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Showing posts from 2013

Unreasonable Grace

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#1 Never give up reading Scripture...even the passages you've read a hundred times over. #2 You'll always find something that you may have missed before.
Unreasonable Grace
I've read the same Scriptures to the kids as part of our Christmas countdown for the past three years.  I use the Advent booklet by Ann Voskamp as a guide.  It basically walks us from Adam and Eve to the birth of Jesus in 27 days. (It starts on November 29.)  
This year I discovered a common thread throughout the story that I never noticed before.  It has to do with the preservation of the line of Jesus when all reason would have ended it time and time again.  It starts in the beginning...
Adam and Eve:  They ate from the forbidden tree, God could have killed them then and there and started over, but he didn't.  He allowed them to live (for a while) and multiply.  Grace.
Noah:  He was spared when the Lord saw fit to wipe out everyone else.  He didn't have to...once again, He could have just starte…

The Universal Signs of Children: Part II

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Once again I looked around my house and said, "Yep. Kids definitely live here."  (See Part I here.) Have you spotted any of these signs in your home?

"Peter Rabbit" graces your butter dish:



The stack of books beside your bed contains at least one story of the Berenstain Bears...and Goodnight Moon (of course).


A potty chair is part of the seating arrangement in your living room.  (I know...that's kinda gross.):


Some Christmas additions...
Thomas around the Christmas tree:


50% of your Christmas tree ornaments are made of foam...a.k.a. modern day construction paper:


I don't even know...who does this?  Obviously someone short:


And then finally...yes, this is actually still happening a year and a half later.  I know someone's gonna say I'm going to miss this one day.  We'll just have to see about that. :



I love my children. God's good.



Attack Plan: Getting Fired Up for Working Out from Home

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*UPDATE as of 12/29/2013:  Due to several factors I've decided to postpone this plan til the end of summer for a fall marathon.  I'm going to focus on my 5k time for the spring.  I just found this great article to help me reach my goal: Solving the 5k Puzzle.  I'm not sure this is the exact plan I'll follow but it's a good read anyway.  Also, this whole change of plans is a good reminder of Proverbs 16:9, "The mind ofman plans his way, ButtheLorddirects his steps."  Story of my life.

#1 I've completed two marathons. #2 I said I would never do it again both times. #3 Pain is (sometimes) easily forgotten.

So...here's the plan. (For my reasoning on posting this publicly scan to the end.) I'm starting my new year's fitness push early this year.   I'm not really sure if I'll run a marathon or not, but I like this plan because it's only three days a week and incorporates a speed workout, tempo run, and distance run each week.  These are th…

It's All Under Control

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Galatians 2:20, a photo by skeeler5995 on Flickr. #1 I am not a psychologist.

#2 Nor do I wish to be.


Control.


"If I could just get my diet under control I think I would feel a lot better."

"If I could just get the mess under control I think my home would be a happier place."

"If I could just get my children under control then I wouldn't have to yell and fuss at them so much."


These are thoughts I've had in one way or another over the years.
I don't think I'm alone in this.
When I'm succeeding at any one of these points I do feel at peace...for a very short while.
When it all comes crashing down again it's like I can feel the darkness of defeat creeping in. I don't know if it's what the beginning of depression feels like or not. (See #1.) I just know that I don't like it.
These times when I realize (or remember) that I actually have no control can either be depressing or a relief...it depends on my response.
If I l…

Test Your Patience

#1 You think you have patience? #2 Take this two minute (approximate) test to find out. #3 I've been practicing a while, and am far from mastery. :)

A Permanent Vacation

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#1 My family is my work.
#2 My family is my vacation.
#3 My work = my vacation????

"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father." Colossians 3:17 This is one of the verses I have to have in my mind and heart when I re-enter the homeschool scene after a week away.  I haven't exactly been on vacation lately but I did spend some extra time in Tennessee with my family for my Papaw's funeral.  The whole family gathered to say goodbye and to honor him.  He was dearly loved by all.  The kids and I spent the whole time soaking in the love. When it was time to come home, I was sad to leave my family and the restful pace I take when I'm there.  (There are a lot of helping hands that make this possible. :) )  I miss Tennessee.  It seems like I miss it more now that we're planning to settle in Georgia for a while longer.  That's the way things go though.  As I was talking to IV about it, and going ov…

Guest Post: Stable by What Standard

Guest post today by Presley Armstrong. :) Enjoy!
“They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, Peace,’ when there is no peace.” Jeremiah 6:14
“…The world is more stable now than it was five years ago.” - President Obama before the UN General AssemblyTuesday morning.1
That same Tuesday morning marked the fourth day of the standoff with Islamic Terrorists in Nairobi, Kenya.The Kenyan Government confirmed the fact that Islamic extremists from the United States are part of the terrorist cell causing the standoff.Four days ago, these terrorists walked into the mall and told innocent tourists to recite parts of the Koran. If they failed, they were executed on site. Others were asked who the mother of Muhammed was, if they didn’t know, they were executed. Sixty deaths confirmed so far. Does this sound stable?
How about this?In Iraq, we have supposedly finished the war. So why do we have thousands of soldiers still on Iraqi soil? Also, why have more soldiers died in the las…

"The Bunny and the Frog": How It's Done

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#1 A retelling of a familiar story also known as The Tortoise and the Hare.
#2 Lottie's version was slightly more entertaining.
#3 The moral remained the same.
(We'll come back to this.)

"How do you do it?"

I get asked that question a lot. 

My top 3 answers:
1. God's grace. (This is the truth.)
2. I've gone crazy. (Seems very true at times.)
3. I don't know. (Not true.)

Really, I could ask a lot of you the same thing...

The truth is the same for all of us...we choose our priorities (whether it's a conscious decision or not, the choice is made), we make a plan (or choose not to plan at all), and we take action (or, once again, choose not to act at all).

Priorities:
My daily priorities are simple:  I want to spend time in the Word and in prayer, I want to get in a workout/run, I want to be a helper to my husband, I'm going to try and pour some good "learnin'" into my kids, and I want to keep my home in livable condition. :)

Plans - 3 Fac…

You Can't Fake It

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My pastor's wife posted a single, simple verse on her Facebook page last week and it has yet to leave my mind:
"Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayedfervently..." James 5:17. Whenever I think of Elijah I think of a man of great faith and great power.  The story of him going face to face with the prophets of Baal is one of my favorites (1 Kings 18).  The thought that he was "a man with a nature like ours" rattled me...and gave me hope. I've been fighting the flesh for a while now...feeling weak, defeated, and a whole lot of self pity.  Homeschool was/is one of the major causes of my emotional turmoil. The following verse sums up how I've been feeling about the situation (the "we" being "me"): "For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death." 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 Ha ha!  I can't say it any better than that.…

"Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!"

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#1 The title of this post is inspired by The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events #12) by Lemony Snicket.
#2 It's also the best way to describe some bits and pieces of life in general.

Homeschooling - "Wrong!"

Our first day of homeschool was the worst by far.  Everything about it was wrong.  It started with one kid in tears, and ended the same way except a different kid.  If my hubby hadn't been home for backup I would've been the one crying in my bedroom.  I was ready to run to our nearest public school and call it quits all together.

This isn't the first bad day we've had, of course, and I'm 100% sure it won't be the last.  I've considered other options plenty of times, but I know, that I know, that this is where the Lord wants me right now.   If nothing else, it keeps me leaning on Him...everyday...all day long.

Running - "Wrong!"

The first training run for my fall half-marathon was just ridiculous.  I felt like I was c…

Time to Get Down to Business

#1 The month of July has been one big vacation for us.
#2 At this point, I think we all need a vacation from vacation...and we're about to get it!

It's time to get down to business!!!

The beginning of the school year is just as powerful as the beginning of the new year for me, and I'm sure it's the same for many of you as well.  Goals are set, resolutions made, and commitments to old resolutions are renewed.  This is how I'm feeling about this blog.  It comes from something I learned in children's church a few weeks ago. :)

In a short video shown to the kids the "disciples" were speaking of the numerous letters they wrote during their lives and the effects those letters had, and still have, on so many others. 

I had never really soaked in the fact that the letters we have in Scripture are surely just a small percentage of all the letters written back and forth about God, Christ, and living a life pleasing to Him.  There must have been so many letters…

The Fight to Finish

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#1 I knew it would be like this.
#2 I just didn't know it would be like this.

The Fight to Finish

I knew that it was going to be a long four months. IV had already been gone for eight, and I knew the last four were going to be the hardest of them all.

I ran a marathon last November, and I was already comparing these four months to the last 10 kilometers of that race.  It's all a mind game at that point. 

For me (and for many like me) when you hit 20 miles your body starts rebelling.  It screams, "You can't do it!  It's too hard!  It's not worth it!  You can't win this fight!"  Of course, this is (mostly) false. Since this was my second marathon I was prepared for this...I had my arsenal of mind games to get me to the finish line.  "Stronger, faster, better" is one thing I said to myself, and then I said it again, and then I said it again, and again, and again, and again, until I had the finish line in view. 

I was preparing for this last …

Holding the Fort

#1 Being emptied of self can hurt. #2 Being a mother = being emptied of self. #3 Being filled again makes it all worth while. Reading about the Gosnell trial first, then watching and reading about the Boston bombing soon after, had me on the edge of my seat this week.  I was so ready to do something. Anything!   But in my head I said (to no one in particular and in a sarcastic tone), "Oh, that's okay.  You go save the world, I'll just stay home and hold the fort." My heart ached for all those babies, and mothers, and runners, and spectators, and I felt so useless. But I kept on.  I kept praying, kept reigning in the negative thoughts, kept extending the fuse, kept "keeping on". And then...I was empty.  Emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually empty.  Perhaps some of you felt the same. Thankfully, the Lord saw me, and He sees you.  He always sees us. He fills our cups.  He gave me this passage in a whole new light:  23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone w…

Mind on Target...Glocks and God.

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This blog is also published over at SHINE Girls.  I encourage you to click over and check out what they've got going on!  I love it, and am thankful to Jill for giving me an opportunity to share.


#1 The mind is a powerful tool.
#2 Use it...don't let it use you.

My husband is exceptionally talented with a gun.  He's also an excellent teacher.  He's taught me to shoot with confidence, and when he was in town last month he served as my "coach" for a Glock tournament in Griffin.  He participated in the tournament too, of course, and it was a surprisingly awesome "date" day.  What was even more surprising is how the Lord began to teach me a lesson that day that's been ongoing ever since...

It has to do with the mind, and how destructive it can be if we let our thoughts wander from the ultimate goal.

During one round of the shooting tournament, I let my mind relax, just for a moment, and I started missing the targets.  It was a downer for my score, but…