Sing Along

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hQgKmJKY4FM

This song, “Sing Along” by Christy Nockels, has been speaking to me lately. (Watch and listen to the video!)

It speaks of God’s nearness, despite how circumstances seem…of His care and love for each of us. He wants us all free, but so many are captives and don’t know it. Some know it and feel helpless to change. I’ve been there. 

I have friends whose marriages are on the brink of divorce. I know young people self-distructing, despite the love that their parents have for them and the freedom the parents so desperately want for them. I walk my neighborhood street and look at homes and wonder what all goes on in those homes. Are there crying, hurting people right here on my street?  You bet there are. 

I’ve also been heavy-hearted for the world my kids will be growing up in. Josh and I have talked to them about same-sex “marriage” and all the gender neutral talk and how it is a rejecting of God as Creator of all things. “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. ” Genesis 1:27

Ephesians 5

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body,[b] of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Marriage is a gift from God that He intends to use to show the world a picture of Christ and the Church. Divorce saddens me. Gay marriage saddens me. Sin that contributes to the breaking of a marriage covenant saddens me. 

The conversations aren’t fun, but they are necessary. We want them to hear from us why we believe what we believe and use the Bible as our foundation. 

So sometimes we feel hopeless over the state of our nation or the hurt our friends are enduring or our own sin. But I’ve been comforted by the fact that my God is not far off, unaware or unconcerned. He sees. He knows. He loves us and sings over us.

Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.”

I want to live in the hope of Jesus and sing along with My Great God and show His great love. I need to be quieted by His love so many times when my opinions and judgments and emotions desire to take over. Remember, He is The Mighty One. He will save. Sing along!

South GA 

We went to see Josh’s family in South Georgia over the past couple of days. My phone was dead for about half the time, which was super nice, besides not being able to take pictures. 

Irvin always has delicious food planned for us.  The pool was also extremely nice this time of year; we had two full days of pool time. The kids were loving every minute of it. 

  
   
   

Molly likes to stay close to PawPaw when he is in the kitchen. She needs to know what she is about to eat. 

We also got to visit with Josh’s grandma and her sister and her friend.  It’s always good to see them. 

   
 

We found this jewel of a picture at Josh’s grandma’s house…and it only seemed right that I should share it with the world. 

  
We got home late on Saturday and within 45 minutes of being home we heard a pop and then gushing of water. We ran upstairs to find the kids bathroom toilet flooding.  Thank the Lord we had decided to come home Saturday or else our whole house would have been flooded. All of it. The thought is quite sickening.  We are so grateful we were home. 

We went to church this morning. It was a service to celebrate America, but I must be honest, I was not feeling the celebration. I am proud to be an American and feel greatly blessed to be able to live here, but my nationality is not my greatest treasure. Jesus is. And this week was just a bit much for me. I know that not all Americans believe the way I do, and I wouldn’t want a Supreme Court vote of 5-4 to insist that they do!  I don’t want the Supreme Court to overstep their boundaries, as they have in two separate cases just this past week. Are we, or are we not, a government ruled by the people and for the people??  Why is it ok for them to ignore a state’s rights? I would also submit that the silly act of lighting up The White House in the colors of a rainbow is only their celebration of grabbing more and more of our rights away from us as a people….but most are too self-absorbed in what they think they’ve gained as a freedom to notice. 

Nevertheless, here are some pictures from this morning at church. We attended service and then went out to the parking lot for some food truck fun. 

   
       

 
(Side note: Molly sewed the dress she is wearing!….I picked out the fabrics.)  

 

Sno-Cones at church makes for happy kids. 

(Ruby -11, Molly- 9, Mack- 8)

Rainy Night, VBS, Friends, and Reading…and Prepositions

Weird title, I know. June has been a full month as we wrapped up math that never seemed to end. When I would tell Ruby she was having a bad attitude about math, she would reply, “IT’S JUNE!  Math is bad enough.  Math in JUNE is horrible.”  Soooo, it is nice to take a breather from math for a bit. I have been cleaning out the school room little by little, and I admit, it felt fabulous to toss the math work in our 2014-15 bin and close the top of it!  

The kids have Vacation Bible School this week. Mack is all-in when it comes to the themes of each session. Last night was sunglasses and hat night. 

 
Tonight was big hair night. 

   

 He is a spirited one!  I love it. 

Monday night the girls had friends over.  

   

  

 And when elementary girls hang out  together, a dance routine will be made up and performed. It’s an unwritten rule. 

Tonight it is raining, and I’m home alone. Such a treat!  I finally think I’ve found some books I want to read. Im guarding my July from most everything. I want to be HOME. I want to ENJOY my kids and do things they want to do with my undivided attention. I want to EAT AT HOME.  I want to SLEEP at home. I want July to be set apart from how the rest of the year usually goes. Quiet. Rest. And Reading!

  
   
 

I am excited to dive into these and enjoy a quiet July. Have I already mentioned I want a quiet July?  Resting and reading and enjoying my family?😬

I bought something to hang on the wall of my kitchen today.  

 
And I really like the message. However, at dinner tonight I looked at the sign and then said, “Oh, dear!  You’re not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition.” Mack, very quickly, interjected, “Oh, who cares?!”  He didn’t even know what I was talking about (about is a preposition…I shouldn’t end that sentence in that way).  Anyway, so I told the girls (since Mack did not care), the sign should read, “There is always, always, always, something for which to be thankful.”  They both shook their heads NOOOO….”that sounds so weird!!!” 

Needless to say, I’m the only one who will be bothered by our new sign. 😕 I suppose I should just be thankful that I have a kitchen in which to hang a sign that ends in a preposition. 

I am thankful for June…it’s been full of fun stuff…but bring on July!  Resting. Being HOME. Quiet. Shhhhhh…..reading….family. ❤️

#talkingaboutmelikeIwasntintheroom

This morning I woke up and told Josh that I still had the headache from the night before and that I was so tired. Josh, in his very kind way, told me to just stay in bed and rest. He also told me to enjoy the day and not to worry about dinner…”we can just eat sandwiches.”  He’s so nice. 

Well, I did end up cooking spaghetti. However, I struggled with enjoying the day.  I’m not a crazy clean freak by any means, but I do love when things are in their place.  This morning there were many things not in their places; I had to talk outloud to myself (and scare the children) and say, “It’s ok to go to the pool even when there is laundry to fold and put away. It’s ok to go to the pool and relax even when you should make your bed and even though there are several items that need ironing and even though the kids have toys in the living room….” The only person in this house that functions best when things are in order is me!  Mack said his dream house was one that never had to be cleaned. 😳 

Soooo, I did go to the pool, and I did enjoy swimming with the kids.  And we got back home in time for me to tidy up, organize a few things in the school room and start dinner. 

At dinner Josh asked me how the day went. I was telling him that I had to talk myself into enjoying the day and leaving the messes here at the house. He asked ME, “Why??” And before I could attempt to explain myself, MACK pipes up and says, “Well, Dad, she’s just one of those people who has to have things clean.”

Excuse me??  My eight year old is eating the dinner I prepared and talking about me like I’m not in the room!!  It was cracking me up. 

But it was also a good reminder. I’m ok with the kids knowing that I like things in order. And one day, at their own house, they can live how they want. I do, however, want to create more margin in my life for times when it’s more than ok to not be cleaning. I am always straightening or telling kids to put this away or that away or asking whose junk is all over the stairs or why there’s a million legos in my foyer. 

In our summer Bible Study, “Breathe” by Priscilla Shirer, we are discussing the principle of a sabbath margin and evaluating what it might look like to apply it to our lives. We’re challenged to ask ourselves what area of our lives seem to be controlling us. It’s interesting because one person may need more margin in their life so that they can relax and enjoy their family and NOT be straightening all the time and another person may need margin in their life so that they can have time to be at home and do some straightening and cleaning. One lady may need to learn how to STOP saying everything she thinks while another needs some margin in her life so she can say what she needs to say to her over-bearing family member. Margin looks different for each one of us. I’m enjoying taking this month of June to spend time on this topic. One person may spend every red cent they make as soon as they make it…margin is needed on when enough is enough, yet another person may be stingy and never want to spend or give because they want it all for themselves….again, margin is needed on when enough is enough. 

In Leviticus, God told His people to work six years and then give the land a sabbath rest on the seventh year. 

Leviticus 25:3-4 “Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop, but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.”

Really? This passage begs the question, “But what will eat during the seventh year??  How will we provide for our families??

Leviticus 25:20-22 “But if you say, ‘What are we going to eat on the seventh year if we do not sow or gather in our crops?’ then I (God) will so order My blessing for you in the sixth year that it will bring forth the crop for three years. When you are sowing the eighth year, you can still eat old things from the crop, eating the old until the ninth year when it’s crop comes in.”

Wow!!!  So when the children of God obeyed and gave the land a sabbath rest, then God would give them enough in that sixth year to carry them through the sixth year, the seventh year, and the eighth year when they were working the fields again and waiting on it to produce a crop!  God supplies all of our needs. God sets up His ways of doing things, and we are blessed and cared for as we obey. 

The margin, the sabbath rest, the boundaries that God desires for us to have are BLESSINGS for us. Sometimes the very gifts God gives us (ability to save money, ability to give money, knack for organizing, wisdom in seeing things the way they are and speaking truth, a gentle and quiet spirit, etc) can enslave us when we think we know better than God. We need the rest in order to hear His voice, in order to read His Word, and having room in our lives to hear from God is what leads to ultimate freedom. He gives us His perspective. He invites us to trust Him more. 

I have so much to learn as it relates to sabbath rest. Sure am thankful to have a group of ladies to learn alongside!  And I’m even thankful for that little eight year old boy talking about me like I wasn’t even in the room! 

Weddings–They Look Different From Here

This past weekend we went to a beautiful wedding. Gorgeous bride, handsome groom and amazing surroundings. This couple, whom we haven’t known terribly long, has made a huge impact on my kids. They love Corrie and Zack!  And I was thrilled to take them to a wedding that honored God in so many ways. It was fun to watch the kids get excited about every part of the wedding. Ruby was precious watching Corrie and Zack have their first dance. 

   
  

I found myself watching the parents just as much as watching the bride and groom. I suppose it is because my kids are half-grown, I don’t know. But I could have bawled my eyes out watching the pride that the mom had in her eyes as her beautiful daughter walked down the aisle. Don’t even get me started on seeing the dad give his daughter away at the end of the aisle. Help me, Lord!  Josh may not make it through that part. He will only be able to nod his head…don’t ask him to say anything!  Whew. Tough stuff. And the dad of the groom led the service and did an amazing job. I don’t know how he did it. Then, when the groom and his mom danced to “Unforgettable,” I, again, could have bawled my eyes out.

I’m really not sure what my parents thought on my wedding day. We didn’t talk about it, and I didn’t think about it. I was just so happy about getting married. But now, from my new perspective, weddings are filled with new beginnings, but also with many endings. Not the end of the relationship, of course, but the end of that relationship as it had been thus far. Good. Exciting. Hard. 

   
     

You could really tell that these parents and these kids have such strong, loving relationships. Such a sweet thing to witness!

And they knew how to have fun! Dancing and having a good time. 

   
  
Photo Booth Time!

   

 

What a fun evening. So glad we were there. 

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

I can look back to our wedding day 14 and a half years ago and remember it well. What a fun day! And it is crazy to think that in 14 more years our kids could be getting married, Lord-willing. I’m going to keep on enjoying these sweet days that turn into years. And I’m going to keep dating the love of my life since it is highly probable my kids will be leaving us eventually. Mack is the only one that still says he plans to live with us forever. His reasoning last week for staying home during college is “so you can pay for all my food.” Molly already has her wedding planned. Ruby is cautious about any talk of moving out…but she’s sure she will some day. Love these kids– they keep us laughing. 

  

Keepin’ It Real

Last week in church I snapped a picture of all three of my kids taking notes in church.  Sweet little angels. 😇 Not really. I mean, they’re sweet, but the angel part comes and goes…which brings me to this morning. 

I was sitting next to Mack in church. The preacher had been preaching about 25 seconds when Mack leaned over and told me how hungry he was. I gave him a sympathetic look and patted his leg, and then I looked back at the preacher. Mack tapped me again because I evidently didn’t fully understand his dilemma.  “I only ate pound cake for breakfast.” (Insert his pitiful face) I said, “Sorry.”  Then, he said, “And I had Molly get me the smallest piece. I’m sooooo hungry.” So he had been SERVED his requested size pound cake by his sister.  Will the boy ever get his own breakfast?  I explained to him that he would just have to wait until after church to eat; I didn’t have a Big Mac burger in my purse today. 

I picked up his bookbag and pulled out his Bible and notebook, hoping he might listen and take some notes or at least draw a picture to distract him from his empty stomach. He seemed bothered that I was unzipping his bag, but I continued to do it and saw a sword in his bag! I looked at him and asked him why he had a sword in his church bag. He told me, “I didn’t take it out,” and he, at the the same time, was trying to act as if he didn’t even know it was in there. 

By this time my husband looks over and shhhhh-es me. Now Mack is happy because at least now he doesn’t have to explain himself to me. 

About seven minutes pass when I feel another  tap on my shoulder. I look over at him and he leans in to whisper, “How do you saw a person in half?”  I didn’t hear him the first time so I leaned in again, and he repeated the question, “How do you saw a person in half?”  I thought this was a joke or riddle (he’s been reading a joke book lately), so I leaned in again for the answer. He said, “Well, did you hear me??”  I said, “Yes, I heard you.  Is this a joke?”  He, very solemnly, shook his head no.  I suppose he just felt that at this very moment he needed to know how to saw a person in half. !?!?!  

We were about to get in trouble from Josh again if he didn’t straighten up. I tried to get him to go to sleep, but he wouldn’t do it. Thankfully, the preacher was at a point in the sermon that he was telling an interesting story and showing a picture, so Mack was back into the sermon. 

Whew. It was a far cry from last week’s experience as far as Mack was concerned. 

Josh and I snapped a picture before church (at my request) because our outfits coordinated. And Josh LOVES when we match (insert dripping sarcasm and an eye-roll)!!  

 On a serious note, I love this guy. We argued off and on all week and most of the day Saturday, but we do love each other and appreciate one another. Our differences sometimes make us crazy, but those very things are what we both need in our lives. He’s a good, godly husband, and I am thankful to God for him and our kiddos. 

And for Zaxby’s. We picked it up after church so that Mack wouldn’t starve slap to death before we made it home. 

Happy Sunday!

Field Trip 

My friend, Nellie, planned a field trip for a few families this week. We went to LaGrange, Georgia to an Antiquities Museum where the kids were able to see how a house, a tomb, a city gate, etc would have looked in the Bible days. We had a great time!  They also experienced an archaeological dig…dug in the sand carefully, sifted the sand to see if they had unearthed anything valuable and then even drew what they had found. They wrote their names in hieroglyphics and in Hebrew. 

We had 11 kids and 3 mamas present. 

   

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

We had to go to lunch as well! 

   I enjoyed the field trip and getting to hang out with these sweet kids. Fun in the summer time! 

Next field trip is to the pool! 

Holding My “Babies”

We were playing around Sunday evening, and I picked Mack up and quickly realized my time is running short on how much longer I can hold him for any extended time. He was heavy! Then, Ruby said she wanted me to try and hold her…and then Molly wanted a turn. I mean, you can’t leave the middle child out. 

Well, you can, but it’s best to not add to their complex. And I can speak freely on this seeing as I am a middle child. 

But these pictures capture how big my babies are getting. These are the little ones that spent many hours attached to my hip!  I loved those times, and I love the little people that they are becoming. Young mamas, squeeze those chubby legs and kiss those chubby cheeks! And carry those babies around while you can. 

   
 

   
  
   

  

 ❤️ my “babies”❤️ 

Another Great Sunday 

This morning I taught 5th grade girls, Ruby’s class. I’ve helped out in there from time to time this year; it’s been fun getting to know these girls and teaching them from God’s Word. 

This morning after teaching about Joshua, I let them make Scripture Memory Boxes. They picked a verse they needed and wrote it down on an index card. They put it in their index card box and then decorated the box with sharpie markers and stickers, and we talked about the importance of memorizing God’s Word and hiding it in your heart. Just like Joshua needed to remember God’s Word to “be strong and courageous,” we need to hear from Him and memorize His Word. 

Then, I went to pick up Molly and Mack and we all headed to the worship service (Josh was teaching another class at 11:00 today). ***quick funny story—Mack’s teacher said that she hoped she didn’t embarrass him, but she told him she used to change his diapers. And Mack said,”Yeah, that was in my fat days!”  Lol! That boy cracks me up. 

Ok, back to the service—- It was a wonderful service. The music was so Christ-honoring. We sang the song “I Believe” by Hillsong. 

  
It was powerful to hear so many people singing these powerful truths about Who God is. 

We sat down for the sermon, and I looked over to see this:

 
My three little boogers with Bibles and notebooks out, ready to listen and take notes. I was so thankful for this moment.  It made my heart smile. The sermon was amazing—about prayer and how to pray.  Pray Fervently. Pray in Faith. Pray with Forgiveness. Steve Gaines was the preacher today, and he does not mess around. You really don’t have an option when it comes to paying attention to what he is saying. Ruby, very affectionately, called him a bossy preacher. Haha!  We all enjoyed talking about what we learned around the lunch table. I still have much to think about as the truth I heard makes its way to my heart.  

I am so thankful for my church and for the truth I learn here.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to pour into the fifth (almost 6th) graders. I’m thankful for our SUNDAY School class as a new couple prepares to take on a new class in a couple of months in hopes to reach more people for Christ. I’m thankful for God’s Word that never returns void. 

HAPPY SUNDAY!!!!❤️

Enough of math already!

We still have math lessons to complete, and I am so over it. Ruby has about 12 more lessons. Molly has about 8 more; Mack is just practicing his times tables. But still.  I’m ready to put a bow on school as far as curriculum is concerned. 

I’ve been putting anything we are finished with in a bi plastic bin, as has been my practice for the last several years. I suppose we do this in case someone stops by and asks us what in the world we have been teaching our children. 

 We have also spent a little bit of time at the neighborhood pool, which always prompts me to pin multiple pictures to my Pinterest board of pools for my backyard.  The public pool grosses me out, and the immodest bathing suits of young and old are everywhere you look. It would be nice to have our own pool. 

   
 

So let’s hope we hurry up with the math and get to spend more of our days playing and having fun. And reading …we can’t take a break from reading. 😁