Scripture Memory Recap!

At the beginning of the year I decided to try and memorize scripture on the first and fifteenth of each month.  I have done this before and have also tried memorizing in different ways on different schedules, but this set-up seems to work well.

I tried to bring some of my friends along, but I am afraid I wasn’t very good at keeping us all encouraged along the way…though I am sure they kept up with their verses just great.  I just didn’t keep up with them that well.

But since we are right here at the first of November, I thought I would do a recap of my verses so far this year, so I can have a record of them.  I keep them in a little tiny notebook that can fit in my purse so that I can practice them if I have extra time here or there.

January 1: Psalm 84:11-12 “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory.  No good thing does He withold from those who walk uprightly.  O Lord of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You!”

The one I start the year off with usually ends up having special meaning.  I can’t tell you how many times I have rolled around in my head “No good thing does He withold from those who walk uprightly.”  It’s definitley been one I will not soon forget.

January 15: Proverbs 12:18 “There is one who speaks rashly, like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

I have needed this one far too many times….I picture me thrusting a sword into my children when I choose to yell or speak rashly to them.  Yikes.

February 1: Psalm 147:11 “The LORD favors those who fear Him, those who wait for His lovingkindness.

February 15: Colossians 1:13-14 “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Now that is a good one. The gospel!

March 1: 2 Timothy 2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”

March 15: Psalm 107: 20-21 “He sent His Word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.  Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men!”

I am thankful for the healing ways of God’s Word in my life.  I need His Word.

April 1: Exodus 17:12 “But Moses’ hands were heavy.  Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other.  Thus his hands were steady untilt he sun set.”

Sometimes we need friends in our lives to help us through particularly difficult times.

April 15: Mark 10:43-45 “..but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slaves of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

This was during a time when I was personally realizing my idea of greatness was not aligning with God’s idea of greatness…if I want to be great, I should serve….not look for ways others can serve me.

May 1: Job 38:12 “Have you ever in your life commanded the morning and caused the dawn to know its place?”

Enough said.  This one was helpful for reminding me who HE IS and who I am NOT.

May 15: I Corinthians 4:7 “For who regards you as superior?  What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”

More words to keep me humble….

June 1st: Galatians 5:1 “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”

This was the main theme of our class summer Bible Study.  Priscilla Shirer reminded us of the importance of sabbath rest and margin in all areas of our lives.  What a shame it would be if Jesus died on the cross to set us free and we choose to be enslaved by some of His good gifts to us!!  Food…materialism…busyness…

June 15: 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 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 its crop comes in.”

This was a great truth from the Bible Study about how the Hebrews were to let the land rest for a year every seven years.  A logical question is, “Well, then how will we eat during that year???” And this verse tells what God said.  He always provides.

July 1: Matthew 5:6-8 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall shee God.”

July 15: Psalm 8:4 “What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?”

August 1: Ezekiel 36:26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

August 15: Psalm 141:3 “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth, keep watch over the door of my lips.”

September 1: I Thessalonians 5:16 “Rejoice always”

Sometimes you just need a simple verse….yet this one has meant so much to me.

September 15: Psalm 77:13-14 “Your way, O God, is holy; What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples.”

October 1: 2 Thessalonians 3:3 “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”

October 15: Isaiah 57:15 “Thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; ‘I dwell in the high and holy places and also with the contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.'”

This one I got from my Bible Study about different names of God…He is holy and He inhabits eternity….and He dwells with the contrite and lowly spirit.  That is comforting.

November 1: Deuteronomy 32:4 “The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.”

Perfect. All His ways are just.  All of them.

So, there are my verses so far!  The days of this year have flown by so far.  We have had some wonderful highs and some not-so-great-lows, as I am sure you have had in your year.  Life is like that. I am thankful for the constancy of God in my life no matter the circumstances.

I know I won’t every waste a second of my time that is spent in His Word or meditating on His Word.  And neither will you!

Irregular Verbs, anyone?

Oh, that Mack!  He cracks me up.  This week we have been working on irregular verbs in Language Arts and let’s just say it has been challenging.  First of all, we went to the library on Wednesday to get some school work done.  Some times you just need a change of scenery.  Well….we should have checked the library schedule because it was “Silly Story Time” for little kids.  We found ourselves quickly surrounded by a parade of dressed up little kids…there were bees and witches and superheroes and Olaf, of course.

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So maybe that wasn’t a great way to start off our study of irregular verbs.  He was a bit distracted, as we all were!

Ruby was perturbed. “Don’t they know this is a library?” she asked, quite annoyed.  This got us into a conversation about how we used to participate in these story times, and they weren’t exactly quiet little angels in the process.

Sooo, back to the Irregular Verb lessons.  Today we took another stab at changing verbs to past tense irregular verbs.  Mack seriously would not get any of them right until we talked through the right answer.  We moved over to a page where you had choices and had to underline the correct verb, and he picked the wrong one time after time.  “Swum???? Swum isn’t even a word!!!” he protested.

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I started laughing and asked him about if he has a test on this in class.  “Mack, what are you going to do if you have a test or a quiz next week on this?”

As serious as he could be, he said, “Well, I guess I will just pick the opposite of what I think it is.”

Oh my goodness!  I laughed so hard at that statement…and held back encouraging him to do just that!

October 26, 1997

I probably should have posted this yesterday for maximum impact, but seeing as I was covered in school work and laundry from being gone a week, today will have to do.

Josh and I officially became a couple on October 26, 1997.  It was a Sunday evening.  He had asked about becoming his girlfriend that Friday before.  I told him I would pray about it through the weekend….I had previously made some REALLY bad decisions with dating and wanted to be sure that this was who God would want me to be with.  So Sunday night we met halfway between the guys and girls dorm, I told him I thought it would be a great idea to be boyfriend/girlfriend, we side hugged, and then walked back to our dorm rooms.

And that was 18 YEARS AGO!!!  Wow.  Time flies when you’re having fun.  I probably shouldn’t share that because of a few miscommunications and hurt feelings last week it was a miracle we were speaking yesterday, but that is the truth.  Marriage is wonderful.  And marriage is hard.  We don’t always see eye-to-eye.  Sometimes we’re selfish.  Sometimes we’re mean.  Sometimes we’re easily irritated.  Sometimes we are distracted. And sometimes we have to talk about our sin, ask forgiveness, and talk about practical ways we can avoid hurting one another.

I am thankful for a husband who admits when he is wrong, forgives me graciously when I am wrong and wants to love me better.

We’ve come a long way, baby!

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2015

(Molly just informed me that we weren’t a couple until we got married….I guess all this reminiscing about 18 years ago business is lost on her.)

HOPE for tomorrow

Ok, so the title is a bit dramatic and can lead someone to believe this post is about Jesus…which I actually thought about putting a devotional spin on the topic….like, there is no substitute for Jesus….which is totally true, but instead I think I will just share some interesting information with you.

Maybe you know that I have had several allergic reactions to something this year.  They were not just hives or just a small breakout.  They were, to me, big deals.  One episode landed me in the ER, which I wrote about back in May…you may remember that Mack fainted in the ER and Molly thought he died so she was hysterical and also was sitting there with her broken arm in a brace, and I was loopy from an IV of Benadryl and steroids.  Fun times.

Then there was this horrible episode that happened in August and had several symptoms, not the least of which was UGLY blisters all around my mouth and on my cheek.  It then manifested itself in hives on my legs.  NO fun.

Throw a couple of panic/anxiety attacks in there because I thought my throat was going to swell up and I wouldn’t be able to breathe, and I just knew something had to be done.

Sooooo, I decided to go to a wholistic doctor to help me get to the root of the problem.  I didn’t just want benadryl or a cream to calm the rash.  I wanted to know how to stop the reactions.  We discussed all manner of subjects surrounding my “issues” and how to build my immune system back up.  We have a plan, and I am so happy to be on the track of being healthier and not having any more of these reactions, Lord-willing.

Part of the process is a food sensitivities test.  It isn’t an allergies test…just sensitivities test.  I am to stay away from the foods that don’t quite agree with my body for two months and then see if I want to add them back in slowly after my body has had some rest from them and has been able to strengthen my “gut” with a good probiotic supplement.

I won’t bore you with every single item I am sensitive to, but let me just share a few…..

cane sugar

milk

cocoa (aka chocolate!!)

yeast

wheat

gluten….like, this means NO BREAD at all

The one that caught my attention……..COFFEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

huh???  Coffee!  How can this be?  I mean, I love coffee.  I mean, I drink coffee.  Every. single. morning.  I had even prided myself on weaning myself off of creamers and only adding one little Stevia packet.

But, alas, I remember the reactions and the drama that ensued with each one.  I remember the ER bill that came in the mail.  I remember.  So I am not drinking coffee.

I tried tea a few days, and I like tea.  It’s totally fine.

But it ain’t coffee.

So I decided to try the coffee substitute that my doctor recommended.  At first I was thinking, “There is no coffee substitute.”  But I think I was totally wrong.  I tried it this morning, and I really, really liked it!

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You can buy it in tea bag form or ground.  I found this one at Ancient Awakenings.

It made me SO happy to sit and have my time with the Lord with my new “coffee.”

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So, there is hope for you, too, if some doctor some where has the audacity to tell you tells you to stop drinking coffee. Try the coffee substitute…you will probably like it!

A “molly original”

What do we do with a ton of fabric scraps, an embarrassing amount of poly-fil, and a little girl who was in the mood to sew today?

We make a “molly original” pillow.

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I cut some pieces of fabric and she placed them and sewed them on the pillow.  I love how it turned out.  It represents Molly quite well.  Always a million things on her mind and her hands are always ready to keep busy!  A little unorganized, but quite creative. And she brightens up the room!

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I love my “molly original” pillow in my living room.

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Guy Time, Girl Time and Growing Up!

The guys went into nature to bond….the girls went to Old Navy and Chili’s (and a few other stores) to bond!  The guys seemed to have a great time despite a tiny bit of rain that came in the middle of the night.

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Fishing in pajamas…Mack couldn’t be happier.

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It took the girls and I a little longer to start special bonding time.  I don’t know what it is exactly, but it may have been the two girls and their vastly different personalities….or maybe how they are starting to enter these magical tween years where they always seem to have a better idea than anything I suggest…or maybe we just didn’t know how to interact without Mack around.  At first I was not looking forward to just the three of us because these two have been bickering about most everything lately.  Whatever it was, we FINALLY started having fun together after about 8 hours.  Just being real.  I may have texted my mom to apologize for all the times I was a B-R-A-T and gave her grief.  Whew.

Ok, back to the fun part.  We went shopping.  They “needed” a few fall items of clothing and a pair of shoes.  They can wear the same size in shirts and dresses and most shoes, so that is good.  They can even wear some of my hoodie jackets, and they are always stealing my socks and wearing my jewelry.

We had good conversation about all sort of girl stuff that we just don’t bring up with little brother around.  He picks up on everything and wants to know what we are talking about.  It was nice to have the girl time.

Saturday we went to Mack’s football game and wasted the afternoon watching Georgia play.

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Mack at Center

Then, we all got up this morning and got ready for church, and I saw Ruby in her new dress and thought, “WHERE DID MY BABY GO????”

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I mean, what in the world?  It is kind of crazy watching your little girl start to change into a young lady.  She is still only 11 years old, so I know she is still a little girl in so many ways, but I am just amazed how grown up she can be from time to time!  Ruby spotted this dress at Target when all of our clothes shopping was over, or so I thought.  She said, “Oh, Mama, this dress is so pretty and is just the style I like!”  And it was true.  We have started to have a hard time finding cute, modest, grown up, but not too grown up clothes for Ruby.  I am so thankful she wants clothes that are long enough or not cut too low here and there….so I bought her this cute little dress.  And now I don’t know if I should have because she looks so much older in it…..just kidding.  I am glad I bought it for her.  She is such a sweety.

And then I wanted some more pictures of and with the kids this morning.  We don’t always leave the house with everyone clean and presentable….these are picture-worthy moments.

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Ruby (11), Molly (10), Mack (8)

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IMG_1842After the picture taking of the girls, Mack was feeling like he needed a picture with mom and dad!

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We all enjoyed the days apart, bonding with just the guys and just the girls, but we are happiest when we are all together!  I love my family.  And I joke about how I wish the kids would slow down with this growing-up business, but the truth is—they will keep on growing up, Lord-willing, and we will be thankful to be a part of each season of their lives.  And then one day, we will turn around and realize it’s back to just the two of us!

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And we will be thankful for that season as well!

Love Note

Mack has been so excited to spend some time with Josh.  They have planned for a little guy-time this week, and I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled Mack was about it…it is just beyond words.

Anyway, this morning when I walked downstairs I found this on my phone.

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I mean, seriously.  He is absolutely the sweetest.

All of my kids have some neat personalities.  Ruby is LOYAL and CONSISTENT.  Molly is INDEPENDENT and PERSISTENT.  Mack is TENDER-HEARTED and THOUGHTFUL.

I don’t mean to say that is all that they are, but these are the characteristics that rise to the top at this point in their young lives.

So, back to the love note to us girls from Mack (and Dad).  I called Josh to tell Mack thank you for the note, and Josh told me it was ALL Mack…he saw him go in the school room, but then Josh noticed the note as they were walking out the door.  I continued to gush over Mack’s thoughtfulness and sweetness and then I said….

“It has been so long since I got a handwritten love note.”

I suppose Josh sensed some irritation making its way from my lips..and he said….

“Hey, now.  Don’t turn this against me.  We all have our strengths.”

LOL!  I laughed and realized I was beginning to take the sweet note from Mack and turn it into “Why haven’t you written a love note to me lately?”

In his defense, he does email me and text me encouraging and loving messages; however, this morning most definitely reminded me that a handwritten love note sure does the heart good.  So, while I appreciate so much the technological conveniences of these times, I want to pick up a pen and a piece of paper or sticky note and let some people know I love them.  How about you?

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I am thankful that I have a husband who gets up early and spends time in God’s Word. I am especially thankful on days when I read Proverbs 6; it emphasizes the importance of God’s Word and how His commands will guide you and watch over you and talk to you. They light your way and lead to life! Good stuff.

Then, there’s this whole part about how they will “keep you from the evil woman”…”from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.”

She could “capture you with her eyelids.” She “hunts for the precious life.”

Woa. So, even though I was certain Josh had already spent time in God’s Word, I text him to encourage him to take another look in the scriptures to Proverbs 6.

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I’m so thankful for the bread emoticon. What did we do before we could communicate with little pictures? It added a lot to that little message, don’t you think?

The enemy knows some stuff

Priscilla Shirer presented a thought last night that I have been thinking about since the words passed through her lips….. “What a shame it would be for the enemy to believe more about my potential in Christ than I even believe!”

It’s true. The enemy is an informed scoundrel. He knows about the power of God. He flees at the presence of God. Am I going to live with the enemy wreaking havoc in my life? Or am I going to walk in the power of Christ?

I have had my fair share of challenges over the past couple of months—these challenges are unique to me and where God has me and they’re not to be compared to someone else’s trials or weighed on a “whose trial is substantial enough to be presented to the Lord” scale. They are mine. They are real.

So last night when I walked into the large gathering with some of my friends and we found our seats, chatted together and then stood up to sing when the praise and worship began, I wasn’t exactly feeling victory and strength. More like tired and beaten down, less-than and weak.

One of the first songs we sang was “Our God is Greater.”

“Our God is greater, Our God is stronger. God, You are higher than any other.”

I sang the words. I believe those words.

Then, there was this part.

“And if our God is for us, then who can ever stop us? And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?”

You repeat that over and over and it is meant to be sung with conviction and victory! It’s a rhetorical question, of course….NO ONE, NOTHING can stop us or stand us against us if we have God on our side, living inside!
And yet….here I was feeling ridiculous singing those words because all week I have lived off and on in that truth. The reality of my week would reveal that I indeed think that some people can stop me and some things can stand against me and are stronger than Christ in me. (Again, I KNOW the Truth. I wasn’t living it this week.)

So maybe you’re like me and need a reminder that God is for you, God is with you. No one can stop you and nothing can stand against you in victory!

What tries to stand against us? Stop us?
– it isn’t the health issues
– it isn’t the 3 year old that makes constant messes
– it isn’t the preteen that doesn’t listen to you
– it isn’t the laundry that never ends
– it isn’t the chores that are done half-heartedly by the child who should know better by now
– it isn’t the husband’s phone
– it isn’t the never ending to-do list
– it isn’t the grief that won’t let go
– it isn’t your past that rears its ugly head at all the wrong times
– it isn’t that family issue that won’t just go away
– it isn’t sleepless nights

It’s the enemy. He tries because he knows and believes that God has great things for you. He knows God has victorious living for you. He knows that God is all-powerful. He knows that God works all things together for good for those who know and love God.

He knows what Romans 16:20 says, “The God of Peace will soon crush satan under your feet.”

He knows that “…the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

He knows that when God arises, the enemies scatter and those who hate God flee before Him (Psalm 68:1).

Psalm 30:1 and Psalm 41:11 remind him that because of Christ, the enemy does not rejoice over me or shout in triumph over me.

Do you know that? Do I know and believe these truths?

Ephesians 6:12 hits the nail on the head. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Remember who the enemy is.

Remember Who the Great I AM is.

Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Ephesians 3 :20-21 “Now to HIM who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to HIM be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.”