Saturday, February 28, 2009

Song Night Saturday

This song concluded our service tonight and it just really hit home- maybe it will also speak to some of you.

I have been the wayward child
I have acted out
I have questioned Sovereignty
And had my share of doubt
And though sometimes my prayers feel like
They're bouncing off the sky
The hand I hold won't let me go
And is the reason why...

I will stumble
I will fall down
But I will not be moved
I will make mistakes
I will face heartache
But I will not be moved
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
I will not be moved

Bitterness has plagued my heart
Many times before
My life has been like broken glass
And I have kept the score
Of all my shattered dreams and though it seemed
That I was far too gone
My brokenness helped me to see
It's grace I'm standing on

I will stumble
I will fall down
But I will not be moved
I will make mistakes
I will face heartache
But I will not be moved
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
I will not be moved

And the chaos in my life
Has been a badge I've worn
Though I have been torn
I will not be moved

I will stumble
I will fall down
But I will not be moved
I will make mistakes
I will face heartache
But I will not be moved
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
I will not be moved

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Here in Southern Texas the weather has been WONDERFUL! I am so thankful this week for the warmer mornings and beautiful afternoons. My Azalea bushes are starting to bloom, I have had two day lilies come up and bloom- not just be grass looking things. (ha ha) Oh it has been amazing, just delightful. I love the start of spring.

I am ever so thankful we moved my sewing area this weekend. It required some planning on my part. We never used our living room, more because I did not feel we needed two tv areas and we only have one couch sat pretty bare with a piano against the far wall and a desk near the windows. Typically I would pull my portable tables out and use them for basting quilts, or folding clean clothes just washed, little things. There are some amazing wood framed windows with the old style slats of glass that crank out in this room. With the weather so wonderful I can open them up some and pull the blinds and enjoy the beautiful day. I can keep my ironing board set up near the circular table my sewing machine is now on, I have another portable table set up along either side of the wall from that corner one for cutting mats, the other for my other two sewing machines ( one I use pretty much for bobbins, the other I have yet to use is a MedArm for quilting). So I have this nicely nestled area, among these windows of GLORY. This room overlooks the entire house, so now I can stay in touch with the family more and it just works so much better! Eventually this next month we are tackling our bedroom where you can barely walk.

I am thankful that we did tackle so much this past weekend. We got the outside shed and carport area done and organized- a work out bench outside instead of in my den so now it is less cluttered and the desks with computers are all in one area tucked away. There is now a TV area separated in its own area in the same room. Looks tidy and clean. We worked on the garden some all week. I cleaned the entire house- minus our bedroom- this weekend on Sunday really because we were to have couple over for a bible study. They had backed out at the last minute but wow the house has been very clean all week! So no complaints here.

I am thankful for my husbands job. Friday of last week they let someone go. It was not him. To be very honest this particular guy did very little to prevent being let go. My husband was his boss and he just never did his job. So the big company in Ohio decided the guys productivity was low and it was more worthwhile to get rid of him and have occasional overtime. I was very concerned that we would have 14 hour days 5 days a week. So far so good. My husband has had to readjust his schedule he now has to be to work by 7, instead of 9. Meaning I need to solely get the kids to school- I don't mind. Used to for years so no biggy. I enjoy my morning ride with them to their school anyway. Then yesterday he came home about 2 in the afternoon because he had accumulated 8 hours of overtime so he was sent home so the hours would go down. In turn he came home and worked more in the garden getting leaky pipe laid for Strawberries we have coming and veggies that we planted from seed that are now sprouting. It has been wonderful to have him here earlier for dinner too! It would be nice to have the money of overtime but God is providing our needs and savings is being depleted but it is still there.

I am thankful to teachers and staff at the schools this week. I had an English Teacher for my oldest Jakob put in recommendation that he take Spanish One next year as well as journalism. You have to be recommended for both. She also will nominate him for a group called PALS- Peer Assistance Leadership Service- this will be great for him. He has such a GOOD HEART. He wants to be a writer when he grows up so Journalism sounds wonderful, will teach him a different writing style. He also will be recommended for Geometry, since he will complete Algebra One this year with an A. He will after completing 8th grade next year, go into 9th grade with 3 courses done for his High School credits. Just wonderful!

In another area I am thankful to teachers and staff as we were informed yesterday afternoon that our middle son Zekaryah has been a little loud and out of line at lunch. You know even though many parents may not really worry about the little stuff. We do. We take disobedience very seriously, especially at school, in public or a church, at someones house. We want our children to always try their best to follow the rules. So we took measures at home to enforce some consequences in hopes to correct the behavior, then I also emailed his teachers to notify them that the paraprofessional from the lunch room spoke with us and how we saw a way to help change the behavior by changing who he was with at lunch. I love that the school sees him as a wonderful, kind, respectable young man and that they are willing to help us take steps to encourage him to be a leader. The benefit of living in a small area and having parents so involved I think but regardless a prayer of Thanksgiving is listed. God says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6; NKJV). We try very hard to do that.

There is so much more to be thankful for this week. I think the biggest one for me personally was my continued striving to learn how to make different quilt blocks. I have had some errors with it, but overall the final products have been pretty good. I really liked the block that I made last night. It turned out really nice. I am going to donate some to my friend Des who makes Healing Quilts from the Friendship Stars. I love good causes and that is a great one.

So what are you thankful for this week?

Please visit Grace Alone and join in Thankful Thursday or maybe just read other thankful lists.
You can also see some more at Rose Colored Glasses

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Menu Planning

Our Menu this week was inspired by a great price on Hamburger Meat- one we could not pass up and the kids, who wanted something more Kid Like- rather than fancy meals.
So we are doing a Mexican Food Week
Leftover Night- pick your own- from last weeks Menu.
Tacos, Spanish Rice
Enchiladas, Beans and Rice
Taco Salad
Quesdillas, Chips and Fresh Salsa
Each night option for chips and queso is served- big crockpot of it was made for all week last night.
Also will be making some homemade Salsa to go on Mexican Week Items.
I just love this photo. I have some of these coming up in my yard right now, however I have all white ones. I bought some yellow bulbs, but will have to wait for them to come up until next year I think, even though they are sold now, they love the cool mornings, you can't help but love the verse too.

Friday, February 20, 2009

What are you Learning Friday

This week had many lessons for my family. There seemed to be an overabundance in homework and projects. We had a large amount of time to spend together which was wonderful however it also led to some disagreements too. We had to learn to speak kindly to one another. I personally had hoped to take a quilting class- do something for myself and it did not turn out very well. Long story short I left Tue from a class that never took place feeling very disappointed that once again I could not further my desire at learning something new. However after praying about it I found myself stopping at another location the next day after work and there was the answer, a class that was going to meet my needs better and not cost as much either.
There is an old saying that which has many variations. One being from Alexander Graham Bell "“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
The point really being that whenever one door closes, God always opens another…whether it be a window, a door, a small crack- you know what I mean. That time when it just seems so impossible. Our family was there not to long ago, as my quilt sells hit bottom, orders were backed out on, overtime at my husbands work was cut and the money I made during my few mornings a week caring for Anne now had to somehow feed us and put gas in my vehicle. It seemed simply impossible. I first decided to tithe off the small amount of money that I made. I then decided to lean onto Proverbs 31, be a woman that was organized and active-where I cooked my own food- bought less that was frozen, we would eat more veggies- less meat since it was more expensive, and really plan-menu, grocery list, and some sacrifice. We also made a plan to try a bigger garden, start some of our veggies from seed, order some online- because it was cheaper then our local nurseries... the list continues, my point is not only did we need to pray we needed to actively make some changes to better our situation.
This week, as well as over the last few months I have heard from so many friends where their lives are completely turned upside down. What they knew of their live has been hit pretty hard and now they are having to search for that open door as the path they are on is closing. It could be the very simple where they have a job and hours are changed so the norm is off to not having a job at all- thus no income and the struggle of even finding something else. This week seems to be full of stories that are so much more heart wrenching.
One friend knew a woman who chose to end her life this past week, no one really understood why, it seemed to be a decision made all of a sudden. I am not going to make judgement on this action for that is not our place, I simply want to learn from her actions, and wanted to share this because I cannot imagine coming to that point where you have NO HOPE, where you are so ALONE. So I would also ask for prayer for the family as this is always such a sad ending...
Another friend is going through some personal health issues within her family, that seem never ending and they feel so much uncertainty. I know many of us face various health issues.
Another friend has wrote this week and they have been asked to move out of their home, had some trouble vehicle wise, she feels it is one trial after another and in some ways it seems hopeless. Many of us have money, income, job issues.
I know there could be a mile long list on trials we all face.
It is so hard to go through trials, it is so hard to not know what tomorrow brings, not know maybe how we are going to pay bills, buy food, make house repairs. Those are the times that God really wants us to rely on him.
Matthew 6:34 ( I love the version from the Message)
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
I thought of my prayer list this week as I continued to add friends, family and acquaintances to it. As I watched the news this week or listened to the conversation that my children or other people I was around had, and it made me think today that maybe it was a day to share some verses on being strong, having hope, having strength, realizing that the Lord has a plan, and while we may not always understand the overwhelming difficulties we face and the timing that he will use these as sandpaper in our life to mold us and make us and help us walk upon the path that he has chosen for us. We will make it to the other side, we will come through the darkness and into the light and even though we all face some really scary spots when the good comes we will be able to enjoy its sweetness. I hope if you have something in your life that is difficult that one of these verses below will speak to your heart.
Psalm 31:24Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.
Psalm 33:20We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
Jeremiah 29:11For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Romans 12:12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 15:13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
1 Chronicles 16:11Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.
Proverbs 31:25She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
Isaiah 12:2Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation."
Isaiah 33:2O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.
Isaiah 40:31but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 41:10So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Philippians 4:13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I have so much to be THANKFUL this week. First I want to share a verse it is from
Colossians 3:14-16 (New International Version)
"And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God."
I am sharing this verse today as one of my most thankful for moments this week is my Daughters Baptism on Valentines Day. She is my youngest-all three have now been baptized and it just feels my heart with gratitude and awe that they have made their own decision to follow Christ's Ways. Such an exciting event.
I am also grateful/thankful that I finished a quilt order this week. It had been weighing on me and it was wonderful to just get in there Tue of this week, tackle it and get it sent on its merry way to its new owner.
I am thankful that my son and I got to spend a couple of hours together on Tue afternoon, I treated him to an after school snack at Sonic. That was a lot of fun.
I am thankful for my husband this week. He helped me with the quilting of the Love to Teach Quilt I finished on Sunday, he has made me hot tea with honey and some wheat toast with peanut butter on it all week as I leave for work - I was able to take it with me. Just so sweet and thoughtful. In fact it started with my Valentines Day gift because he knew I had been fighting a throat and chest cold and he purchased me a very nice stainless steel cup so that I could take hot tea with me to go every morning. Tuesday I awoke to the stove top completely clean, the kids had been taken to school, dishwasher unloaded and his one call to me was to make sure I could completely focus on my quilt order. What an amazing SUPPORTER. Yesterday after work, though I was a little tired, I met him for lunch, it was very nice, and I even took my days wages and gave it to him to pay for the meal! I am thankful the kids are in school so we can have those rare moments!
This week I am so thankful we are a Godly family, trying our best to love one another and spend time together, pray together and most of all EAT together. I have made what my children call Feasts- all week long. I am sure last night was their favorite as we had Belgian Waffles, Sausage, Bacon and Fresh Heavy Whipped Cream with Fruit toppings of Cherries- Hot Cinnamon Apples and Fresh Strawberries for Dinner. It is so nice that even though money is rough with overtime being cut we have made the best of it and have had dinner the last few weeks together. I just love our meal times!
Oh and on a side note- I received some beautiful healing hearts from a quilting friend in the UK this week. It was in rememberance of my grandfather that has just passed away. What an amazing gift. I am so thankful to have her as a friend. Thank you Janice.
So What Are You Thankful for Today?
Please visit Grace Alone and join in Thankful Thursday or maybe just read other thankful lists.
You can also see some more at Rose Colored Glasses

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

God Sees Everything

Todays verse that I am sharing is from Luke 12:6-7

"Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows."

Isn't it an amazing thought that God Notices EVERYTHING. He notices our wants, needs, desires, health, happiness, sadness- all of it. I think that sometimes we could do a better job noticing things in peoples lives around us.

I know just in my family there are times that I could do better. An example comes from last night. Jakob my oldest had gone running errands with me. We then went and picked up the younger two from Choir, which is an after school thing. Then we got back to the house- they all grab a snack- Jakob trades out the wash for me and then requests to play his new Wii game he just got for his birthday. I figure why not- he was a trooper- his homework is done, chores are done...

My son Zekaryah had a different feeling. He was so distraught. I told Jakob just to turn the sound off and he could keep playing while I helped with homework. I didn't even notice Zekaryah's demeanor- which continued to get worse- because he literally gave himself a headache for being so upset inside.

He was very jealous that Jakob got to play the game while they did their homework. It is a hard call to be honest- part of me feels that Jakob got his things done so why not. Part of me feels that maybe no games/tv until everyone is done. SO needless to say I helped induce a very bad situation last night. I should have taken more notice of the whole picture.

However, I really would like Zekaryah to learn that things don't always come out equal either, and how to better react to situations we do not like. My husband and I talked about this last night and we honestly just are unsure as to what the perfect solution is. We will continue to pray to decide what to do- it feels like a no win situation to be honest.

Onto my picture above - I just love this photo. We started planting strawberries in our garden this weekend. The younger two were helping out and Shiner, our pup was exhausted from all the walking back and forth. A little ways away from where the garden is located he decided to curl up and take a nap in the tall grass. Sometimes I would love to have that same advantage- of course I would prefer a blanket I am sure..

New Award- Blog Love

Well to my surprise I saw an email this morning to let me know that Rita at Following 31 was passing an award to my Growth in God blog. What a wonderful award. I love to write, but like Rita I also love to read several blogs, some have become friends, some just blogs I follow. I have a variety of Blogs that I love- whether it be from a biblical inspiration stand point or maybe just a sneak peak into their daily lives- I follow them and we in a sense walk through life together.
It is always amazing to me that there really are moms out there with dirty houses- kids that are overwhelming- or kids that are just adored. We all have more in common then we often realize. My family would see this award and think it is perfect! I am always on the laptop (or the sewing machine), always writing hand written letters- correcting homework... something- they would see the picture and think of MOM. SO thank you very much...

Here are the rules attached to this particular award:
* When you receive the Blog Love award, you should place the logo on your blog proudly!
* Link to the blogger that awarded you the love.
* Nominate your friends and bloggers you read regularly, as many as you like.
* Finally, let them know you’ve nominated them to receive the award.

I would like to say that if you do not follow Following 31, I would recommend her Blog- it has some wonderful posts.
So now to my picks.
I would say the Blog I follow the most is Des from 3 Am Feedings
Then as interesting of a thought this is I enjoy her moms blog, Nikki, My Seven Kids
Then I have a few that I more follow- I may post a comment now and then but they are either contributing writers or something like that, Their posts are often inspiring.
Hip Chick's Home
Chat's With An Old Lady
All You Have to Give
Following 31

So there you go. Thank you again- what a lovely award.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

This week might be a little busy, between projects for school, cleaning the house and quilting/work- there will not be much time. So I am looking for easy- I think.

We have some left over mashed potatoes from last nights dinner- so reheat/make some brown gravy- serve with Pork Chops on the stove top griddle-yellow squash and crescent rolls. Left over cheesecake for dessert
Cheese and Chicken Enchiladas, Refried Beans, Spanish Rice
Waffles with Blackberries and Whip Cream, Sausage Links and Bacon
Make your Own French Bread Pizzas
BBQ Hamburgers and Hotdogs- Movie Night
Bean and Cheese Burritos, Quesadillas.
Baked Potatoes with Veggies

On our Pizza Night we have a really good time- We just take some French Bread- I put the sauce on everyone's pizza then I lay out toppings in bowls to choose from.
Pepperoni, Ham, Pineapple, Black Olives, Green Olives, Mushrooms, Moz Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Roma Tomatoes
It is nice to do a meal like this because everyone can make it their own way. Of course my oldest will still just want Spaghetti instead of Pizza, but I don't mind.

A Bible verse to leave you with-
"What do you want me to do for you" Luke 18:41
Sometimes we need to ask others what they need not assume it, even Jesus asked here in Luke.
So what makes us think that we should know everything our friends, spouses or children may need. Sometimes what we do for them may not be what they need for that moment- imagine if we took the time to ask. We may meet a need that they have asked God for- you just never know. Something to think about this week.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saturday Lyrics

Today I just want to share some lyrics to a song that really makes me think about life, love and what should be our priorities.

One Life to Love
Artist: 33 Miles
Album: One Life

He never thought he cared so much about the minute hand
Until he started praying for a second chance
If he could only do it all again he'd trade the long nights that he spent
Behind his desk
For all he missed
He tells his wife, I wish th at this moment in this room
Was not me dying, but just spending a little time with you
You only get just one time around
You only get one shot at this
One chance to find out
The one thing that you don't want to miss
One day when it's all said and done
I hope you see that it was enough
This one ride, one try, one life to love
She never thought she cared so much about those little hands
That held on tight the day she left
Till she was scared to death
Sitting all alone on a hotel bed, the end of the road
The sun has set on her big plans
To feel young again
She picks up the phone, dials the number, hears that little voice
That's haunted every single mile since she made that choice.
You only get just one time around
You only get one shot at this
One chance to find out
The one thing that you don't want to miss
One day when it's all said and done
I hope you see that it was enough
This one ride, one try, one life to love

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday and Love

This week we have been exploring the idea of love. How to love, why to love, what is love... you get the idea. With Valentines Day approaching I feel many of us miss the idea of what God intended love to be. It isn't flowers, jewelery, gifts, chocolate... those things are nice but they are not love. That doesn't mean we don't like them though right?
Seriously though when we think of being thankful what better example of Love then God giving us Christ, his only son, to die for us, to save us, to give us eternal life, to forgive us of all wrong doing, to forgive us of all sin. We are made white as snow, we are given a clean slate. I can't imagine a better example of Love then that can you?
Today I am ever so thankful for that display of Love, that through God's grace we are saved to have eternal life with him. A Life where we will not have to worry about money to pay bills, not have to plan menus and clean a house that seems to always be dirty, not have to worry about pain because our health is failing, not have to care for a loved one that is sick..the list goes on doesn't it. All those trials and tribulations that God allows into our lives so that he can mold us and shape us into that person he desires us to be will not be needed anymore.
I just can't even imagine. What a wonderful time that will be to know no pain, no sorrow, no fear.

I am ever so thankful in my own life, we continue to heal from this cold in our home that never seems to go away. I have completed two of my three quilt orders this week-which on Monday seemed impossible. I have a son that turned 13 today- and wow is he a GEM. My daughter is being baptized this Saturday, what an honor it will be to be there and watch her continue to grow in our Heavenly Father. Most of all I have a husband whom I love so much, who is there to support me, who claims to love me even more than I love him, who took Monday off and worked in our garden to get the water routed to it- in hopes that we will have more success so we might can food this year. I have so much to be thankful for in the midst of all the uncertainty around me, even within our own home. I leave you with one final thought today.
The bible says, "If you only love those who love you, what credit is that to you?"
Luke 6:32

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Love as an Action

Love is an action- not really just a feeling. It is something we choose to do, something we learn to feel. Probably honestly the number one issue that we can have in relationships in general. There are some people that maybe we choose not to love, maybe it just seems impossible. I have heard once that some people are our Sandpaper people. They are the ones that rub our edges and get them the way that God wants them so that we are how he wants us. Boy can I say they are hard to love at times. We do however have the choice to love them even if we don't always like them.
There is a huge difference.
We are commanded to love. In the bible it says, " Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and truth." 1 John 3:18.
In the light of this idea of making love an action we have to practice that idea to get better at it and have success with it.
The bible also says, "Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are children of God, and that they are getting to know him better."1 John 4:7
Isn't that the truth though, you know those people that we all wish at times we could be. Always seem to do for others no matter who they are, they seem to treat people all the same, they have that glowing spirit that just beams out of them.
In regards to practicing love the bible also states, "Practice these things and devote yourself to them, in order that your progress may be seen by all." 1 Timothy 4:15
I would say the number one area that you might see this in my own life is with my children. I will always love them but sometimes my actions may not always show that. There are times where maybe I don't put my book down and focus on what they are saying- I half listen. Especially if it is my oldest talking about a video game- oh how that conversation goes on forever sometimes. Yet it is important to him so it should be important to me. SO I want to work on this week- listening to them a little more attentively to display my love to them.
As for my husband- he loves for me to scratch his back- I despise it- but all week I have been trying to think of him more than the fact that I think it is gross, and I know that I show how much I love him through this action, because it is something he really enjoys.
So what can you do with your actions to convey your love for your family this week?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Open Your Eyes and Your Heart

In continuing with our Love Theme for this week it is important to open your eyes and your heart to see who our Father really is. Love is the Lord's Character, his essence. The Bible Says, "Love comes from God...for God is love." 1 John 4:7-8
I can't think of a better quality to posses. I can't think of a better quality to share with everyone. It is so hard to do at times though, especially that unconditional love. It is easy to withhold love to someone, such as a sister or spouse, because we feel we have been wronged or maybe they did something we did not like. Where does that really get us? In the times that things are the worst I feel like we should love even more.
The bible also says that "We love because God first loved us." 1 John 4:19
How amazing to be loved by God- he is the only one that can give unconditional love. As hard as we try our love can tend to be conditional. We don't automatically love strangers. We tend to get to know people and as we become friends we love them. It doesn't just happen. For us love is a feeling not an action, yet it really should be an action. We will talk more about that tomorrow.
For today I want to leave you with one more thought. Love is a Choice- it is a commitment.
The Lord says in Deuteronomy 30:20 "Choose to love the Lord your God and commit yourself to him." To improve your relationships you have to make love a choice- a commitment.
Is there areas in your marriage, or with your children, or even with your family members where you could work on making love a choice in order to have a better relationship?
I know for me I feel I have a pretty good relationship with my children and my husband. I would say if they were asked they would agree. I would also say that I am not satisfied with where those relationships are, I can always desire to have more, especially in the area of quality. I don't think I could ever love too much.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Our Father and His Love

The bible has so much to say about Love doesn't it? As we approach Valentines Day, a commercialized holiday about Love I thought why not look at some verses this week that talk about Love, or some people that display love.
Here is what I have for today- what I want to call Memory Verse Monday.
I have three verses that we should all think on this week.
The Lord says the following
in 1 Corinthians 14:1 he states, "Let love be your highest aim."
Pretty simple and sweet if you ask me. I think he means let every decision in life be driven by your dominate life principal which is Love.
Then he states in Mark 12:30-31, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength... love your neighbor as yourself. There are no commands more important than these.
What is interesting to me is this is the only command God gives - for us to Love. That is how important it is. I feel it guides our entire life. How well do things really work when they are not done with love?
The last verse I want to ponder on is the following,
"Everything you do must be done with Love" 1 Corinthians 16:14
Imagine how well life would be if we really did that. If every time we did anything we did it in or with Love. From going to the post office to drop off a package, to getting groceries at the store, to tucking our kiddos in at night. The world would be such a better place.
The simple fact in life is that things aren't done in Love constantly. It is so incredibly hard. However, that does not mean we should not try to meet the challenge, to rise to the occasion.
Kind of like the movie Pay Forward- here is the challenge.
Try this week to do everything in Love.
Maybe make coffee for you mate in the morning, or a favorite meal. Rent a movie and watch it with your children. Open a door for someone at the store or wherever you are in public, or even just lend a simple Hello or a smile. The biggest area I think sometimes is how we talk to people, whether it be us initiating the conversation, or us replying. Try really hard to think of your words, and speak out how you would like to be spoken to.
We may only be one person, but between emails, face to face contact, the telephone and the like we may come in contact with several a day, if each of our interactions is in love, then maybe in turn theirs will be too, it is a domino affect. Try this one week to do Everything in Love and see how the Lord will Bless you by following His Commands.

My First Monday Menu Planning

Well today is my first day to Blog about Menu Planning. I do plan our Menu, typically a month at a time though, but I have fallen short the last couple of weeks. So I saw on Following 31 that she posted hers today and I was inspired. God said- Jenn get back in there and get yourself organized. So Menu Planning here we go. It is so important to organize. I know my whole life seems very unorganized right now, in every area. It is one thing I try to teach our children as it really makes a huge difference. For example every night after they shower I have them get all their school things together (shirt, pants, socks, shoes, jacket and backpack). It allows our morning to move along so much better.

If you would like to visit the Organizing Junkie for inspiration please feel free to click on the link provided. There are some great ideas there.

So for my first Menu Planning Blog here we go

Monday- Pork Chops just lightly done in Olive Oil, Mashed Potatoes with cream gravy, broccoli

Tuesday- Crockpot meal- chicken and Rice, green beans and cream style corn

Wednesday- Breakfast Night- Belgian Waffles- topped with whip cream, blackberries and Strawberries

Thursday- Chicken Enchiladas, Beans and Spanish Rice

Friday- BBQ Jakob's Choice- for Birthday weekend

Saturday- Jakob's Birthday Choice

Sunday- Jakob's Birthday Weekend Choice

SO this week, I still have to get with my oldest and find out what he wants. His birthday is the 12th and he has yet to decide what foods he will select for his Birthday Weekend. I let them choose meals from Fri evening (since they eat at school) through Sunday Evening.
They also get a FREE PASS on chores for the entire weekend. They get to choose a movie/game of their choice too for a family night. We don't do big parties but I already know the dessert as they all three love CHEESECAKE. I will post that recipe tomorrow, as it is super delicious and really easy to make. (of course I don't care for cheesecake but it is really good considering that)
So what is on your Menu?

Another Blog Giveaway

This giveaway is great!!! If you love Potholders- if you love quilted thingies and if you love Stephanie Plum well this one is for you. Go to my friends blog and sign up for her giveaway
She also has some great items in her ETSY site, a really neat miniature quilt at a wonderful price- it would be great as a table topper, or a little girl. You just can't beat the price.
She also sells some wonderful bags- which she will start selling in a little store near her too. I have bought a scarf, hat and 3 bags from her. She does some great custom orders- My daughter uses her little horse bag for her bible and things every Saturday night for church. So you will not be disappointed.
HamnCheezr You can't beat her offer for free shipping right now either.
So go sign up for her Giveaway and check her Etsy site out.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Blog Giveaway

I came across a Blog Giveaway in my SewFree Group. If you are interested in something fun check out the GIVEAWAY Patches and Pieces is doing. Its for 6 fat quarters. Now who doesn't just love some fabric.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Friday, February 6, 2009

What Am I Learning Friday

You know sometimes things just click. Do you know what I mean, that light bulb moment, the stop you in your tracks type of moment, the ah ha- wow taken back moment. Yesterday I was laying in bed checking my email on the laptop, the younger two were in my son's room watching a DVD and my oldest was on the computer finishing up a Quiz he was creating for an Assignment in his Science Class. He had just finished and asked if I would read it. I said sure, bring me your flash drive- wow aren't those handy!
I plugged in the flash drive and looked it over. Made two changes one to a question and one to an answer-- it was just one word in both and was just amazed! It dawned on me where we were in life- Jakob and I. He will be 13 on the 12th and he is in all College Prep courses, the boy reads more than I do, probably as much as I did as a child for sure- he is an all A student. I can depend on him to help with things around the house and his week he just didn't need my help. I had not even realized he didn't need my help. I am looking over the assignment, was impressed at the quality and said wow, great job. He said Thank you and walked away.
I was sitting their for a minute reflecting on the week- the Legend he wrote for Science, this quiz I had just read, the fact that Tue morning he had me email every teacher for assignments since he was missing school- how wed right after school he was on top of his homework, preparing for a test he missed just handling it all and still managing to do his chores.
I was just so impressed at his attitude. He didn't feel good, he could have complained and griped and been in a pity party but he didn't. He knew what he had to do and he did it. How easy it would have been to just brush it off and make an excuse.
I called him in my room after he showered and just used some Godly wisdom from James 3:10 "From the Same mouth come blessing and cursing." I just expressed how impressed that I was, how much I appreciated his hard work and how I felt he was doing a wonderful job with school. I told him how pleased I was with the quality of his work.
You see while his room may not be clean, while he washes the dishes (which is his chore) but fails to see the kitchen includes:dishes, counters, stove etc. I saw the good work he was doing. I did not want to be upset over his shortcomings - the area he cuts corners in, but I wanted to praise his GOOD WORK- work of EXCELLENCE.
There will be a day where we will go over the steps of how properly clean a kitchen again but I did not want to miss the opportunity last night to speak Blessings from my mouth. I have a theory that as I raise my children I want to constantly pay attention to those things that impress me, the areas they go out of their way to do something wonderful, in turn I want to speak blessings upon those areas, build character, help them feel amazing about the achievements they have made, their strengths. My theory is that my Choosing to speak blessings instead of point out the areas they are weak and get upset over them which could tear them down, they might just apply some of that same effort into their weaker areas.
I do point out when something is not done, or when they need to redo things, but I want to make sure I am praising them far more than always showing them where they fall short.
It is amazing what we can do with our words. As Jakob left my room last night, there was a sense of love in his step. I could tell he appreciated me taking the time to tell him he did a great job and that I was proud of him.
Even in our own live's I think we all want to hear how proud our heavenly father is of us. I know for me I want the Lord to be very proud of the mother I am becoming, the mother he wants us all to be.
So this weekend make sure you praise your child or someone in your life for something they have done, give a boost to their spirit.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I must admit I still feel like my lungs have been pounded in by bricks, like my throat is raw and on fire but I find I am ever so thankful this week.
My son was sick and he is starting to feel better, but we got to enjoy a sick day together on Tuesday.
My younger two took their BenchMark Tests for school and felt good about them.
The three kids have pitched in to help with dishes, feeding the dogs and the bathroom cleaning without complaining- a MIRACLE I TELL YOU.
My husband has not been upset over the condition of the house or the fact that I have gotten very little done- he has been very sympathetic to my not feeling well, even though I am personally upset over the condition of the house and my lack of getting quilt orders finished.
I am very thankful to all my online friends who have lent support and kind words as I have been working through the sadness that came with the passing of my Grandfather Kale.
I am thankful that I only have one more Tax statement to wait on so we can file our taxes and get that done and over with.
I am thankful to have gotten a Lemonade Award for my Blog this week- that was very uplifting.
I am thankful to Des who introduced me to some hilarious books - one of which I found at the library yesterday called Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich. I am enjoying the book so much.
I am thankful to come across the Elm Creek Kitchen book-which I borrowed but it is really neat and has lots of recipes.
I am also ever so thankful for the break in the extreme cold weather and for the beautiful SUNSHINE outside.
Most of all I am thankful for the love and support of my family, that we have a warm house over our head, with lights and food and a warm fire, that we all love each other and just enjoy each others company so much. My children have been an amazing comfort in just the little things that they do and I feel like a Truly Blessed Mom for sure.
So what are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cross Post- Jakob's Legend Essay

Well I am being lazy tonight- but also I am just so impressed with my son's writing that I wanted to share it on both blogs, so if you follow both, you have already read it. Ha ha, new post tomorrow.
Here is the post I made on Sunshine and Family- remember he is only 12, so grammar issues should be ignored- just read for entertainment.
My son had to write an essay (legend) for Science Class on the lunar Cycle. There were actually several things to choose from and depending on what you chose depended on what else you had to do with it. He chose an 8 pt project so it was one of the two hardest choices and then he is to also write a quiz for the other 2 points. Anyway I thought his essay was neat. So I am sharing it with everyone tonight. The way he actually formatted and the title and everything was even better, he has gotten so good with the computer- but this will suffice.

The Legend of the Moon
A Legend of Why the Moon Changes Appearance during the MonthIt is said that the moon changes its appearance because of greed.Ten thousand years ago, seven spirits ruled the moon. At the time, the moon we see stayed in constant light. This is because wherever the spirits stood, there was light. The spirits equally shared the moon and lit it completely. Then the spirits became greedy. The spirits wanted more space for their light to shine and to make the other spirits’ space for light less. They fought over space for a hundred years and for a hundred years the moon was black. Then a wise man came and said “Enough with this fighting, let you have a series of eight contests to see who is the strongest, quickest, and wisest of you all. The winner shall have the front of the moon, while the losers the back.” This was taken as a good idea and was followed through. Each of the seven spirits had a talent and each won one of the contests. The last contest was to run all the way around the moon. The race was to start on the right side of the moon and run left. The spirits lined up and got ready to run. When they started they realized that as none of them were better at running than the others, none of them would get ahead. However, they did not stop running or else one of the other spirits might get ahead. So, they kept running.The spirits lit half the moon according to their position. When they started, they created a Waxing Crescent. As they went farther left they created a First Quarter. Then they created a Waxing Gibbous. When they reached the middle of the moon they created a Full Moon. As they went leftwards they created the Waning Gibbous, then the Third Quarter, and, as they were nearing the end of their race a Waning Crescent.When they reached the end of their race, they fought over who had won. They accused each other of cheating, or said that someone else’s track was shorter. So, again the wise man came and said “No one won the race it was a tie so you shall have to race again.”The wise man had tricked the spirits into lighting the moon, if only temporarily, so that the moon was never left in darkness permanently, a part of the moon would always be lit except when a race was done. Since the moon in complete darkness signals the start of a new race, it is called a New Moon.

It really made me think of good and evil and the bible and our lives. How we are always racing through life, competing against each other... and yet maybe get no where when it is all said and done. If we stayed focused on the true light though- the Lord- it would be much easier for our own light to always shine bright.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Life and Moments

Today I found a little bit of myself back in line with where I wanted to be. I didn't get motivation to clean the house, more because I know my husband wanted me to rest, wanted my oldest to rest because he wants this cold bug ridden from our home. I did find myself thinking about patterns to do some quilts, watching a movie with my oldest, who was home from school, and fussing at the kids to make sure they got their chores done, which they have not done in forever.
I also found myself completely thankful that I had the day off.
I didn't have to run to work this morning and leave a sick child at home alone- which he is 12 so he can manage a few hours while I work, but I hate that torn feeling as a mom. I also got to enjoy his company too. My oldest rarely ever gets sick. It has been a few years since he has stayed home from school. It was nice to be able to just lay back and watch a movie and just have some one on one time. What I felt silly about is, why does it take them getting sick for my world to stop for them?
I am fairly busy, yet you would never know by the condition of my house, because I am not busy with housework- it is a wreck right now. I do work part time outside the house caring for a woman, I do make quilts to sell online and to people that order from me outside of Etsy or Ebay. Yet there are times where it seems like life doesn't slow down enough to spend a few precious moments with them. Real moments where I am not on the laptop blogging or responding to emails, where I am not cutting fabric, or folding clothes while a movie is on.
So in a way I was given this sick day of his to remind myself that I need to still set time aside for them on my schedule during the week, not just on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays. Take a few moments and connect, maybe even in the same style that I do when my husband gets home. As they have gotten older it is harder to remember to ask about their day, or what they are learning in school. It is rush rush, they get home, get a snack, do a chore, do their homework, we eat dinner-as a family typically, then it is shower time and bedtime. Once in a while we might get a movie in or a 30 min show but yet just rush rush rush rush rush.
Sometimes my time with God can be the same way. I quickly read and am off and going to start whatever the day holds, so now I start my week with a refocused heart. To take time in ALL my Relationships- family, friends and most importantly God. I know I am not currently doing a devotional right now, or a bible study, my schedule has not permitted me to participate in anything right now. I may just find something I can do by myself at home though just for that added inspiration to stay focused and where my heart would like to be in trying to be that Proverbs 31 woman.
My verse for today:
Psalm 33:22May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.

Lemonade Award

Today Rita from Following 31 gave me the Lemonade Award for my Fridays Post on "What Am I Learning Friday." I wrote about taking time for one another. I have just started this Blog "Growth in God" and within a week had to put it on hold just a bit because of a death in the family, and then recovering my household from being gone a week. It is amazing what us moms get done and how when we are gone things get all out of sorts. This week I still am trying to recover as my family has been hit with a virus. My oldest is home recovering from a fever of 103.4 from last night, and I have that throat, ear, eye thing going on. So this was a very Blessed Award and I am ever grateful. I appreciate everyone who reads my posts and that it blesses or encourages them in some way.

There are some rules to this award so let me post those...

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs that show attitude and/or gratitude.

3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.

4. Let them know they have received this award by commenting on a post.

5. Nominate your favorites and link to this blog.
I must admit that I do not have 10 Blogs to Nominate, but I do have a few.
I hope you will visit these blogger's, it is amazing what we can learn from one another, how we can be encouraged and inspired in fellowship with one another.
As for me personally for Growth In God, I hope to be back up and running soon. It is exhausting being sick while caring for members of my house who are sick, but God has some amazing healing powers- I can't complain as I have an excuse to watch movies with the kids and spend some one on one time with them. Down time is nice.