Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Playing With The Kids

Could it get any better than this for me? Sitting down to do an arts and crafts project with my kids. Well 3 of the 4 anyway. The oldest is in Florida sunning herself. We did some Mod Podge projects for Father's Day. It was a nice memory. (This is my hubby's office in the garage, pardon the mess)

I can't begin to say how much I am enjoying creating so many great memories with my family. The business is closed, haven't been able to find a job but I confess I don't want one. I love being at home and taking care of my family. We have never been happier and they need me. I need them too.

I'd rather have less stuff and more of them. We do the most random things together and laugh like fools. Can't do that working, or surfing the net, watching TV, etc. I love our impromptu Bible Study sessions too. On the way to Karate lots of times we turn off the radio and I ask if anyone has a question about something in the Bible and then for 20 minutes we discuss it. I just can't believe how much I have been able to teach my kids in doing that. I try it at the house but they can't focus and it's difficult. They are strapped in and focused in the car, plus they really enjoy it. When I was working I never did it because my mind was filled with what I had done at work, what I needed to do at work and what the heck was I going to cook for dinner?

Making memories, that's what I am loving doing. It's usually the small random things we remember the most. Baking a cake with your mom or grandma. An adult holding your hand and taking you someplace special. Being tickled by your dad. Washing the car with your brother and sisters. Popping popcorn and snuggling in to watch a funny movie.

We are having kids over and do you know what they say? They say their parents don't have time to do stuff with them. Lord, I hope my kids never said that about me. Probably did though. I am so happy to have this special time to love on my family so completely. I'd say it's so worth it it's worth downsizing a home and trading in for a cheaper car/SUV if doing so allowed someone to be a stay at home mom. So totally worth it. I wish I had been able to do it years ago. When I'm gone nobody is going to say, "We're going to miss her, she was such a hard worker".

Go have some fun with your kids!! We're going swimming today.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Bible In A Year

I was missing my sweet Lexi today and when I was getting ready to do this post I saw this in the picture file. Me and my sweet Lexi in 1994 or 95. Time flies. She is in Florida visiting her Dad, he got married last week. She has been gone for two weeks already, I miss her.

I also just finished an hour or so ago my Bible In A Year program over at http://www.christianity.com/ and I am excited about that. I was supposed to have finished on June 17 as I started it on June 18, 2008. Okay, so I was a few days late finishing. But I did it!! Yay!! Just for fun I decided to look back on my post for June 18, 2008. As it happens I did two posts that day. I spent most of 2008 on a roller coaster, I was up one minute and then down as soon as I listened to the lies of our enemy or things weren't going my way. Sure enough June 18, 2008 was no different. As I was reading the second post titled "Mother Fluffer" I just laughed and laughed. Hard. My hubby rolls over in bed to ask what's so funny and I would be horrified for him to see it so I say "stuff".

I knew before I looked at last year's post when I decided to read the Bible again that I would find myself in a bad place. I knew it would be something hugely embarrassing (and it was) but I wanted to see it. I wanted a confirmation of the work God has done in me this past year. WOW. Nothing like using a blog for a diary and then looking back at the transforming power of God.

Today conviction hit me like a brick as our Pastor was preaching about not giving up. He was kind of sort of poking fun (in a teaching way) at roller coaster Christians and I was thinking maybe God had him add that part in for my benefit since it didn't have anything to do with the sermon and Pastor said he felt like somebody in the church needed to hear it. I had such a hard time getting off the roller coaster and admittedly I still struggle with it somewhat. It was a bondage I was tied to and have only gotten off starting in November. I had been thinking about it all day after the Pastor had been talking about being on the Christian Roller Coaster and how funny that I would look back on last year's post from when I started my Bible In A Year program and it had two posts, one up and one down. Way down.

What have I learned since I started the Bible In A Year program? Since I did everything I needed to do to give everything to God and rest in Him? Well, that's a post in itself but truly what a journey I have been on.

The most important thing I have learned from my journey with God that began in 2008 is that in ALL things I must place my total and UNWAVERING faith/trust in the fact that God is with me and He is in control. I must know who I am in Christ (please look at the top of the sidebar and print these things out for you to speak out loud in your own life daily).

That sounds like an easy thing to do but it was not for me in this particular area. Yes, I handled every stinky thing that ever happened to me with grace until I came upon the stinky valley of finances. I always earned excellent money and so did the hubster. Who knew the year I'd decide to quit and be a stay at home mom my hubby would also get laid off from an industry that won't be hiring any for at least another year and he got laid off in June of 2007. Ah, yes, not knowing month to month if we would survive did me in. No grace in my actions for this valley. Yes, I am still a little ashamed of myself. But in my defense when you can't feed your family and you can't pay your bills and you may actually be homeless can cause a human being to twitch a little. So I twitched, a lot in my soul. Before the layoff issues I would have told you I had great faith if you asked me about the state of my faith. I really thought I did. I was blind to the plank in my eye.

I am so grateful for these last 365 days. So very grateful. Have you ever read the entire Bible? Can I tell you that I have read it fully 3 times. Each time I have read it God has worked a beautiful transformation and each time I was done my relationship and walk with Him was more amazing than when I started. This last time was more amazing than anything I have ever experienced as far as God actually moving and molding me. If you have never read the entire Bible can I pretty please encourage you to do it now? You can even do it on the computer!! You are on the computer right now..... reading this...... all you would have to do is click on this link
and sign up for Christianity.com's Bible In A Year program. You can do it in just about any translation you want and they have different programs to choose from too. I read the NIV and did a combination of reading a 2:1 ratio of Old Testament & New Testament daily. Worked for me. I can assure you of the fact that if you are looking to come closer to Him then committing to and reading the word each day will do just that. It doesn't take very much time to do it. You can read the entire Bible, yes you can. Think about it if you haven't please. If you don't think it will change you then all you have to do is read this blog from back in the beginning and it won't take too long to see you are reading from a different person, the old me. Yep, that ole girl is gone and once again He has done a work. If you haven't done it, won't you let Him do one in you? You'll never regret it and the worst that can happen is that you will read the best written and best selling book in the history of the world. And no, I don't mean one of the Twilight series books, lol. You don't want to get to heaven and say sorry Lord, I never got to it, those Twilight books were too awesome. I mean you have seen Edward haven't you Lord?

Was that thunder I just heard?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Quart of Paint & A Big Change

Did you register for your FREE quart of paint from Glidden? I sure hope so..... I registered for mine!! I can't wait to get it and paint my dining room table my husband built. Well, he built it for my store and then I sold it when the store closed but the store I sold it to has already closed and since it wasn't paid for it is back in my possession once again. But it's a light blue. As you can see from this room which is open to my dining room, light blue won't do. If you didn't register for the free quart...

go get you one anyway. I used less than one quart of paint to paint the back of these bookcases earlier in the year and they look great!! I used the same color as the wall color for the dining room. I LOVE it. And all for a quart of paint. If you have bookcases, even a book shelf somewhere and I know you do! Try painting the back/scrapbook papering the back/wall papering the back. It makes a world of difference!

Would you like more inspiration of what to do with a little paint and a table? I am going to do something like this with my dining room table. ME LIKEY.http://www.dailydecorator.com/?p=2730 this post is an amazing transformation with stain and paint. I'm not going to stain though, I'll be using paint for both. I haven't decided on my pattern but I do know I want some kind of scripture on the table too. This is going to be fun! It would be fun to do in a kids room or a side table. So many possibilities. Please click on the link!! You'll be rushing out for that quart of paint lickety split. If you do something, please send me some pictures!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

How To Do Just About Anything

Do you ever have questions? Are you like me and are a computer dummy? Have I got the website for you. Please remember /bookmark/ favorites this website. You will LOVE it. '


eHow How to do just about anything is the website for you.

For example, I don't know much about computers and it vexes my husband with my constant questions about how to do things. The other day I needed to change the default printer so I could print coupons from http://www.coupons.com/ and the default printer was out of toner. Who has money for toner? On these sites for coupon printing you cannot select which printer you want, it always automatically directs to the default printer. I had asked my husband several times to switch but he had not done it. I just knew I could not call him and ask how to do it as I would once more look like a do do head. Plus, he was busy fixing somebodies roof. So I googled "How do I change the default printer". Imagine my delight when eHow popped up with the answer. In a matter of less than 60 seconds I knew exactly what to do and I could follow the steps while listening to the video so as the man explained what to do, I could actually do it. YIPEE!!!

I soon discovered this website was a valuable place to be for a person who like me, doesn't know how to do much but would like to. Please give it a visit, today's lesson featured is how to moonwalk in honor of Michael Jackson dying. I'm a little confused about that one as I personally have a hard time with people who are attracted to little children. God bless his soul.

Not wanting to put Farah Fawcett in the same paragraph with the guy above, I wanted to say I was very sad at her passing. I know how badly she wanted to live and how much she loved her son. God bless her sweet soul too.

Want to Smell Great and Have Soft Skin?

My new favorite beauty product. Do you have a Wal Mart near you? Ha, ha, that was funny, is there a person out there that doesn't have a Wal Mart in driving distance? Please pick one of these bad boys up on your next trip. They have other varieties but this is my favorite.
Why? You might ask. What could be so special about this body scrub? Oh, so many wonderful things. First, I used to buy Arbonne's body scrub for like $36 and it was fabulous. My skin always was silky soft, smelled great and I loved that stuff. Yeah, um Village Naturals was like $3.50 at Wal Mart and had the exact same effect. When you are done using this product your skin will feel like silk. You will smell fantastic. You will have soft and smooth skin from the regular exfoliating. Plus, and a nice biggie, you will feel like the pampered lady that you deserve to be. Shhh, for practically pennies.
Oh yeah and if you are like me and love to take a bath the Village Naturals scented bath salts are to DIE FOR. Some grocery stores carry the bath salts but I have not seen the body scrubs there. Plus, the grocery store sells them for way more than the Wal Mart.
Don't forget..... if you don't take care of yourself, nobody else will. If momma is happy, everybody is happy.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Free Quart of Paint

Free quart of paint from Glidden. I chose the Dark French Chocolate to paint a dining room table. Hurray!! What a wonderful gift from Glidden. Please click on the link to go to Jen's blog to read about it.

Walking Out My Faith

So far this has been a week spent studying and trying to live simply. I have spent a lot of time in prayer this week. I have been spending a lot of time speaking things that are not as though they were. I am doing my best to be self controlled and speak the positive since I have been reading about how words can be a trap or a blessing to us, learning about what the Bible says concerning words having power over our lives.

Mostly as I have been reading and studying books and the Bible it was really impressed upon me how God does relate with us as individuals. There is no blanket prayer that works for all. There is no "absolute right way" for an individual to walk out their faith. I discover once again that it is important to just have the faith in the first place. I keep going back to Beth Moore's words that wherever your mind is spewing worry, that is where you do not trust God. Faith is trust. If I am worrying about something then I am not having faith in God in that situation. That sure hit a note with me. I am so happy to have heard her speak those words. They have been life changing words for me.

I have to confess though that I am very confused about the ways of God. I was talking with a friend the other day about my husband and how wonderful it is to watch him develop a personal relationship with the Lord and change before our very eyes. Such a sight to see. She warned me that he is riding on a high and that also now that he is a threat to Satan we would come under attack. We talked about it. That is what confuses me though. Why is it that when you have a big breakthrough a great deal of the time and I mean a biggey, that almost immediately evil enters your life that is a direct opposite and threat to the big breakthrough?

For instance, when I first discovered a personal relationship with God instead of just worshiping and praying as I had done for years it was glorious!! My life would never be the same and I found a wonderful nondenominational church that my family and I were at every time the doors were open. We loved it there and looked forward to going. Almost immediately I was put under a supervisor who seemed to hate Christians. He hated me and made a point to schedule me when Church would be going on so I would never be able to go to a service. He would make fun of me over the phone on speaker with a previous boyfriend of mine who he was friends with. They would laugh about me and try to make me cry at work. It was the most awful experience and to get through it I would constantly hum songs of worship. If I thought no one was around I would lightly sing them. I just couldn't understand why after a life of worshiping him and being such a good person and then discovering this personal relationship thing, reading the entire Bible like he told me to..... I was being obedient and hearing from Him and everything was wonderful discovering a life I never knew before..... why he would then thrust me into such torment. And it was torment to be yelled at daily knowing I had done nothing wrong. He just wanted to make me cry. But I never let him make me cry and one day he just screamed at me to stop humming those stupid songs!! I hummed louder. I wasn't giving away my praise and after that he let me go to church again so I would quit humming Christian songs. It was the worst ten months ever and I was so thankful when they were over and I was promoted. But the point is, why when you have a marvelous breakthrough does so much trauma come with it?

It is truly confusing. Is it a test? Is it from Satan and not from God? Is it necessary? Can you ask for protection from this? These are questions I have and have not been able to answer.

My poor husband. I can poor me all day but oh my husband. He is such a good man, he really is. He is of a rare breed. He has desperately wanted a personal relationship with God for years but could never find it. It has bothered him for years. Now he has been reconciled to God and he has one. He is loving being in church and he is studying and reading the Bible and finally he can experience the joy of the Lord. He is growing.

He didn't find this relationship because of our financial woes. He has tried and wanted it for years. Maybe being this low brought him to a place where he could finally surrender all. But, I do know he didn't find this relationship just so he could be obedient and God would bless us again and we could have money again to pay the bills and all would be well. No, that wasn't it.

I do find it ironic though that God did indeed bless our family in every way except finances. I blogged a few weeks ago about how I realized that God has moved in our family and truly there was no prayer I could put before God concerning any troubles or need of improvement in our lives because He has come in and moved in all areas and our lives as a family were just wonderful. Normal family stuff of course, my kids still fight sometimes, we aren't perfect over here, lol. Have to wait for Heaven for that. I just thought it was odd that the money thing was still a gigantic battle. Stupid layoffs. Stupid economy.

So enters my receiving CD's and books on words and finances. These things I received are all sound teachings and very powerful. I am reading, hubby too. We are listening and for my part, I am truly trying to apply what I am learning as far as speaking the positive outcome, keeping the praises of God on my lips. Talking and speaking praises all through the day. These things I do because I should right? They are all sound and backed up by scripture. So I knew it would come. A big breakthrough brings what? A big battle. I would be a big fat liar if I said I was only doing these things because it's what I am supposed to do. YES, a part of me wants God to bless our finances again so every thing can be paid on time. I don't want riches to fall down, I just want to pay the bills and be able to get a kid's haircut if they need one. Yes, I am hoping that our obedience in tithing and doing all the things that fall in line with walking in God's will and speaking his will can bring about a blessing in this area. But instead they have worsened. Severely. Yesterday brought about new horrors. New horrors that can only leave a human being scratching their head and clawing at their face with head buried as to why the torment won't go away. Why won't the torment stop? Why do new and more horrendous things keep coming every day. When you think you have dealt with the worst that can happen and just say well, we'll just have to deal with it, the phone rings with new unimaginable horrors.

Yesterday as I was praying I just kept remembering Beth's words. Wherever your mind is spewing worry that is where you do not trust God. Lord I said, I can't do anything but trust you. I have been and my level of worry has diminished to specks instead of large all consuming gaps of time. What the heck am I doing wrong here? I am confused. For those that say just because you love God and serve him it doesn't mean nothing will go wrong and God will pay your bills. I say this, Jesus said do not worry about what you will eat or drink, your clothes or where you will sleep. God has provided these things to the things in nature, how much more will he provide to those who love him? Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and these things will be added unto you. Last I checked, Jesus was not a liar. The Bible says when Jesus died on the cross we were freed from eternal death, sin, sickness and poverty if we place our trust in Him.

I'm funny in that I believe that either the Bible is true or it isn't. There can't be a part of it is true and the other parts aren't applicable anymore. God doesn't do that anymore stuff. So, either it is or it isn't. I have my part to do. I won't do it perfectly because I'm not perfect. But, I am so openly laying out my life and our battles and before the entire Internet I say "Lord, I am putting my trust in you. I have and I continue to do so. Sometimes worry sneaks in and I am so very sorry for that. I have learned to put it away quickly. My husband has done the same. This is your battle now and the victory will bring you glory. Whatever happens, we will continue to worship you. I read today about how Jonah was really angry with you and you told him he shouldn't be and Lord I could just picture him sitting there by his withered worm eaten vine saying that he was indeed mad enough to die. He talked back to you, he was angry with you and it was not funny but it kind of was. Thank you for letting us talk to you and be honest with you. Sometimes you do make us do things we don't want to but it is always for some good. Father, I pray you do the work in us that needs to be done and that we are obedient with what you want us to do. Make our paths straight Lord. But God, I have to be honest with you. I hurt. Badly. I really would love it if you could just stop the pain for awhile please. I'm not the only one. I am confused and wounded. We have a wound that is bleeding profusely but it is not our faith that bleeds, it is our flesh. I pray Lord for a transfusion of your Holy Spirit and to fill us with more of you instead. Lord, I don't want it to end before you need it to but please. Please let it end soon. You answered some prayers last week and it actually felt uncomfortable to receive. The suffering is becoming the norm and receiving something good felt awkward instead of good. That can't be a good thing. I just pray that no matter what that you would keep us joyful in your strength. I trust You and I know You will be glorified. I will do my best not to worry today. I will be a good mother and tend to my children and work in my home today. I pray you will look down at our family today and bless us to be blessings to others. I pray for mercy and for provision and mostly to just be filled with you. Amen."

Monday, June 22, 2009

What a Man

Friday after my toolbelt cowboy came home from work he came in, said hello and went right back out and never came in again. After hearing a strange noise in the yard I poked my head out and saw this strange sight. I thought, "What is all this?".

I peeked my head around the garage and saw this. What is he doing? I thought. Doesn't he know it's a 100 degrees outside?

I like to watch him measure and work with his tools. This always amazes me when he is doing precise stuff. So I asked him, "Mike, what are you doing?"

He said "I'm building a cross. For the Church. God has laid it on my heart to build 3 crosses to put out by the road and I'm going to light up the middle one. Jesus is the light.". Could my heart have melted any more at that moment in time? I think not.
And he built all 3 of them. They are at the church now waiting for the holes to be dug. I'll take a picture when they are all set up.
I am just to taken back at the change before my eyes. To see him make those crosses, it sure was something. The family came out to watch just in time for him to drill in 5 or 6 inch screws into the cross and boy let me tell you, that caused a moment of reflection for all of us.
We had a great Father's Day & I hope everyone else did too. The preaching was awesome at church. We had a great day together as a family. My poor parents could not say the same. They went to their church and did not get such a pleasant sermon. On Father's Day of all days...... they sat down to hear a wonderful sermon and instead were introduced to the Church's lawyer who also happens to be a pastor and he informed the entire congregation that the board had fired the Pastor of the Church. (Pause for shocking intake of breath!) He then said that they would not tell anybody why on that day but if they wanted to know why they could come on Wed. night and they would give the full story. ( Pause for a what the heck moment?) All he would tell them was that the Pastor wasn't taking the church in the direction they wanted it to go and that the pastor was more interested in being a teacher than a pastor. Mom said one couple was so angry they stormed out of the building and then others followed. I gotta tell ya, I would have done the same thing. Father's Day was ruined for hundreds of people over there. Everybody loved Pastor Seth. I loved Pastor Seth. Pastor Seth's sermons were journal entry sermons. You always had great notes to take and learned so many things from him. He was really funny too. I mean really funny. They Pastor he replaced was my wonderful pastor for years and years and although we loved his annointed preaching you NEVER got to talk to him. You had to make an appointment Tuesday through Friday from 9 to 5. He taught us only. So I don't understand the whole firing because he taught & not pastored thing. Um, we've never been truly pastored there. Plus, the former pastor had the church in bankruptcy and other churches in town were fighting over who was going to get to buy the big ole church on the hill. It was in the papers, it was ugly. But Pastor Seth turned the finances around, sent back equiptment that wasn't being used that was being paid for and the companies actually took it back!! He renegociated every debt and eliminated so much waste that the church didn't have to close and actually was paying off debt. Hmm, that sounds like pastoring to me. My mom is slowly dying and is hospitalized a lot. Our former pastor never came to visit her, he sent other pastors. Pastor Seth has come to visit himself at least 3 times that I know of. That sure sounds like pastoring to me. I don't get it. I feel hurt and I sure do feel bad for the folks still at True Life Church because they lost a wonderful pastor. My poor dad, it ruined his day. He sure did love Pastor Seth and his family. My mom did too. They have a brand new baby also. I know how wonderful that family is though and I know God will guide them to a better place. A place with less drama I hope. Oh but my heart hurts for them, truly he was a wonderful pastor. I don't care what anybody on the board says.
Well, we had a wonderful weekend otherwise and I sure hope everyone else did too. My daughter and I had a great experience praying out loud together praying the prayer of agreement and the prayer was answered immediately and boy was she just so excited. I was too but being 9 and having an immediate answer that you prayed for was over the top for her. Thank you Lord for doing that for us as I teach her to pray. You are the BEST!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Favorite Things & Random Stuff

Lately the posts have been deep. I don't feel deep today. I was thankful yesterday however for what I do have and have been blessed with. I took some random shots of some things I love about my home and I thought I'd post some of them. Now always but sometimes I read a blog regularly and wonder about where they live or what would their home be like. Not 'cause I'm a stalker but because I love to decorate and I just wonder about that stuff. Which is why I decided to post this today. We can get to know each other a little better....

This is Miss. Amber.
About once a month I am certain she has been kidnapped from our home while sleeping. Usually before I am about to dial 911 someone finds her. She likes to wake up in the middle of the night sometimes and sleep in different places. So um, we found her in her 12 year old brother's closet with the doors closed a couple of days ago. I had the phone in my hand ready to dial.

I love this shelf over the window in my breakfast room turned playroom for Braxton. I have a great love of pretty roosters. He has a great dislike of my many roosters. One day Mike said... you have too many roosters in the kitchen. I disputed those blasphemous words. I woke up the next morning to this. He built this for me overnight and then decorated it too. What a man.
I love those trees too. When we built our home (all by ourselves) the neighbors were horrified about losing the wooded lot next to them. They had put windows in most of the side of their house and they would be looking right at us, lol. They planted a very long line of Leland Cypress trees so that is our view. He was a pastor and they were very wonderful neighbors.

I love these windows!! Truly I do. The whole back yard is wooded so it's like living in a tree house when you look outside. We got such a great deal on these, they were almost the price of regular windows. Couldn't pass them up and it truly feels like nature is all around us all the time. It was a 100 degrees here yesterday so I had to close the drapes somewhat.

I love him. I have my whole adult life wanted a pretty table like this. I got him for $250 from Interlude. Interlude is very very high end furnishing and decor. They are very well known in the decor world. The table was usually $500 wholesale but they were discontinuing it and they had it down to $250 wholesale. He was at my store until I had to close it. :( But now he is in my foyer :)

Did I mention I love roosters? This big bad boy is my favorite. I also love to drink my morning coffee out of that cute rooster mug. I have a pretty little arrangement of black and white rooster canisters with some cream canisters with a matching cream platter behind them in the back of the picture. I really like working over in that area because it's pretty. Another favorite thing? The chili pepper red fruit stand holding my bananas. It's from Southern Living at Home and I got it free from having a party. Yea!! I love it.

Chocolate cake and a Glade cinnamon candle. Need I say more?

I love it when you wear them out so much that they are too tired to even sit at the table. This was last night. We spent the day in the pool and doing a craft project involving Mod Podge for Father's Day. He was wore out!! Falling over in his chair. Of course there are a thousand crumbs on the floor now.... Can you see part of an eagle in the picture? That is my husband's revenge for all the roosters in the kitchen. He loves eagles, I don't.

I'm always catching Brandon hunting for salt or something he shouldn't be having. Caught ya!!
It was fun to walk around and snap pictures of things that make me smile. I think I took around 20 shots.
Have a great weekend and Happy Father's Day,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My God is A BIG GOD!!

Someone asked, don't you think you are expecting too much from the Lord? Why do you always expect big things?

Answer: Because I serve a big God. If He can create the entire space & time thing, every planet and every living and non living thing on this planet then I don't think it's too much for him to do anything little ole me asks.

I've been serving Him a long long time. Oh, abouts 31 years or so. God has always been with me and shaded me from the harsh realities of this world. He has given me favor for decades. I know of what I am seeking. I have tasted it and I want it back. I am so much closer to God and have learned so many things. Well, let me put that another way. I am now living and practicing things I knew but never had to live. Does that make sense? I am grateful for the fall, really. I'd do it again if I had to. Wouldn't want to though, I can't lie. But in the fall God had to take me from under his wing & remove the shade of protection I was under. I have to walk this valley. I've been in the valley two years now plus a couple of weeks.

I can remember walking in to restaurants and having the waiter tell me my meal was paid for. Seriously. Yes, I know what God can do. I am quite fond of looking at the stars. Growing up in Florida I think most of us are avid star gazers. Mostly because we plopped ourselves into a lounge chair after getting out of the pool after dinner (we usually cooked dinner on the grill while swimming. Oh, that sweet Florida life!) and we were so pooped that we didn't get out of the lounge chair when it turned dark. So there you are, staring quite regularly up at the stars. Kinda makes you appreciate the awesomeness of Creation. I have it quite well placed into my heart what God is capable of.

Question: Do you know what God can do?

Answer: Anything He wants to.

Why should I limit His power in my life? Nope. I'm a bold one.

I'd like to say my fall into the valley was a graceful one but it wasn't. I flailed about and became a negative ole hag. He he, I'm kidding. Maybe. But, why lie about it. I was a pain in the tail. But, thankfully I am fixing myself back up with God's help of course. Can't do it alone. My four kids makey me crazy sometimes too. FOUR kids, cut me some slack. The youngest is in his terrible twos still. November, where are you so he can turn 3!! I'll be 40 this year right after he turns 3. I'll consider leaving the terrible two's and maybe potty training finally my b day present. Anyhoo, back to my ungraceful fall. Boy howdy has it been a ride. But a ride worthwhile if I haven't said it enough. I have prayed just to stay honest about this that I don't want to leave this mess before I have learned all He has for us to learn. I don't want to exit the valley before I/the family have learned what we needed to learn. For two reasons, the first, obviously we needed to do this and learn something. I firmly believe God guides us on our path. Secondly,if we pray just to exit and don't bother to learn from this, good heavens we might have to do it again so we can finally learn what God wants us to learn and Lord, thank you very much for what you have taught me but I really don't want to do this mess again. Amen to that.

I just wanted to clarify myself.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fun In The Sun

It's Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer again.

This blog party is so much fun. I promise it has some of the most wonderful ladies out there in blog land. Please stop by Susan's blog to visit and I promise you will make some wonderful new friends. Thanks for stopping by and visiting us in the pool!!

Last week I took a vacation trip of my dreams via the Internet. This week we were back in Georgia in the backyard pool again. One of our favorite places to be I must say. Please pardon my weeds. I've been avoiding the slope but I think it's time to get digging in there before the weeds take over my roses. Aren't they pretty though?

This shade of pink is one of my most favorites. I have a favorite cobalt blue vase and these roses look stunning in it. A girl needs her roses doesn't she? I like to keep some fresh flowers in the house so I like to grow some pretty foliage also to mix in with the roses.

Brandon (the oldest) is looking devastatingly handsome here don't you think? Actually, that is my nickname for him. Handsome, he hates it but being a boy I expect that. Y'all I never put on a stitch of makeup yesterday so please forgive.

Doesn't the water look inviting? That Mr. B, doesn't he just get cuter & cuter every week? His eyes are as blue as the pool water. I love my sweet darlings. The oldest is not here for the party this week. She is visiting her dad in Palm Bay Florida. He is getting married this Saturday. I hope she is having a good time!!

Poor ole Braxton, he was so tired after 2 hours of swimming and the hot GA sun he could barely keep his eyes open. That sweetie poo fell asleep dead to the world for 2 hours. Braxton is standing here on the back porch that I am just dying to re do. I am going to do my best to finally get around to decorating this bad boy. I have some practically new drop cloths that I have seen people use as curtains so I am going to give that a go this week. What the heck right? My entire family room's back wall are these tall windows with the french doors in between and it's so open I'd like this to look much nicer than it does. I hope next week to have some great photos of the transformation. I can't spend a dime on it so everything has to come from the house. I will be able to cheat a little...... I had to close my gift and home decor store in Jan. so I have some things still that I can use out there. Some beautiful tall vases and such.... I'm telling you all this so I will feel like I have to do it now or y'all can feel free to get on to me next week if you don't see any cool new pictures of the back deck okay?

I always enjoy Wednesdays and visiting with all of you from Susan's blog party. You ladies are so much fun and so creative. And frankly, you are killing me to plant some Hydrangeas and lilies. Oh it's torture to look at all of your beautiful flowers every week!! Us GA bloggers need to have a "Cuttings" party. Wouldn't that be fun?

Love y'all,


The Power Of Your Words

1 Peter 3:10-11 Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it.

After growing up in a church that taught me to love the Lord but also taught things that were not in the Bible or things they had twisted to make women's lives more like servants than wives I have learned to research and study anything new that I am taught and am learning. This is a good thing!! I find when I do this God helps me to find scriptures that back up truths and finding more scriptures backing up a lesson I am learning helps me to move further in my changing walk with the Lord. I came across this one today.

Before I always interpreted this as just not speaking badly about somebody or not to lie. Me thinks I was wrong. If I am speaking badly about myself is that not evil? If I am speaking more over my life and circumstances that lines up with what Satan would whisper in my ear than what God's word says about me isn't that evil? This scripture goes much further. Yes it does.

Oh, that was a big one for me. Does what I speak about or think about myself line up with what Satan would whisper in my ear about me or what the word says about who I am in Christ? I listed every scripture Joyce Meyer put into her book about Happiness in the previous post. Oh, please join me in speaking these things about yourself.

Seek peace and pursue it. What does that mean to you? Is there peace in your house? I have found scripturaly that there must be peace in our homes. Strife at home is not pleasing to God no matter how many good things we do out of our house.

A funny side note:

Y'all know the problems I was having with Miss. Betsy (my washer) right? Well she has been working beautifully since I had that last prayer with God I posted about concerning Miss. Betsy. Well, yesterday was laundry day and Miss. Betsy had been running for a few hours and she had another two loads to go. As I pushed the start button on a new load I knew immediately there was a problem. I did not hear the immediate and loud click of the door lock. When this happens there is a momentary pause and Miss. Betsy will start beeping loudly and flashing the code for an electrical problem. Then she doesn't work and I have to play with her wiring for short periods of time or like this last time 2 days. The funny part of this story?

As I heard the pause I knew what was coming next. It always works the way I said above. So I shook my head and I said "No Lord, poverty is a curse and I refuse to live under this curse." Then I began speaking as many and as fast as I could the scriptures about who we are in Christ like I posted about below. I was spitting out every one I could remember. As I was speaking these blessings over my life I was also thinking that by now the washer should already be beeping and flashing the electrical error code but it was silent. I thought "It's working!!". Boy howdy I just kept going and I truly believed in every thing I was saying. And do you know what Miss. Betsy did? She made a loud click that I recognized as the door lock engaging and she began to wash our clothes!! I was so thankful!!!! That has never ever happened before. If the door lock does not engage immediately it always and I mean always flashes the error code and she won't work at all or not for hours and it always involves me taking off her top panel and moving wires and reconnecting them. Do I think that was the result of speaking blessings and not living in the curse? Yes, I do. I believe when my words line up with what God's word says about me the blessings will flow. Just like the word says it will. Now I'm not crazy, I know this is not a blanket blessing that will work for each and every little thing that goes wrong in my life. I truly believe though that it was God seeing me change and line myself and my words up with what his word says and seeing my faith He gave me a blessing, a confirmation that I am on the right path.

I can't begin to thank the sweet sweet lady who sent me the CD's and the books enough about words and finances. Oh my goodness, I just can't express how grateful I am. Thank you.

Can I encourage each person who is reading this to read who you are in Christ and speak those things about yourself? Can I encourage you to take a day or two and stay aware of what you speak about yourself and others? I know I was shocked at how many things I said about my own self were more in line with Satan would say instead of what God says. And what I say I should expect. Please give it a try, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

I just had a little revelation too that in the book of Job. Wasn't everyone trying to get Job to speak curses about God? Weren't his friends trying to get Job to speak negatively about himself and his conduct? Wasn't Job's wife trying to get him to speak a curse on God and himself ? If what we speak doesn't matter then why was it so important to everyone including Satan himself for Job to speak curses and not blessings? Why was it so necessary to hear Job speak these things? Hmmmm...... makes you wonder?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Who We Are In Christ

Wanting to live a life that is blessed? First you must know who you are in Christ. When Jesus died on the cross his blood cleansed us from the power and curse of sin, sickness, poverty and eternal death. The Holy Spirit lives in you and you become a new creature filled with gifts and power over Satan. If you don't know what you are entitled to how can you use it? If someone opens up a bank account in your name for $10,000 and you never learn about it is the $10,000 working for you? No, because you never knew you had it. Make sense? I like things simply put. Please join me in speaking these things aloud each and every day. Print them out and carry them with you. Soon you will be able to speak these about yourself as you go through the day and be fully confident of who you are as a Christian in Christ Jesus and all that is available to you. Keep His praises on your lips, for out of the heart the mouth speaks. Your mouth is the rudder of your ship, your body. Take your body to the good places that God has prepared for you.

Who we are in Christ

. I am complete in Him. Who is the Head of all principality and power. (Colossians 2:10)

. I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5)

. I am free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)

. I am far from oppression, and fear does not come near me. (Isiah 54:14)

. I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me (1John 5:18)

. I am holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4 & 1Peter 1:16)

. I have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5)

. I have the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 2:5)

. I have the Greater One living in me; greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world. (1John 4:4)

. I have received the gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17)

. I have received the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, the eyes of my understanding being enlightened (Ephesians 1:18,18)

. I have received the power of the Holy Spirit to lay hands on the sick and see them recover, to cast out demons, to speak with new tongues. I have power over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm me (Mark 16-18; Luke 10:17-19)

. I have put off the old man and have put on the new man, which is renewed in the knowledge after the image of Him Who created me (Colossians 3:9-10)

. I have given, and it is given to me; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, men give into my bosom (Luke 6:38)

. I have no lack, for my God supplies all of my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)

. I can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one with my shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16)

. I can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13)

. I show forth the praises of God Who has called me out of darkness into His marvelous light (1Peter 2:9)

. I am God's child-for I am born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, which lives and abides forever (1Peter 1:23)

. I am God's workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10)

. I am a new creature in Christ (2Corinthians 5:17)

. I am a spirit being-alive to God (Romans 6:11; 1Thessalonians 5:23)

. I am a believer, and the light of the Gospel shines in my mind (2Corinthians 4:4)

. I am a doer of the Word and blessed in my actions (James 1:22,25)

. I am a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17)

. I am more than a conqueror through Him Who loves me (Romans 8:37)

. I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (Revelation 12:11)

. I am a partaker of His divine nature (2Peter 1:3-4)

. I am an ambassador for Christ (2Corinthians 5:20)

. I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people (1Peter 2:9)

. I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ (2Corinthians 5:21)

. I am the temple of the Holy Spirit; I am not my own (1Corinthians 6:19)

. I am the head and not the tail; I am above only and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13)

. I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14)

. I am His elect, full of mercy, kindness, humility, and long-suffering (Romasn 8:33; Colossians 3:12)

. I am forgiven of all my sins and washed in the blood (Ephesians 1:7)

. I am delivered from the power of darkness and translated into God's kingdom (Colossians 1:13)

. I am redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness, and poverty (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Galatians 3:13)

. I am firmly rooted, built up. established in my faith, and overflowing with gratitude (Colossians 2:7)

. I am called of God to be the voice of His praise (Psalm 66:8; 2Timothy 1:9)

. I am healed by the stripes of Jesus (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24)

. I am raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12)

. I am greatly loved by God (Romans 1:7; Ephesians 2:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4)

. I am strengthened with all might according to His glorious power (Colossians 1:11)

. I am submitted to God, and the devil flees from me because I resist him in the name of Jesus (James 4:7)

. I press on toward the goal to win the prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward (Philippians 3:14)

. For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, love, and a sound mind (2Timothy 1:7)

. It is not I who live, but Christ lives in me (Galations 2:20)

.Taken from Joyce Meyers book on Happiness.

The Pursuit of Happiness

Saturday night my family watched the movie The Pursuit of Happiness. Have you seen that movie? I was emotionally drained when it was over. I wish we could have seen more of the after instead of reading about what happened in words on the screen.

As we were watching the movie I kept saying "Surely it has to start getting better after that.". But it didn't. It only got worse. Not the movie, the circumstances for the two characters of the movie. My heart was breaking knowing that it was a true story.

I lost two kids during the later part of the movie because they were either crying or about to. I brought them back for the very end. My favorite part at the end of the movie was when my son asked me "Mom, do you think the dad ever bought his son a new Captain America?" If you haven't seen the movie that will make no sense to you. You GOTTA see this movie.

One scene that spoke to me particularly was when Will Smith is in the subway bathroom with his son with the door locked so they can have a place to sleep on their first night of being homeless. They are laying on the cold dirty tile floor and his son lays sleeping on his lap. Will begins to cry silently so as not to wake his son and the door begins to rattle and someone won't stop pulling on the door or banging on it. That scene right there should have won him an Academy Award. I truly believed he was in that moment for real. They way he was fighting off the sobs to stay quiet, doing his best to bare his torturous circumstances and you could see him wishing that person would just go away and stop pulling on the freakin door!!

After the movie was over we were all drained an relieved. Today I promised my son and daughter that we would google the "Chris" and find out what he is up to today and his son. My kids are still dying to know if he ever got a new Captain America. I know if he didn't my son wants to go buy him one and send it to him regardless of how old he is today. You know what? I'd take him straight to the toy store to do it too.

The Pursuit of Happiness is one of those movies that can change a person. I don't think I can ever be the same in a small way ever again. There are scenes of rich people in such contrast to their poverty and the rich just didn't even have a clue at the suffering laying before them. It's not wrong to be rich, it's a blessing as long as you appreciate it as a gift and not live in love of your money. The scene where the people drive by in their convertible laughing and having a grand time as they whiz past the homeless shelter with the long line of men waiting to get in was a big aha moment for me.

I have always had a heart for the homeless or the down trodden. I worked in a really rough neighborhood as a teenager. We had almost as much in food stamps as we did in cash concerning revenue. Some of the people in that neighborhood were on drugs and alcohol but most of them were born into poverty and I know well enough from working with these people every single day that nobody ever spoke to them about how to get out. They were expected to fail. The ones who were determined to succeed met with resistance. The schools didn't want to bother with them. They knew where the kids lived. The adults? They had a hard time finding good paying jobs. I gave away lots of clothes and had clothing drives back in the day for those sweet people. If they looked better as far as clothing and such I just knew they could get the job. It was great to be a helper. I always organized coat drives in the fall through local Publix's. It was always an ordeal and I got a lot of flack for it. But it had to be done. How can we live warm when people are suffering? I learned a lot about poverty back then. Sometimes horrible things happen to you and it's just not your fault. Sometimes life kicks you in the butt. Sometimes you can wake up in your pit and want out but can't find the exit door. I have had a heart for people such as this.

I used to be an activist, I received so much mail from Senators and Congressmen my mailman used to think I was a spy. I never quite understood that. Ha ha. He was afraid of me. That still cracks me up. But once I started having children and life set in I stopped doing all those things. I just gave to the needy as I saw the need in person. Which is fine really but after watching the movie I just know I need to get back to being an active part of making the world a better place to live in for everyone. I feel so blessed right now because I have a roof over my head and food to eat. Not much food but I have it. The economy has left my family in torment of stress and we are broke for the first time in our married lives. The first time in mine. It stinks and yet I am so lucky because I have a home. Shelter. I don't know what I might do yet. I still have a 2 year old in tow with me. But surely I can never just live my own life again without volunteering in some way to help people. Wow. What a movie. If you need to feel blessed about your life please go rent this movie. I hope you will never look at your time and money the same. If you watch it will you tell me what you thought? I'd love to hear someone else's thoughts on it.

Love ya,


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Learning To Live A Blessed Life

I don't know how to put into words all of what I am learning. My heart and my head are full. I sat in a hospital today waiting for my dad's eye surgery to be over & I was reading one of the books a sweet sweet lady sent me. Actually I read 2 books but one of them was really small from Kenneth Copeland. The other was Biblical Keys to Financial Prosperity.

I don't understand how I can have been saved at the age of 8. Made another decision at 11 to pray the sinners prayer and have spent my time from 6th grade on following the Lord and being as good as I could and studying to live this life right and yet...... I see now that it was empty. How can that be? I am thinking back on what I have learned from Nov 08 on to now and it is just so overwhelming. It's so much stuff!! How could I have not known how to live this stuff before?

This sweet lady who sent me the books sent me 3 Cd's also. I have listened to two of them as of today. Together with these books God is just speaking to me in my heart. I am just so shocked at the truths. I have prayed for a long time that God would give me ears to hear and eyes to see when studying the Bible. I truly believe that you can be blinded to revelation and now I can see that I have been blind. Oh oh oh....... the song amazing grace just popped into my head where it says..." was blind, but now, I see.". Oh, sweet Amazing Grace. How could I have been so blind?

How can I have been a Christian for so long and not lived in how God's word says I should live? How could I not know things and yet I knew them. How could I learn it and then forget it? How could I know it and not live it?

All this and yet I know that I have worshiped God all my life. I never did drugs or smoked or was loosey goosey because I knew it was displeasing to God. I always tried to lead people to the Lord and live an example of a loving Christian. I love to help people and would do anything to help someone, even those who are mean to me. Been there and done it. I thought I was doing it right, truly I did. I was in my 30's before I had a personal relationship with God. He met me in my van in 2003. One of the things I felt like I had to do was read the whole Bible front to back. I had never heard from God before. After that I heard from him a lot. I read it and I changed my denomination and my whole life changed. It was awesome and I thought then I was doing it "right". Wrong. Maybe for the state I was in I was doing all that I could at that time and now God is calling me to a new state of relationship with Him. Could that be?

I feel like a complete idiot. I know all the scriptures about the tongue and our words. I really do. I guess some of us just need to be in a certain place for certain teachings to sink in. What a dork, I never let it sink in that every thought I have, every single word is taken up into the air, through space and time and stops right at the Lord Almighty. That my every word is delivered to Him. Not just my prayers, no, every word. I guess I just thought that God knew all my words, thoughts and deeds because he just knows everything. He just knew. It's different to me somehow to think instead that he knows because my every thought and word are no different than my prayers that are nothing more than thoughts and words. All of it goes up to Him.

I know there is power in words, I never realized how much. I know there is a passage that says your words can be a snare to you. Lord, some of us just need to be hit in the head. I studied his word and tucked it away. After the layoff I became so negative and all I spoke was negativity. My words were a trap to me. I should have known.

The financial tie in? Well, I am learning that living in constant praise of God is key to receiving God's blessings. Speaking about God's righteousness all day long. Meditating on his word all day long. Keeping him ever present in my moment by moment activities is key. Faith is key. Wow. You mean it's not just good enough to be Christian, show up for church every week 1 to 3 times a week, be a sweet person who helps people, and basically a goody goody who loves God? Well, no. It's not. I was all those things and yet I was not speaking his righteousness all day. He was not with me moment by moment. I am describing this very badly. I am so overcome...... I just can't think straight.

I will say since I listened to that first CD that I have been keeping the Lord with me so much more than I ever have. I have been speaking aloud His word. It's so much and yet it's not. That sweet lady who gave me these books and CD's said she felt moved by God to send them to me. You know, I have a real hard time accepting things but I said yes and thank you to her. All I can say right now is that I know I will never be the same. My teen and children are going to listen to these CD's too. Truly, I can never go back to what I was before after learning about my words and thoughts which have been a prison of negativity. God sent me some beautiful ladies (starting with you Tasha, thank you!!) to break me out of that prison in person. He also sent me some friends through blog land to sustain me in a horrible time. Lord, I love you ladies who blessed me so. Breaking free from the negativity has been wonderful and I am not the same but now I really think more and more that God is taking me to a new place with him. I know he wants me to get this. I know he wants me to get rid of the lingering doubt and negativity. Why else would this kind sweet lady send me 3 Cd's on a series of Speaking The Expected End. A CD on words, what we speak, what we think, when this has been such a struggle for me to overcome. When I really think about it, it's like a miracle. Truly. What are the odds that I would meet up with a woman who is married to the man who has preached the very exact sermon that I need to hear and also has these books that will just rock my Christian walk and connect with me in all the blogs in existence we meet up in a linky party? It's no coincidence, it's totally a God thing. It's just amazing. She was obedient and she has changed my life forever. When I give some of this great stuff to hubby and the kids.... whew!!

Before I end this I just have to tell y'all how I have prayed over and over for those washing machine repair angels to come and help me out. I have molested Miss. Betsy (my washer) over and over. She is bare to the world, naked as I have taken off her top panel. Each time I went over and giggled Miss. Betsy's wires I would pray. Lord please help me, I need this washer to work. Please fix it. It never worked. Finally, I did it around 4pm today and it started. I was jumping up and down and saying "Thank you Lord" the kids were jumping up and down. Then Miss. Betsy stopped and began to flash the code for an electrical problem. I was so defeated in that moment. Then I got a little angry. I was like, Lord I know you hear my prayers and you let that washer start and then let it stop right in front of my kids like that. So I tried it again. And again. And again. Nothing. Once more it started and then stopped. Finally, after receiving news of another financial blow I went over to my washer. I prayed "Lord, I need to see you right now. I need to know you are here with me. I know you are but I need to see you. Now. Right now. I need to know we are going in the right direction and this fight is not for nothing. I just need to see you. Please. I am going to giggle these wires one more time and I believe when I stop and plug this thing back in, it will work. My heart is so low and heavy right now and I refuse to learn to be living a life of praise and live defeated. Please help me.". And with that I giggled the wires and Miss. Betsy started right up. Amen.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Living In Praise

Hebrews 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise- the fruit of lips that confess his name.

A new theme has emerged. Living in praise.

Really, I am just overwhelmed with all of the good things coming at me. I almost feel like I did in high school when I barely paid attention in class and knew enough to do well but it's final exam time and I need to cram it all in so I can get it all right.

I received yesterday some books on tithing and biblical money principals that a wonderfully kind lady sent me. She also sent me some CD's from her church. I have only listened to one so far and having 4 kids who wanted to argue all day yesterday I didn't have time to check but I suspect the preaching was of her hubby. I need to check today and email her a thank you. Great stuff. But I was ready to dig into these starting today and I will. I am set to learn these tithing principles once and for all. It's confusing depending on who you ask. So why then as I settle in to learn these things God has shown me I need to fix is something new popping up? Since November of 08 God just started a barrage of teachings that have been life changing one after the other and sometimes 2 or 3 at a time!! Wow. Really, I don't think I am the same person since November started. A new creature for certain. I'll be digging into the finances but here is something I know I need to get down pat.

Living in constant praise of the Lord.

As Christians a great deal of us study the word. Some of us even read the whole book. More than once even. We study and we know lots of stuff right? It has become more than obvious to me that knowing something and actually living it are two different things. Can I say that again?

Knowing something and living it are two different things!

I am not saying anything here that a Christian for more than a month or two shouldn't know. We are to live with an attitude of praise. We are to stay in the Lord...... We are to thank him continually. We should pray often and not just for ourselves. But do we? Do we really live in praise of God?

This past Sunday we had two guest speakers at our church. One was a traveling evangelist and boy was he on fire. It was funny to me that both of their messages led to the same truth. God wants us to have total faith in Him. And in that total faith filled life we are to live it in praise of Him. The first evangelist's message was titled: Fret Not, Fear Not, Faint Not, & Forget Not. Oops, did he say not to forget God? Whoopsies. It was a total faith message with constant references to the fact that you can't forget God, you can't forget to place your faith in every situation if your whole life is lived in constant praise of God. Talk to Him, thank Him, in everything give thanks & praise to the Lord. The second message hammered in this relationship of constant communication with God all throughout the day.

Then the CD I listened to yesterday was all about the words we speak. Our words have power and they can be a blessing to us or a trap. He was talking about speaking the expected end over your life and situations. He was talking about Faith. Boy, was that CD convicting because this time last year I did nothing but speak negatively over my life. "I hate my life." was a daily staple. One big moment for me was when he was trying to convey just how much power words have and he said. What did God do when he created the heavens and the earth? HE SPOKE IT!! I know I drew in a breath at that one. The tongue is the Rutter that controls our ship which is our bodies, our life. That is in James I think? So it hammers in, my tongue (what I speak) controls the direction I am going in! Oh my. So, what then would I desire my mouth to be speaking over my life? Who I am in Christ, that's what.

Joyce Meyer has in her book on Happiness that I have numerous scriptures as to who we are in Christ. I have decided to do a post and place those references of who we are in Christ in the sidebar as soon as my chores and children allow me to. She has hammered over and over that first, I say FIRST, we need to know who we are in Christ before we can do this life thing right. I see that. We need to be able to speak these things over us daily. Boy, in the car listening to that CD I immediately began speaking those things over me.

But it all ties in. We need to be shutting our mouths from speaking those negative things out loud. We need to give our thoughts and words to living in praise. There is a scripture that says God ingests the praises of his people. Your praises go straight into the living God who loves you. We were created for relationship with Him. Therefore it only makes sense to live a life full of God's blessings and provision that we are to stay in a life of praising Him. What am I speaking about my life? How much do I speak to, give thanks and praise God throughout my day. Do I give God as much time as I do blogging? How much time in my day is spent thinking on Him, worshiping Him, praising Him. Not enough, clearly or He would not show me these things.

We know we are to life a life of praise but how many of us actually do it? There are some Christians who just radiate the love of God from them. It is so clear to anyone how the love of God is so prevalent in their lives. Might those be the people who have been successful in living a life of praise and faith?

I think living a life of praise is not hard to do, it's just hard to get started doing it if it's not how we live already. I wrote yesterday about "walk by cleaning", I want my life to be more than "drive by praising". You know, every now and then we give God a shout out during the day. I want to be in a constant state of praise of Him. I have been praying for the last few days that God would keep me in his constant embrace. An embrace requires both of to be holding on.

If you don't truly believe that words do have power as the Bible clearly says they do in many passages then consider these non Christian ideas. The Secret. Heard of that book? It's all about the power of positive thinking and placing out into the world positive words about what you want to happen. Just Google even the power of positive words and see how many things come up that aren't Christian. One of the first things a doctor will tell you after diagnosing you with a terrible diagnosis requiring long treatments is that a great deal of the battle is in your attitude.

Our words and thoughts do have power. We believe prayer is powerful don't we? What are our prayers? Words and thoughts going out from us out into to the universe and being delivered up to God. Might I ponder for a moment the theory that many have that only our prayers are delivered up to God's throne. What if every word uttered, ever thought pondered was sent out into the throne room of God? What if every word, every thought spoken was a prayer? We want our prayers to come true don't we? Well, I do. ha ha. So if my prayer coming home from work was "I'll bet I'll be coming home to a dirty house and even though my husband has been home for an hour the place will be a mess and he won't have started dinner.". And I get home and that's what I find. Yipee, my prayer was answered. This is something serious to consider. I know the Bible says we will be judged for every word spoken and every deed. Yes, but I only considered my specific "prayers" words and thoughts I utter directly to God as the only words and thoughts being delivered directly to His throne, to Him.

Oh my, could it be that even though we know God knows our minds, our words, that it is not because he is so cool that he could just magically know but because ALL of our words and thoughts are delivered up to him? Now that is something to ponder. And if all of our thoughts and words are basically prayers what are we asking for? What are we saying about our life? Our relationships? What are we expecting from God today? What are we expecting from our spouse and children today? What are we asking God to help us with today?

Without Faith it is impossible to please God. In other words, you can do all the good you want. We can live out all the good actions and deeds we want. But Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith is speaking the expected end over your life and situation. In these words, when they arrive at His throne, this is pleasing to Him. And that is what we would be asking for, whether we know it or not.

Mmmmmm, this is some good stuff for me to chew on!!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Walk By Cleaning

Does your house look like this? (Do you like how the clothes are on the floor right next to the basket?)
Or this?
Personally I am a fan of the second pic. Amazingly my laundry room looks like this almost all the time. I feel so much better when I can walk around in my home and everything is put away and clean.
I began doing a simple chore list that I have certain things scheduled for each day. These chores even include meal planning time, exercise, shopping days, etc. If you are a goal oriented person like me then you won't be able to stand not crossing something off the list. Hence, all of your goals for the day get done. Including exercising, which all of us could stand to do. Our bodies will thank us! But I also gave the 3 kids who are old enough to be responsible rooms to keep up with. To make sure the cleaning actually got done I introduced the "walk by" cleaning method. My kids scrunched up their faces as if to say "walk by? mom's finally lost it". But I explained that every time they walk thru or into their room if they will just grab an item out of place as they breeze past it and put it where it belongs quickly then they will almost never have to stop to clean. This got their attention. Not have to stop playing to clean? Tell us more.
For the living room cleaner I said. As you breeze through the room you have to pass the kitchen right? Yes he says. I say if something is in the living room that belongs in the kitchen then as you pass thru pick it up and place it in the kitchen as you leave. The kitchen is right off the living room. Each time you enter your room just do a quick scan of the room. If something is out of place or left behind walk by it and pick it up and place it where it belongs. You clean as you walk by.
I have a rule in my house. If you leave shoes or clothing or any other belonging laying around then when it gets picked up it is tossed/thrown into your room and it lands where it lands. They have to pick up whatever is thrown into their rooms. I find it useful to throw stuff onto their beds since they actually need the bed to sleep in they have to pick it up. If I find it on the floor they can't leave the room until it's put away, he he.
For Lexi, she has the kitchen. I say to her with the exception of the dishes each time you come in here to grab the phone or get a drink/snack just pick up one item or two if they are not put away.
I have to say, "walk by" cleaning has really transformed our house. As you walk by a room, if something is out of place and especially if you are heading towards where that item belongs then pick it up and put it where it belongs. It takes seconds to put something away this way and the home is being cleaned constantly without having to stop to clean. My house is clean every single day now. I can't believe it!! My husband is very happy about this.
Why am I posting about this? Because we all had a rough day on Saturday and Sunday we were at church like, the WHOLE day practically. We even had an ice cream social after Sunday service and then a game of kick ball. Too much fun. But as we got ready for church Sunday and came and went very quickly we were all tired out those days and guess what we didn't do? Yep, we didn't do any cleaning OR any walk by cleaning and do you know what my house is right now? A MESS!!!! So as I looked around at the chaos before me every place I turned I truly realized how impactful "walk by" cleaning was in our home. In just 2 days the place went to poo. And I mean poo. Boy, we'll all have to stop and do some meaningful cleaning ha ha. The only clean room in my home today is the laundry room. Thankfully!!
A clean home brings peace. A clean home is calming. And your husband probably would love to come home to a clean home if you are a SAHM. If not, you would probably love to come home to a clean home too since most working moms also do the majority of house work too. Which isn't fair and stinks I must say. Been there and done that. So all the more reason to give walk by cleaning a try with the kids. It's a competition with 2 of mine as to who can keep their room cleaner. I'll take it. Now, if I can just train my husband........
*** A heads Up***
I just remembered something that happened with my son and I thought I should share it with you in case this is something your family does too.
My kids love video games, don't most of them? Well, being frugal we trade in lots of games and buy used games. We also buy USED MEMORY CARDS. Recently my son was able to buy a PSP by trade ins for only $20. We also received a used memory card for like, nothing. Well, the PSP is also a digital camera. I never thought to check the memory as I would have thought Game Stop deletes all memory. Well, I guess that doesn't always happen. My son came out and told me there were some "naughty pictures" on his PSP from the memory card. YIKES!! I spent almost 2 whole hours deleting porn off his PSP. Hundreds of pictures of naked women, blah. I didn't want to see that but I sure as heck wasn't letting my husband delete those pic's lol. No way Jose. Some things I sure could wish I never saw. Did you know you can put two winkie dinkies in your love cave at the same time? I never knew that, I wish I hadn't seen it let me tell ya. Hoping the 12 year old didn't either. So, if you are a frugal Game Stoper like we are, PLEASE check your memory cards first!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Don't You Just Hate It When The Man Is Right?

I feel the need to have this conversation tonight with this man. My toolbelt cowboy.

Mike, you were right and I was wrong. When you kept telling me over and over that the house could indeed be kept clean every day of the week I thought you were a jerk. A big man jerk. I insisted you were wrong and that there were bizillions of homes across the country with houses that did not stay clean. You kept insisting though that it could be done and it needed to be done and that I needed to find a way to do it. And still, I thought you were a big man jerk. Didn't you know that we have an uncontrollable 2 year old running the house? We have four kids in this house and you don't clean like EVER because you are so busy working hard for us. I truly didn't think it could be done.

But I was wrong. You were right. It could be done and it is being done. You told me to put the kids to work more. You said they are lazy and don't do any cleaning. You were right. I created a chore list sheet in Excel for myself and made it pretty simple. It is so simple that truly there isn't much of an excuse I could ever come up with to not get every single item on my list done. I gave myself Sunday off from doing anything but cooking of course. I gave each of the 3 kids who are old enough to clean a room that they are responsible for. Lexi has the kitchen. Amber has the small living room off the kitchen, Brandon has the family room. I told them I would completely clean each of those rooms but from then on they had to do quick little pick ups during the day. I have to remind them of course but for two weeks now our home has stayed perfectly clean in each and every room. You were right. Each of the six days of the week I pick one of the six major rooms in the house to clean so that by the end of the sixth day all six of the rooms have been completely cleaned top to bottom. Cabinets are wiped down, glass windows are cleaned, baseboards are wiped down, floors are mopped. I only do one major room cleaning a day but all the other rooms get light pick ups. Since the two living areas get pick ups by the kids they stay clean all week. All I have to do now is come along and do the major dusting, sweeping & moping, glass cleaning and little stuff that never gets done stuff.

Oh & when I kept complaining about my weight and you told me to just exercise during the day and I said I can't find the time and you said just stop what you are doing and make time I thought you were a big man jerk again. Oh, okay, I'll just stop what I'm doing. Right, clearly you had no idea what a SAHM goes through I thought. Doesn't he know I don't even have time to eat lunch half the time. But since I was making the excel sheet with simple chores that I really didn't think would work to begin with but I made just to prove you wrong and teach you a lesson I put exercise in each of the six days of my chore list. Even though I like my refrigerator clear of stuff, I put said chore list on the refrigerator so you could clearly see what I had been up to all day each day of the week and you would see all my efforts and yet the house would not be all clean and tidy and I wouldn't be losing weight either. I'll teach you I said. But, you were right and I was wrong again. I can't stand to not meet a goal and I couldn't let the word exercise not be crossed off the list. So, I put a movie in for Braxy or wait 'til he's napping and get on my aerobic step and do my own routine or a tape and I exercise for 20 to 30 min until I feel like I am going to fall over. Then I have popped in my Ab's of Steel workout tape that was in my drawers for the past 8 years unopened into the VCR and do a 10 minute ab workout every.single.day. I lost 1.5 lbs last week you big man jerk.

Now that I have admitted that you were right and your house has stayed almost spotless for two weeks and I am losing weight because I wanted to prove to you that you were wrong I admit that it can be done. I made life too hard on myself trying to do everything every day and you said I didn't have to. You were right. Now wipe that big grin off your face and go fix my two broken toilets or I am going to make an excel sheet for you too, you big man jerk.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Pool Is Open

It's Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer again! I love this blog party, it's always so much fun to visit all the other bloggers.

Ah yes, the pool is open! Hurray!! Yesterday the pool was 80 degrees so we dived in. My sweet little Amber cat here has been in so much since school let out Friday she already looks like an Amazon. Tan little thing... Doesn't that water look inviting?

Mr. Braxton here found out that he could hold on to the poles here and swing his legs out and he just thought that was the best thing in the world. He played and played with the steps and swang his little legs for the longest time.

Yes it's true, you can play football in the pool.

Boys will be boys..... we already have our first summertime injury. Braxton wanted to go down the slide & I sent his sister up with him. He wasn't quite ready and he slid down with his arm on the side of the dry hot slide and got a friction/heat burn. OUCH. "Don't touch my boo boo." is what you will hear if you come anywhere near it!! Oy, the guilt. Bad mommy.

Since the Caribbean is out of the question we had a fun time pretending we were there Barney style... we used our imaginations. We pretended we were at the hotel pool or sunning ourselves at a bright white beach. You know, it was really nice. I have even cooked dinner in my bathing suit the last two days. Reminds me of my Florida days. Ah, those were some good times. I think I must have lived in my bathing suit and my Publix uniform. It was one or the other ha ha.
Since I am exercising every day now I have changed things up a bit and started doing 30 minute laps around the pool. Boy, is that an ab workout too. Friday is weigh in day again.... I lost 1.5 lbs from my first whole week of exercising last week. We'll see what this week brings in. I'm thinking of starting a Fitness Friday Series. It may be fun and provide some accountability. I am saving for a Zumba workout tape too. I love to Zumba.... anybody have one they don't want anymore? I'd rather buy one second hand for less than full price retail any day.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my little tour of our Outdoor Wednesday. We love to be outside and I am sure we'll be swimming around again today. Speaking of outdoors, I was asking God yesterday morning before I set out for an appointment to let me see Him that day. Boy, the whole outside just seemed so glorious to me. The trees jumped out at me, the mountains, everything just seemed so beautiful and as I was thinking about how I hadn't noticed just how beautiful it is here where I live lately I realized....... it was God showing me Him. What a beautiful home he gave us!! Once again I was reminded that if you want to see Him, take a step outside. His glory is all around you!!