
Draw me closer Lord…

I have sung this song many times over the years and I have meant every word. I tend to think more about the 'take me deeper, draw me closer' part the most, though, because I often don't feel very close to Him.

The last year or two have been a bit of a struggle for me. I've questioned more, doubted more, prayed more, prayed less, felt guilty, felt hopeless, felt hope. I have become so aware of how despicable I am. I have wallowed in feelings of self-loathing. I have been anxious and desperate. I cry out 'take me deeper, draw me closer'.

In the midst of this, though, I have come to realize that my struggles do not mean God is farther away, instead, I have realized he IS drawing closer! How else do I know how sinful I am except by God's examination? I forgot that when I sing that song, I am also singing "Search me and find any way in me that does not reflect Your purity" and oh boy, is He answering my prayer! Knowing this gives me hope! He IS listening to the cries of my heart. He is showing me myself, AND He is showing me that he LOVES ME ANYWAY. Praise Yahweh! Even though it doesn't always feel like it, He is here and moving in my life. He is refining me in His fire so that I CAN draw deeper and nearer to Him. Thank you, Jesus!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dean's 40th Birthday! -May 29

For my 40th birthday, Dean took me sailing in Charleston, and I LOVED it! But Dean loves people and hosting parties at our house. He also loves ice cream and sprinkles! So for his birthday, I threw him an ice cream party and invited lots of people. This was especially fun, since we recently bought a new house and most of these people hadn't seen it yet. We had about 15 different flavors of ice cream and around 25 toppings! It was a big success.
Happy Birthday, Dean!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Have You Ever Seen God Smile?

I did not intend to have two such thoughtful posts in a row, but these things have been on my mind lately and I want to write them down before I forget. Too often I plan to write about something and never do.

I pray on a regular basis, usually in my car or at night when I go to bed. This is not a religious 'observance' for me. It's just what I do. Mostly my prayers consists of asking for help in one thing or another, or asking for the safety of my family, or prayer for other people.

However, the other day on my way to work, I started praying for something else. For some reason it occurred to me to pray for God, for Yeshua Himself! I prayed that He would be blessed that day. That someone somewhere in the world would do something that would bless His socks off! It sounds funny to say that, and surely God is blessed every day by some one of His servants doing what He's asked. But, praying that prayer ended up blessing ME, because as I prayed I pictured the face of God smiling, because of me, because of you. We can make God smile! We can bless Him! I love that picture and it makes me want to constantly strive to put that smile on His face.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hebrews 11:1

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see."

To be honest, I've never really quite wrapped my brain around this one, to know what it really means. For the past year or so, my faith has been tested. I've had some conversations that have challenged some of the things I've always believed, or at least the way I've understood them. It had me questioning whether what I've always believed was wrong, or just different. How then can I know the truth? I'm not a scholar. I asked this person, based on some of what he told me, why/how he believes. He said he just does. He chooses to have faith in God. I still don't know exactly what to believe, in many cases it really doesn't matter, it's just semantics. But when it came down to brass tacks, I asked myself, "Why do I believe?" My answer was because I HOPE it's true. My heart tells me God is real and he loves me. I can't prove it. I can't participate in theological debates on the subject. Some people may think it is ridiculous and childish to believe something just because I want it to be so, nevertheless, I HOPE it's true.

Now I get it!

"Faith is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things unseen." Hebrews 11:1

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Alyssa's Art Show - May

Alyssa was in Honor's Art this year and we attended her art show in May. Here were her projects:

The next one is a face mask. She had to have her face completely covered with plaster breathing through her nose for 15 minutes. Unfortunately, the class ran out of time at the end of the year, and she was unable to finish it.

This last one is a clay box. Her teacher loved it and said she should enter it into the state fair this year. Great job, babe!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me! -May 10

Once my kid's were all in school, I needed to find a part-time job. For about a year I was a substitute teacher. I really wanted flexibility when it came time to being home when my kids were home and substituting worked out nicely except I needed more work than I was getting.

I needed a permanent position and it occurred to me that a job with the school would be perfect because for the most part, I could keep the same hours as my kids including holidays & summers. Believe it or not, out of all the positions I had 'sampled', the one I enjoyed the most was in the cafeteria. I know, it's not glamorous, but my goal was not to get the most prestigious job, or even one with the most money. My primary goal was to be home with my kids as much as possible and this was the best way to accomplish that. So I kept an eye out for an opening and since I already had a foot in the door with the school system, was able to step right in when one came available. And it was at the school I wanted! I work with a great bunch of people.

One of the things we do, which I love, is fix a private lunch for each other on our individual birthdays. Johnny does most of the cooking (AND IT IS GOOD!) but it wouldn't happen without Susan's planning and enthusiasm. This past year was my first and for my birthday lunch, they made me (at my request) BBQ Chicken, Corn Bread, Collard Greens, Rutabagas, and Pineapple Upside down Cake for dessert. YUM! Thank you, Susan, Johnny, Angel, Julie, and Erin! You're the best!