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Thursday, December 24, 2009

My friend, Mari, at My Little Corner of the World posted this on her blog and I knew I had to share it. While little is known of the true time when Jesus was born, He WAS born and He lives today as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
As we gather with family and local fellowships in these next hours may we keep first in our minds the faithfulness of God in the fulfilled prophecy of the birth of the Saviour of the World. Father, it's your great name and your faithfulness that we celebrate. Thank You for the gift of life that came from glory at the time You deemed He should come. We bow.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Coming Soon to a Snowball Near You!



Global Warming. Grin and share it! (I received this cute photo from my Mom.)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Prodigal Country

Something is tugging at the core of the American Heart and Soul, and it's well expressed in this article by Peggy Noonan called, "The Adam Lambert Problem." I don't often post along what some would consider political lines, but my heart is crying out on the inside for what seems to be surfacing in the general public. (Besides, our lostness isn't political, it's spiritual.)

My question now is, will we turn? Will we repent? We're not satisfied on in the inside , and that's because there's not much Jesus left. Please don't take that wrong. I'm simply saying we've allowed something and someone(s) to erase, corrode and deface why we're here and how we got here. We have lost our way, but it's never too late to look to the author and completer of our faith. The hand and heart of a sovereign Father has brooded over our country, watched over it's formation and beginnings....and like the prodigal we have now wandered. Is this our cry to our Dad? Does this article represent that, "Where is my father? I miss my home!" cry of the prodigal son? I think it does, and now the light of Jesus must shine brighter and brighter....oh may it, so that the world will see and know that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

That's my heart, so I hope you will click the link and read the article.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Honest Scrap Award


Yesterday I received an Honest Scrap Award from Susan at Penless Writer. Thank you so much Susan! I was so blessed! I have nominated 7 other blogs to receive this award, and they are listed at the bottom of this post. Here are my top 10 honest things about me:

1. I tend to be a procrastinator when I am not sure how to do something, or if I feel like I am going to have to ask something of someone that will obligate them or infringe on their time. In God's wonderful sense of humor and in His desire to not leave me like I am, I have a handful of responsibilites that make me face that little monster almost on a daily basis. It's getting better, but it's still hard.

2. I am an exhorter. I believe God has put in me the ability to see what is the need of the hour, or the moment in words. He gives me the wisdom needed for others when simple practical advice is asked . He has given me an ability to express gracious words as needed. I know I have to lean on the Lord for that or it can become a work of prideful, flattering flesh. Yulk. No thanks.

3. I am very sentimental. I have cards my Mom sent me when we would spend summers with my Dad after their divorce. I have Valentine cards she sent me. I have old spelling bee medals (yes, I'm a really good speller most of the time!),and now that I'm a Mom....I'm still extremely sentimental but am learning to throw more stuff away. I will usually date the back of papers or write an explanation on the back as to why something is special. Then when I get the chance, some year (see #1), I will hopefully file these away in their long term spot.

4. Job History: Previous jobs: Administrative, Administrative, Administrative! Mostly in the telecommunications industry, but also in accounting and staffing. I am not an administrator as in being ultra organized, but I know how to keep several tops spinning at one time. The people skills always came to the top of my stack because God has just made me that way. So, no matter how administrative a job was, I always found a way to highlight the relational aspect of it. When I worked in staffing I had a manager who had the sense to custom make my job for me so I could use those gifts in that area, and it profited the company because she did so. I had a Jewish boss that I still pray for to this day. My goal was to serve him as unto the Lord. He loved to have me wait on him hand and foot whenever his manager came in to town. And I loved to do it because I knew it made Ed look good, and it made the Lord super happy. I was serving one of His. For those reasons I enjoyed it. I didn't care if it seemed condescending. You're never more liberated than when you do something as unto the Lord, even the most menial job.

5. I have much to share about this next unnamed area, but will not name it specifically because I feel I'm to share this with my daughter and son first. I am not sure when that day will be. I can say that it is my greatest heartbreak. As a result I have watched the Lord, with the exception of going back in time, rewrite my history. The best came out of the worst. I really wish I did not have my history, but I would not give up what I have with the Lord for anything. I learned to accept His grace by faith like I never had to before. I can say that the Lord has the last word even in the most devestating of circumstances. I learned that the Lord truly is my defense. I learned that He could speak through others the truth of how He sees me and cherishes me. I am wiser, much much wiser, because of it. I am the Lords. God waited until I married Danny to heal some of the deeper hurts of those years. He's still working on a few of those, and He knew I needed the safe arms and devoted heart of His adopted son, Danny, to help me across the more treacherous terrain of of past memories.


6. I need plenty of time alone for recharging. Probably more than the average bear. I like to have time to be still. Danny is a commercial pilot, so down-time is written into our lifestyle barring a coup from motherhood or life in general.

7. The Lord has graced me to write music, to lead worship in a unique way. It's difficult at times for me to accept my voice for example, but I have learned that my "sound" is what He put in me, so now I just accept it and realize that the Lord really does use me whether I understand why or not. I am learning to trust Him that His intention is to do just that. Now I just accept it, work to improve where improvement is helpful, and then just trust and obey, literally. I rely heavily upon Him to lead me to write, and His leading me as I lead worship.

8. I would rather have a bowl of hot buttered and peppered brussel sprouts than almost anything else in the world. It would be a win-win however if a gigantic steamed lobster with a crock of melted butter were right next to the brussel sprouts. If topped off with milk chocolate covered cherries then....what more is there. But....I would wait two or three hours to eat the cherries because I would not want to ruin the memory of the flavor of the veggies and lobster.

9. My favorite subject: my children and homeschooling. God has made me for this season of motherhood and teaching. I love to suggest curriculum to others, I love to research curriculum, and I love to help others cross the bridge into a homeschooling experience.

10. I'm going to turn 50 in July. I CANNOT believe I just wrote that! I will say, I have lived the fullest, richest life so far. If I went home to be with the Lord in the near future (but I'm in no hurry) I would not feel cheated, I am so blessed. I can say that because I have traveled this life, not alone, but with the Lord. I have experienced Him as my best friend. He is my greatest confidante. I do not have the ability to view life outside of the faithfulness of God. I am forever greatful He showed me my greatest need; His love, His eternal, blessed, and gracious salvation. I am nothing without Him.

Wow, Susan. I had no idea I would have so much to share! I hope that gives everyone a deeper peek in the girl whose middle name is Lucille! : ) Proudly named after my Jesus-loving, book-writing, adventurous Great Grandmother.

I now have the honor of nominating 7 blogs for the inspiration, the creativity, and the joy they have each brought into my life. Each of you are a blessing to me!

1. Mary Lee at Into the Abyss
2. Andi at The Learning Pomegranate
3. Michelle at Delightful Learning
4. Tricia at A Future and a Hope
5. Gina at The Journaling Gina
6. Christy at The Secret Lies With Charlotte
7. Mel at In His Grace.

If you've been nominated and you would like to participate, the Rules are:
1. Leave a word of thanks for the person of nominated you, and link to their blog.

2. List 10 honest things about yourself.

3. Nominate 7 other blogs who have inspired you for one reason or another. (I think I got that right-Susan did a good job of explaining the rules on her original post.)

Thank you again, dear sweet Susan, for this fun idea and very special award!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Advent

The last two weeks we have schooled officially about half-time (at best), and so the next week and a half we plan to pick it up a bit. The big crunch for a couple of projects are out of the way, and I anticipate being able to focus our hearts even more in celebrating our Saviour's birth. Though we do not know or need to know the exact day Jesus was born we find it thrilling to stop and consider how it must've been when Jesus came to earth: that fixed point in time where He came down from glory to His humble yet destined earthly beginnings.

Advent, the Latin word meaning "to come," is one of the things we'll use to draw us closer each day as a family. Most of my ideas came from a book called Advent Activities for Home and School. Advent has already begun, but it's not too late to turn our hearts in a fresh way to the Lord. Here are the activities we'll be doing, Lord willing! Each activity has a Bible Verse to go with it.

1. Make an advent wreath with fresh boughs
2. Make an advent poster with a Bible Verse
3. Make an advent candle
4. Make a Jesse Tree
5. Make a star and an ornament from yarn: the old "yarn glued on the balloon, and pop the balloon when it dries" trick.
6. Make a map of Palestine noting important cities in Jesus' time.
7. Make a Giving Tree by decorating a pinecone like a regular tree
8. Interview an older neighbor who loves Jesus about how she celebrated Christmas. We'll also be taking her home made cookies.(We're especially excited about this one.)
9. Give ourselves to the Lord in our special family way on Christmas Eve
10. Light the Christ Candle and Read the Christmas Story.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Danny

Danny, this video's for you! : ) I love and admire you, and our children adore you. Not only that, they are big Johnny fans just like you. We're looking forward to this day with you.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Song Blog!

One Each Day is a song blog. One fresh song a day sounds pretty good to me, and it'll make for a great catalog of my own song loves, and maybe a fun place for you to come by and hear something that either you've never heard before, or haven't heard in a long time. There's one up already, so come on by!
A friend had this song on her facebook page, and I knew I had to post it. It's by Brian and Jenn Johnson. Recall the love of our Lord for us this morning, or whenever you're able to listen.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Child's Nativity


While we always decorate the interior of our home for Christmas, we have rarely done much to decorate the outdoor portion. In contrast, our neighborhood boosts the usage of our local utilities by atleast a kazillion dollars during the latter part of November and December.

In their desire to get in on the festivities my sweet children made their own miniature outdoor nativity set tonight. (Mary Lee at Into the Abyss has posted photos on her blog) It's very "handmade" and ordinary, nothing flashy at all in a neighborhood full of incredible lights and decorations. It sits on the ground barely visable. If you didn't know it was there you'd miss it. Sound familiar ? The people, including Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and wisemen are all shaped like crosses as that's how construction paper arms work. Here's my honest unredeemed thought process. I was a little embarassed because it looked so childish, it was unpolished, and I wanted something not "like" the neighbors, but I did have something more appealing in mind, certainly something bigger. I have so much to learn in motherhood. Fortunately I knew better than to say something like that to Bethany and Daniel, and held my thoughts to myself.

There was a lesson in this for me....again. I realized there was something to all of this. Jesus: His ordinary and almost unnoticeable birth, His humble beginnings, His cross, the dying daily we are called to embrace as Christians. Missed by many because of His lowly origin. I wonder, am I the only one who needs to learn this lesson? While I do desire beauty, and love to see all of the bright lights and lavish decorations we enjoy in this season of His birth, may I desire the humble King most of all. May I be willing to embrace what He embraced: a cross. May I not resist humility. Though I am a homeschooling mother, I am being heart-schooled through the innocent examples of my own children. With each word I've written I have been taught. I can't wait to see that beautiful nativity in the morning with my heart-eyes on.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving



In his commentary on writing this beautiful piece titled, "Thanksgiving" George Winston states that he had "the Miles City, Billings, MT area in mind"...which is by the way, where I was raised. I thank the Lord for my roots, where I began, where He put what He had for me, piece by piece, into my life. He is still doing so to this today, and for that and much much more I give Him thanks!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

While I've Been Dawdling

Dawdling? Maybe that's a bit untrue. Let's say....delaying the inevitable finish of school. I confess, I've had a wonderful time re-doing the looks of Field Notes, our homeschooling blog. I've been adding some great pictures the world has yet to see, so I hope you'll take a peek and allow yourself a little chuckle!

While I have been busy giving myself a blog makeover, the children have been busy, busy, busy, composing songs. Bethany is the choir director (the marching, dancing kind,)and Daniel is the aspiring song writer/composer in residence. The best part has been the heartfelt titles Daniel has ascribed to his compositions: "Oh, How Beautiful Is My Mother", "A Sister's Love for Her Brother", "A Brother's Love for His Sister", "A Father's Love for His Son", and the list appears to be going on. Should I stop this happy train, or keep going? "Hey, is that a hawk?", said the Choir Director. False alarm. For a moment I thought my dream was ending!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

How the Day Ended

Clever son has conversation with tired Mom. "Mom, can you lay down with me for a while?" The usual "yes" is a "no" as Mom explains she's tired and has had a really long day! Clever son (who knows the answer already but is just trying to get in the last word) says, "What's a Day?" Tired, but also clever Mom says, "Uh, it's like a thousand years!" : ) Selah!

We do a lot of talking around our house which is one of my favorite parts of homeschooling...and just plain living!I love to talk especially with my children. They're so much fun. This was my last conversation of the day with Daniel. The conversation occured at the end of one of our busier weeks and weekends.

Friday, November 20, 2009

In My Backyard

Picture this! Right now there's a big grown-up man, otherwise known as Daddy, with a 7-year old boy on his shoulders, swaying around the yard, doing a pretend stumble, and causing the boy to scream with delight. Unleash the joy, let loose with love, and let the memories begin again! "As today's moment becomes tomorrow's memory we thank You O Lord, our Salvation, the giver of every good and perfect gift"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spring In My Heart

This template scene reminds me of a place to which I would be drawn. If it existed in my own yard, the swing would be near by, I would most certainly have the flowers growing over the wall, and I would make sure to not be too busy to notice a butterfly or a hummingbird or two. So, picture me outside, coffee nearby, and a quail or two sneaking behind me as I write, read, think, and pray. THIS would be the spot for a Field Lily like me. I'm trying it out for awhile if you don't mind. {smiles are accepted!}

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Before the Throne of God Above



Thankful for this great love of the Father.

Friday, November 13, 2009

For Fun, Try This!


For a stroll back into modern history, check out this link. I found it though The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Freebies page (a great magazine for the homeschooler in you!)

If you want to know what the price of gas was when you were born, what songs were popular, how much a car cost that same year, click here. The dMarie Time Capsule is a clever way to obtain info on your birthday, someone elses, or just a "this day in history" search. It includes the headlines for the week as well as snipits of political information. I was shocked at the average annual income the year I was born. Hats off to the Moms and Dads who ran the family budgets that year! My, how times have changed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Quote of the Day at Our House

Youngest said of his growing love for soccer, and his increasing desire to practice: "I'm not quitting until I'm a professional soccer player!" Two days into being seven years of age has come with a fresh outlook on fun! I love it! (Pssst....he scored a goal in soccer today!) Thank you Lord for all of this. This is some of the fun in being a mother!

He just hollered from the back yard, "And Mommy, I know that will be a long time from now."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Newton On The Creator


I found these gems while studying up on tomorrow's science lesson; such gems being the following quotes from the great mind of Sir Isaac Newton:

I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.’

‘This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. … This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called “Lord God” παντοκρατωρ [pantokratòr], or “Universal Ruler”. … The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect.’2

...and this most timely quote:

‘Trials are medicines which our gracious and wise physician gives because we need them; and the proportions the frequency and weight of them to what the case requires. Let us trust his skill and thank him for the prescription."

As a Mother and a Teacher my view of God is contantly expanded. Be magnified, O Lord. Be magnified in our hearts, our eyes and minds.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

About Anguish

This clip is by David Wilkerson, and it's about anguish. Listen, hear the heart of what he says. I believe our hearts must be gripped. If not we must then pray He will change our hearts. "A true prayer life begins at the point of anguish..." This is only one small part of the incredible truth he pours forth in this 7 minute clip.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thought I would share this post to Bethany. My prayer is that the Lord will preserve His purpose for her, and make her path crystal clear, and give her grace to trust Him with everything. She enjoys "so much," and I can't wait to see it unfold. Right now I have a front row seat, and watching it all happen is part of my daily joy.


Thursday, October 29, 2009
The Chemist in You

My gracious one,

I love the you in you....the chemist in you! I love the way you get inspired and creative, and start mixin' stuff like you did today...the water and the insect repellent, the perfume oils. What a fragrance was emitted by you and your brother today! You're heavily influenced by the likes of great people such as Thomas Alva Edison, and many others we've read of . We've been listening to a dramatized retelling of Edison's formative years and the mark that his curiosity and tenacity made upon our world today. Bethany, if such a seed as this, or any other creative kind, is in your heart, and I believe there is, then I am obligated to water. If God were to say, "In my Bethany is something resident that I put in her and only she will bring into this world.", then I must water it. I must help till the soil, teach you to spot the weeds in your path and teach you how a living God desires to do the same within your heart and mind. You are His Bethany, mine for a short while, but His for eternity, and He knows best for you. I can't wait to see what He is mixing up for you! I know I am taking a few liberties, but I see the chemist in God in that He takes all kinds of things....events, ideas, desires, quirks, etc., and mixes it for His purposes. How gracious that He would do that for us. Because you are uniquely His and He will display something through you that only He could do, it is my joy to sit back and watch, and pray. How I love you.

A friend of mine recently presented a philosophy of Christian music on his facebook account. I'm not sure where it came from, but here it is:

The Philosophy of Christian music: If you're young you like Hip Hop or Alternative, if your older you like Hymns, Southern Gospel or P&W. If you don't like those styles you're probably going to Hell. If your an artist/musician & you don't play those styles you're probably going to Hell. Hmm, not sure where I fit in this.

When we start focusing on styles and methods as related to worship, I get a little bent out of shape, and I try not to let my flesh peek its little nose into what I want to be a right response. That being said, here is my reply. Because it's facebook, I kept it brief. I think it about covers it though.

"Yikes, wherever that philosophy came from I don't know. I'm guessing from someone who has gotten their eyes OFF of the Creator of ALL those styles. How uniquely He made us, and how uniquely we are to express our love for Him through all of these styles....and any one of them will do (truly!) o.k. Do I have my preference? Yes. Does God....probably not. I'm highly suspicious the heart is #1 on His list of concerns, and the style flows from that. That's my philosphy in a nutshell."

How easy it is to get our eyes off of the Most High. How heart breaking it must be to Him, to a degree we may not ever understand, to see us so very far away from our first love. Sin grieves Him, even the sin of a misplaced focus.

Growing a Fruitful Vine

I have a wonderful blogging friend who has recently written a post about Heirloom Tomato Seeds, how to get them, and how to grow them. Michelle loves the Lord, she's an inspiration to me as a fellow homeschooling mother, and then of course has written this fascinating post. Because I have so many fellow-bloggers who have green thumbs and the room to do it, I thought this link should be made available. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Hugger in You



This is today's post from Daniel's journal blog, "My Son...". I decided to share this one. It was fun to learn about, and fun to write about! Daniel always asks what's happening in "My Son..." as he calls it. We loved reading this one together.

Daniel, whenever Daddy and I have a nice, long hug I always wait for you....to come over and join the hug. That's you. That's the you that God made. And guess what? Today when we had a nice long hug in the kitchen, after a bit you got up from your chair and joined in on the hug. It's the hugger in you, and I just love it! Your wife and your children will love the hugger in you too.
Guess what, so does Jesus. He's a hugger, and He made you one. At any time in your life, you can crawl up in His lap (through prayer, reading the Bible, worship alone with Him, or just going for a walk!), and give and get a nice long hug. He's your Daddy, your Abba Father as we read today in our Bible time. Jesus called His Heavenly Father, Abba, and you can also. He loves you, and the hugger in Him is waiting joyously for the hugger in you. Love, Mom

Monday, October 26, 2009

Choosing Again!

Bear with me. I am experimenting again. Several templates in the works, and eventually I'll settle on one of them.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Happiest Patient I Know


Here's Bethany. Bethany is occupying the land! She came down with a substantial fever last night, and so today it's home from our Park Day with our homeschool group to recover which includes the following: drinking hot cocoa, eating toasted English Muffins somewhere else besides the kitchen table, cuddling under our favorite blanket, resting happily and comfortably on the couch, and reading her book(s) of choice, today's being "Helen Keller." (Alexander Graham Bell's story is waiting in the wings.)

Extra loving goes a long way when someone isn't feeling good, and we'll see to it that Bethany receives plenty of extra! Hold everything, this smiling patient has requested a glass of milk.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Son...

The Princess Papers (our version of more written proof that Bethany is a masterpiece, handmade by God!) are being added to daily, and how good it has been for me as writer and mother to choose atleast one thing for the day upon which to reflect.

As for the up and coming young man of the house, the blog journal is titled, "My Son..." We talked about several different titles, none fit. I prayed and this is what I heard. Danny loved it. First of all, that's what we often call him. Second, how many times is that very phrase used in Proverbs.

Our purpose in writing extends beyond the daily diary mindset, but into passing on any and all wisdom we have from the Lord to our two little beloveds. Pray for us as we not only write it, but live it out-that life that is found nowhere else but in Christ who calls us to contentment, giving thanks in everything, and trusting Him at all times. These very matters are the things we'll write of each day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Princess Papers

I am excited about a new blog, private though it is, and I wanted to share it in concept. For the first few years of my daughter and son's life I wrote in a journal for each of them. This happened more often for Bethany than Daniel. You know, more pictures, more journal entries, cleaner pacifiers, and the lot. Such are the benefits of being the first born child.

I continue to realize that as my children are growing older and "upper", faster than ever, I want to hold on to what seems like even the most insignificant moments. Maybe I found a scrap art project fashioned for a brother, a lego project his or her hands formed. Those stiff lego blogs once pushing into the soft young hands of a creative genius are now a replica of their thoughts and imaginings. These minutes and hours given to them by a most loving and patient and visionary God-I long to remember them.

While a title has not been given to a blog for my son, I have begun a blog to Bethany where I write her a small note which may be of no significance to anyone now, and maybe not even her. I suspect in the years to come however, that The Princess Papers will go from words and thoughts to gold-plated memories in her heart, and in mine. While it is private for my own eyes and hers, let it be known that The Princess Papers are born out of great love to and for her. I hope and pray that God will use it to download His deepest love and affection for Bethany to me, and then from me, back to her.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Did she know?


Did she know that I love monograms? Did she know that I love stationary? Did she know that the set of notecards she sent had inside a scripture that I sing over my children every night? Maybe, but I don't think so. I've never even met Susan. Did she know that I had wanted to buy a pouch to put business cards in my "traveling notebook" that I take with me everywhere I go? No, unless God gave her a vision of my periodic disorganization and my desire and continual effort to do something about it. Did she know how much I love music? Yes. That she knew. But about the difficult conversation I'd had with someone close just this week and how her gift became as a balm for me? There's no way she could know. Few did. But my Father in Heaven knew all of this, and saw to it that each of these items I've mentioned were sent to me by Susan at Penless Writer as part of a "Pay It Forward" blog event which Susan had hosted earlier this summer.

Every good and perfect gift comes from the Heavenly Father above (James 1:17), and those gifts come in His time. The relationship with the giver is what makes a gift so beautiful and truly priceless. Susan, thank you. You operated in God's timing, and I am blessed. I can't wait to have my own "Pay It Forward" blog event.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Just One More Thing!

I have to write about this! Right before putting the children to bed, I spied my precious Bethany eagerly drawing another map. Had I assigned it, I suspect it would've dropped flat, but this one must've been a God idea. She had her Bible open, yet was drawing the world. Then she had dots on the world and each dot, she said, was a star. Then she labeled each star and took great joy in naming each one the name of a book in the Bible. I told her I was imagining God watching and saying, "That's exactly what I named that one!!!" Oh, we had so much fun knowing that you could never see ALL of the stars, but the fun in naming ones we imagined to be there. And to that, we sang, prayed, and dimmed the lights for a prescribed rest.

Our Family is Growing

Bethany over at The Traveling Schoolhouse has written an interesting post today. If what we think is true, then our family is growing. You should go check it out!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Cloak of Music

For me, it is a cover, a comfort, a cloak, a caress of the heart. Music. Because I know my Father in Heaven made it, He's the author of it, music layers peace, joy, healing, gratitude, and more over me. This is a beautiful song to the Lord by an artist named Bethany Dillon.

Columbus Day



You Are There: The Voyage of Christopher Columbus

Want to celebrate Columbus Day? Here's a link for a free audio file. This is done in an old-time Radio Show style drama about 20 minutes in length. You may also want to consider downloading it now, and listening later when it fits best. Children of all ages might enjoy this one!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My Favorite Meat Loaf Recipe and MORE!

What's for Sunday dinner? At our house, it will be Meat Loaf with Steamed Rice and Green Beans. I finally have found a recipe that turns out great every time, and thought I would share that with you. (For more recipes, check out the Lipton Recipe Secrets website.) Scroll down for the "and more" part of this post and have a blessed day!

Souperior Meat Loaf

1 envelope Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Onion Soup
Mix 2 lbs. ground beef
3/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs*
2 eggs
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup ketchup

1.Preheat oven to 350°. Combine all ingredients in large bowl.
2.Shape into loaf in 13 x 9-inch baking or roasting pan.
3.Bake uncovered 1 hour or until done. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

*Substitution: Use 1-1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs or 5 slices fresh bread, cubed.
SLOW COOKER METHOD: In slow cooker, arrange meat loaf. Cook covered on LOW 6 to 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours. (HELPFUL HINT...Place meat loaf on a piece of cheesecloth, then on a rack to help hold meat loaf together while lifting in and out of slow cooker.)Also terrific with Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Beefy Onion Soup Mix, Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Onion Mushroom Soup Mix, Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Savory Herb with Garlic Soup Mix.

Cost per recipe*: $7.84Cost per serving*: $0.98*Based on average retail prices at national supermarkets.

Serves: 8

Preparation Time:10 Minute(s)
Cook Time:1 Hour(s)

Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories 320, Calories From Fat 70, Total Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 3g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 125mg, Sodium 590mg, Total Carbohydrate 12g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 3g, Protein 28g, Vitamin A 4%, Vitamin C 4%, Calcium 4%, Iron 20%

AND MORE!
New song on our worship menu for tomorrow: "Come Let Us Return" by Kevin Prosch

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Math of Emotions

Young son says (over what I do not recall), " I am mad. Just mad!" Being a bedtime moment I said, "Honey, you can't go to bed mad. The Bible says, 'Don't let the sun go down on your anger.' " He replies, "But I'm not angry, I'm mad." "Those are two different words!" After my mini-seminar on synonyms, he then said, "Mom, mad is mad. Anger is mad plus mad." The math of emotions: I simply didn't know!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ice Cream for Brunch!


Tomorrow is Park Day for our homeschooling group we call J.O.Y. which stands for - Jesus Over Our Youth. I have the blessed and joyous honor of being the ministry coordinator for the group, and I feel led to minister to this great group of Moms with Ice Cream Floats for tomorrow. Why? I don't know. That's what I wanted to know when I got the directive through prayer. Usually each month we have a drawing for a special gift of love for the Mom of choice, and when I prayed about what to do I felt He said to do something for everyone and not just one. So instead of a drawing, we're going to have "an eating!" So, eat we will. Pick your flavor: Orange, Root Beer or Cola. I love this group of Moms!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Worth It


Tonight I am busying myself with what's worth it; I'm preparing this next week's Science lessons. We have switched to a different curriculum just for variety's sake, and I am enjoying trying out the crafts and notebooking activities in advance of teaching the children.

So, the glue bottle, the markers, and index cards freshly inscribed with vocabulary to broaden the way to learning lie about an already crowded desk. The paper scraps, gluey fingers and the one-hole punch should be cleaned up, cleaned off, and put away. Would my Heavenly Father take this kind of time? For me, yes. For you, yes. For them, yes! He is my role model. He's my favorite teacher. And I tell them as He would tell me, "You're worth it!"

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tires again?

Danny: "What's that smell?" "Smells like burned rubber."
Kathy: "Oh, just supper." "We're having tires again."
Small smiles on both faces.

Selah.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Time

I'm taking time out to hear from my Maker. Would you agree to pray with and for me? Because I am so blessed through the relationships I have through blogging I want to say that I will pray for you too. May our King and Saviour have His way in all of our hearts and lives.


Kathy, wife, mother, and friend,
King's daughter

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Eye of the Stove: Episode One


For a new twist on contemporary culture's love for cooking shows I bring to you, "The Eye of the Stove: Cooking Failures Worth Mentioning." Today's story: Taco Tires Go Flat! Is this a one of a kind story? A one of a kind meal? One can only hope. Photography is not my thing and it's just as well. I don't even want to hear the story of 1000 words such pictures would paint! No, I'm not a great cook. But you gotta hand it to me, I try.

I thought, what can I do...surely there's a creative way, some appealing way to reach the depths of a 6 year-old boy's tummy, and touch his boy-heart while I'm at it. I had the brain storm of fixing bagels like tacos. You've seen it done before I'm sure. But was I satisfied with that? NO. I had to go and give it some clever name to appeal to the guy I just know is going to be a car fanatic: chrome wheels, fast-shifting gears and a spoiler. "Taco Tires." Yes, the perfect name!

So I scavenge the freezer for that select package of frozen "cow's destiny gone bad", and pop it in the microwave. Too long. Nothing that a package of taco seasoning won't fix, right? Taco tires. Sure. What are tires made of??? Rubber! That's right, rubber. What could taste better than Taco Tires? Taco Tires without the meat, for starters. (Yes, this post is loaded with puns!)

Here's what I finally came up with for the recipe for Taco-Bagels a.k.a. "Taco Tires" : Bagels, cheese sprinkles, diced tomatoes, chopped green onions. Pop the wheelie under the broiler for less than what you think it should take, and wa-la! Taco Tires. Add the Sour Cream for the white-wall effect and enjoy. Whew. I wasn't sure how this was going to end. Now, let's take this recipe for a test drive!

Monday, September 14, 2009

This prayer, attributed to the great explorer Sir Francis Drake, was read during our service Sunday. We would do well to echo these well-formed words of long ago.

Disturb us, Lord, when

We are too well pleased with ourselves,

When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
This we ask in the name of our Captain, Who is Jesus Christ.

Sir Francis Drake -1577

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bill Wilson of Metro Ministries

Danny at The Bumbling Genius has written a post documenting the work and history of Pastor Bill Wilson of Metro Ministries in New York City.

Danny and I have had the privilege of seeing Pastor Wilson speak a couple of times, and I don't know of many willing to sacrifice as he has and does for the sake of the gospel. Please click on the link and view the videos. They're about 18 minutes in total length and every second of them will minister to you and challenge you.-KATHY

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Worship Blog Article


Here is a brief post I wrote to our Worship Team. I thought I would post it here too. Have a wonderfully prepared day with the Lord tomorrow!


Sunday, September 13

At the end of a very full and tiring week I find myself thinking, " Oh, I need to pray more!" "Lord, Am I really ready for this?" And then my usual question when I plan, "Lord, What do you want to hear this weekend?" I know that may sound like a crazy question, but it's one I almost always ask.

Actually it's a good question, and I think He's often answering before we even ask. How many times is He trying to tell us an answer but we haven't asked the question? So, ask Him. Ask Him how He wants you to worship whether or not you're even on the platform. (I recommend giving the blog a read even if you're not scheduled-see it as a prayer list for the weekend!).

Perfect list? No. Perfect style? No. Perfect band? The answer is still "No." However, there is a pure heart devoted to Him that catches His ear and His eye every time. Be that. We sing, "Prepare Ye The Way" as we will do tomorrow. Tonight, let every heart prepare Him room.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Often times a song has the greatest impact on me when I first read the lyrics. I love the message of THIS song, and I encourage you to scroll down, read the words, and then listen. Blessings, and LET US PRAY!



Now is the season for healing
Deeply we need to see, God's mercy revealing
Where we have fallen from his ways
For we know he gives hope to the humble,
gives light in the darkness, and grace when we stumble
Let us, call on His name, together, knowing he will say

If my people pray
and reach for me with hearts, that are broken
I will not forget what I've spoken
Come and seek my grace
Heaven will rain, rivers of my grace, overflowing
Night and day my ears will be open...
If my people pray

Now is the day to awaken, to pray with conviction,
for the souls of the nation
(So) let us, call on His name
Whose faithful, promise still remain

If my people pray
and reach for me with hearts, that are broken
I will not forget what I've spoken
Come and seek my grace
Heaven will reign, rivers of my grace, overflowing
Night and day my ears will be open...
If my people pray

Let us not grow weary as we wait for the day
When the Light turns our night into morning
All we need is to call your name
As we lift our hearts to Heaven
Knowing You will say...

If my people pray
and reach for me with hearts, that are broken
I will not forget what I've spoken
Come and seek my grace
Heaven will reign, rivers of my grace, overflowing
Night and day my ears will be open...
If my people pray
If my people pray

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Family Time


On the home front: Yesterday in our morning family time we spent some time in prayer for our President; that his own eyes would be opened to Jesus. To hear our son pray in faith that our President would ask Jesus into his heart, and have devotions every day. To hear our daughter pray that he would ask Jesus into his heart touched my own heart. While I desire our children have wisdom and knowledge and understanding as they develop a Biblical worldview, I desire that those things would be accompanied by prayers for the time, place, and season God has placed us in our Nation and in our world.

The basis for prayer was in our discussion that friendship with the world is to be an enemy of God. Then it progressed to praying for our enemies, praying for those that would persecute us. For some reason, I felt like we should go into a time of prayer for our President, and so we did. I loved the children's prayers because they were uncomplicated prayers of faith. Asking, simply asking what was needed. No disclaimers, no complex theology, just praying the absolute truth: the need for the salvation of the lost. I want them and us to be like God, to hate sin, but love and pray for the sinner. I admonish us to continue in this mindset.

With all matters and concerns well-placed in the hands of our Heavenly Father, we then proceeded upstairs to begin the knowledge part of the day!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Frog and Toad Invade Our Home


In the curious story of "Frog and Toad All Year", Frog decides to do a fine deed for Toad. He decides to rake Toad's yard. Toad gets the same idea and does the same for Frog. Of course this is a surprise for each other. They happen to choose the same day and time to do this thoughtful deed for the other. On the way back to their respective homes up comes a gust of wind and blows the leaves back through the yards they both raked as a surprise. Thanks to the wind, they didn't get to see what the other had done. They were satisfied just to do something nice for each other, unannounced, and because of the wind, unnoticed.

After our reading of this story, we decided to try this out. So, I sent Daniel upstairs to do something for Bethany, a secret, and he has to keep it a secret. He had to do it expecting no thanks in return. And Bethany the same for him. (Don't tell, but Daniel cleaned out Bethany's toothpaste drawer with all the left-over toothpaste stuck on the side. Bethany cleaned out Daniel's "put away" box by his room.) Right now they're upstairs putting their blond and brown heads together to come up with something for me! Wow! I didn't know I was going to benefit from our "kindness, expecting nothing in return" lesson.

Acts 20:35 (New International Version)
"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "

Friday, September 4, 2009

Reely Funny Video by Homeschooling Dad Tim Hawkins!

Danny and I both love this video. Tim Hawkins is a homeschooling Dad, and has some hilarious short videos on You Tube. This is one of them. Enjoy and have a great weekend! (You'll want to stop by the Bumbling Genius for his pick of videos!)

The Unexpected, The Desired

Susan at Penless Writer wrote a wonderful post on how much rain they had received in her area this summer. Although things are not really lush and green, we have had some unexpected and much needed downpours, last night being one of them. (You can read my lengthy response to Susan's post at her blog.)

I remember how refreshing the rain was to my spirit as it was truly pouring from the sky. From what I could see (important statement) there were no clouds that should yield that kind of rain. But, my soul longed for a refreshing rain like a deer longs for the waterbrook. For me, the rain was a personal reply from the Lord to my need of the hour. It was His answer as far as I was concerned. The desert received the rain with joy as well.

This song frames my thoughts about the rain.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's All In The Arms

Brick wall. Prayer with Danny. Scaled the brick wall. A blogger's transparent post and worship Song. Daughter with loving arms. A mother's comforted heart.

Thank you for praying with me, Danny. Thank you for posting the song and for writing so well our need for a face-lift, Traci. Thank you for those great arms of yours that went about me during my listening of the song, Bethany. They seemed to seal the comfort I received.

Father in Heaven, thank You for Your careful arrangement of all those events. Carefully arranged for a Field Lily like me.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Passing It On



I received this wonderful "You Are Someone Special In My Life" award from Susan at Penless Writer, and I get to PASS IT ON! You will want to read about this award at Susan's blog.

Thank you so much Susan. It was received with joy, and I pass it on with the same spirit in which it was given.

I am pleased to pass this one on to Nancy at Day by Day. Nancy has become a special blogging friend to Danny and I. The toughest thing about blogging is not being able to give gigantic hugs and face to face words in person. Nancy's Mom passed away less than two months ago. I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to sit down with Nancy and talk, and see how she's doing, and just learn more about Nancy and her family. I KNOW I'm not the only one who sees Nancy as one unique girl in the Lord.

Nancy, I appreciate the way God has made you. You have a wonderful depth to your words as you unfold the scriptures through your blog. You also dot your posts with that wonderful God-given sense of humor, and I find it so easy to relate to you. Plus, you love chickens! Nancy, may the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you, and give you peace. You are loved, and you are special to me and Danny.

Why are there two ribbons? One for you, Nancy, and one to pass along to someone else. I'd love to hear who that special person is. We think you're awesome!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This Day


Take a glimpse into our day:

Bethany is discovering how to make equivalent fractions while Daniel is turning his world upside down reading. I knew progress was being made because his body and his book were turned the same way. I should add that not only was his torso upside down while reading, but he threw in some contrived accent to boot. Bethany obviously has a mind like a steel trap in that she seemed to focus quite well on her adventures. Something tells me she's going to make a great Mom.
May I confess that I loved this moment?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Way To Pray Today

Often times, many times the Bible needs no commentary and is able to explain itself quite well. I love those places where the message seems perfectly clear. Consider the following passage from John 17: 25-26:

25"Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."
(NIV)

Could this not be our prayer today? How is it that man seems to think it has no need for God, a Savior, a Lord of all? Self-sufficiency in concept is as a winter coat filled with holes and containing no buttons.

As I review the news and observe the World today, I take on the heart of this prayer.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ah....Home!


While Alaska was nothing like camping out, while it's scenes and settings and surroundings define spectacular as never seen before, this cartoon aptly describes our glad return! (Click on the caption to enlarge the view.)

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Letter From Far Away

The setting: My favorite place to sit and read my Bible looking out of the window toward a far-away mountain range. As I read my Bible I realized His words were not really touching me that much. While that's not necessarily a serious concern, in my heart, I wanted His word to come more alive to me. Here is the scenario that became mixed with my thoughts:

I imagined being the wife of a soldier stationed far away from his bride and his children. I imagined the letters that he writes and sends to her, to them. I could then see that wife pouring over the letters, standing on the curb reading and not even waiting to get in the house. She was absorbing his words, imagining the sound of his voice speaking them, and then perhaps the joy and tears being mixed together as she admires the love of her life, their children's hero. I could see her reading the letter multiple times until the next one would come, and writing her own in return. Then I thought of the words in print before my own eyes, The Bible. His letter to me.

In Psalm 144:1 David says, "Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle." And he goes on to praise and acknowledge his Lord so beautifully. Though he was a weary soldier, he did not lose his awe of his commander. He never lost sight of his position; that he was a soldier who hung on every word of His Lord.

The connection for us is that we do lose sight of our commander. We're the soldiers. We're in training. Though He has left His mighty Holy Spirit here, we do not see Him for who He is. His words do not stir our hearts as they once did. Do we take seriously His orders, His commands? Do we long for Him? Do we long to see Him again? Are we more in love with the world? Do we think we love Him because we're currently somewhat comfortable and taken care of? Would we still love Him in the heat of a new kind of battle?

My encouragement to myself, and to us, is to read His word in a new way. We are to recall and remind ourselves that He is alive, He intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father. His Word is living. We ARE in training. Are we asleep? I ask that He would stir in us a new love and longing for His Word, the Bible; that we would long for it as a battle weary and tired soldier would long for bread, simply bread.

Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thanks to my friend, Kathleen, for this helpful insight. I thought this was worth sharing!

"Before making your "to do" list, make your "to be" list. Before starting your daily activities, create your "to be" list and write down what you wish to express in this day. Do you wish to be generous, loving, patient,... bold, light-hearted? Do you want to be orderly in your thinking, organized, and focused in your direction? Write this down on one list, and then write down what you wish to do on another list."

To that I say, Jesus help me with this part of my life. Be the center, the core of my being. My motivation, my purpose, my vision.



Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Dangers of An Inquisitive Mind

Not related to the Bumbling Genius' most recent post whatsoever, but it seems our house has been graced with atleast one inquisitive mind.
Although he has been calling himself the "man of the house" while his Daddy is out of town, it is apparent that the mental faculties of our youngest are not nearly as developed as those of the Bumbling Genius.

Daniel became curious. He became curious about what it would feel like if he put his finger into an empty lightbulb recepticle while the lights were on. (If I fill out a Science Experiment Sheet complete with hypothesis, could I count this for today's science? Anyone?) Um, if he would have only asked! His inquisition led to a shocking realization, you might say, that it hurts like the dickens!

Moms, you'll have to forgive me. I am so very thankful that nothing life-threatening happened, but I admit, a grin surfaced and nearly took on a life of it's own in the form of an actual laugh when he told me he just wanted to know "what it would feel like." I think I'll take a raw egg to a tall hill to demonstrate what happens when we try to do things like...say, defy gravity. While I'm at it, I'd better bump up our science a little this year. Curiosity at this age appears to have a few kinks to be worked out!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bill and Hill, On the Road and At Home

What can I say, but "great minds think alike".

We'd just seen each other this weekend in Memphis at my Mom's Birthday Celebration. Knowing my brother was on his long drive back to Houston, I called to check in. Except that I called in as Bill Clinton, and left a "pretend" prayer request about marital discord between "Bill and Hill" in my best Bill voice, only to be outdone by his "better" Bill voice as he returned my call. Funny part was that he hadn't checked his cell to pick up my message which had been left only 30 minutes earlier. He thought he was initiating the "Bill and Hill" moment! To boot, he was calling me from Hope, Arkansas, the birthplace of the former Mr. President.

What a fun way to interrupt the welcome home cleaning and laundry that always has to be done. Thanks, J.D.! (Or was that really Bill?)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Secure

Picture this: Mom folding clothes quickly yet carefully. Those clothes will be packed for a trip to see Grandma to celebrate her 70th Birthday. Each child has a list of chores to keep them occupied and productive. Youngest comes downstairs and rests his chin on his hands as he stares. Staring at the Mom who is quietly wondering if it's possible to complete the tasks remaining.

Imagine hearing this: "Mom," "Yes, son?". "I like watching you work." Mom says, "You do?" "Why?" "Because it seems like you're working hard to be a Momma, and to be kind." Now, take that and magnify it 1000 times and you would have a glimpse into the heart of a Mother who needed to hear that. Think hard work, think toil, think a little bit of stress, and then think oil. The heart of a child became the balm of Heaven to this Momma as her son said, in so many words, "Thank You. Your work makes me feel secure." I'd like an instant replay!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tea anyone?

We're coffee drinkers around this house, but in case you're not, and you're one who prefers tea you may want to stop reading now.

I've heard the expression about tea being "so weak, it tastes like bathwater." Well, how about bathwater that tastes like tea! Mmmm. Now you're interested, right? To see how that works, please join me and my two students at Field Notes: Our Homeschooling Journey for our version of The Boston Tea Party.

Monday, August 10, 2009

About Yesterday


I have to write about yesterday. I have to say that I had a wonderful time on all sides in our service at church yesterday. I am blessed to lead the worship, but the best part is when I get to see how much God is leading and I am simply following. Yesterday was one of those times.

Because rehearsals are work (any disclaimers I could add here are really their own posts, so I'll keep it that way), and I was really feeling that yesterday, I had to somehow find a getaway spot in my heart with the Lord prior to our service beginning point. I needed to quiet my own heart so I could hear His. Our Elders and Staff also pray for the Pastors and Worship Leader prior to the service, and I was able to find that spot with the Lord during that time also. And yes, I am aware that even if my own heart does not feel quiet I remind myself that the Lord loves His flock way more than I do, and I can count on Him to feed them what they need as far as my part goes. Feelings are just that, feelings.

ONE of the awesome parts of the service (along with several other significant times) was when we were doing a song we had not done before, "Holy Is Our God" by Robin Mark. The guys back in the Sound Booth, (sound techs that double as true worship fanatics, and that is a compliment!) made a sign and held it up. The sign said, " We Love Jesus!" Well, that was like saying, "siccum" to a dog, and what can I say! I got so excited in my heart because all of a sudden I had a vision of lots of signs just like that one throughout the congregation all declaring our love for the Lord. Part of the joy was realizing that no one asked them to make the sign, no one preplanned it, it was simply a spontaneous "I can't keep silent about my love for God" expression of worship in worship. Yes, a handwritten sign can and did become an expression of worship!

Protesting made sense in that moment. Think of the many signs declaring a purpose for the protest you may see on capitol steps, or in front of abortion clinics. What about proclaiming and protesting (Latin- prōtestārī to declare publicly), our love for Jesus. Protesting is not always against. How can we be silent? No rocks, no trees, just clay pots consumed by the Lord. What a beautiful scene it was. So beautiful I almost derailed the band as I motioned for the sign to come forward while trying to lead them and us through a brand new song. It's what I called an off-road worship experience! It's hard to explain that it went beyond emotion. We knew and tasted life in Christ with each other. Mixed into that was a portion of our service of no instruments, stepping back from the mic, and truly hearing unity. I heard the sound of unity, one voice to One God, and it was amazingly beautiful. The beauty in worship is giving, then receiving, then giving, then receiving, and being thrilled beyond words to know for a Christian it's a part of living and loving the Lord that never has to end. A song, a sign, a dance. It's worship and it's all His.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The List

I have a son who likes lists. Hooray! Another list maker in the world! This is a night of fun before bear de papa has to return to the friendly blues, thirty-five thousand way up in the air. Son's heart's desire is in writing on his list.

It is a scene to behold. In his effort to recount exactly what will happen next he consults and reads out loud the list like the Town Crier announcing the next hanging. Only, it's lots better! First legos, then mystery (it's a game they play), then Lost In Space, then Larry Boy, then.....I'm afraid to ask. The stage for fun is set as boy is snuggled with Dad in the rearranged easy-chair conveniently located in front of the computer. Here Hulu gifts the household with Season One of Lost In Space, episode.....forever! Daughter/sister is close by, Mom makes a cameo appearance and recalls silently that computer episodes of L.I.SP. (as I now call it) leave a lot to be desired. It's my permission slip to somewhere else in the house, here to be exact, to tell you of this happening, this night of checking fun things completed off his very own hand-written list.

One last addition: Stuffed Larry Boy, son and Dad are leaving to have lunch at the Alligator Pond (a real place in our real desert with no water and no alligators), and it looks like I'm babysitting Bob the Tomato. The honor is all mine!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Great hands, able to form a universe, able to form a man,
Naming stars, calling wind forth, staying the waves.
Giver of life, taker of sin, bearer of shame.

What is my fear in the face of this God?

Intimately acquainted with me, Holy and just, full of grace.
Be still my soul, this God and King fills the temple. Heaven is His.

And I shall always turn to follow Him.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Deep Breath

Sometimes we need to take a deep breath and just remember that all of His promises are true! Go to sleep with that in mind, and rise up giving thanks for the same!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The End

Is there anything better to the end of this day than Miss Kitty-Cat pajama-clad blondie chasing and being chased by Spiderman himself....the one with the infectious laugh? Um, no actually. Save Heaven, I just can't see it getting any better! Round and round the table they go, hold everything....milk break, activity starts again after a 6-second countdown. It used to be 10 but in this economy...well you know. Scene to be rescued with a reading from A Little Princess.

So Far


The coolest part of the day, no breeze, my swing from Danny, fresh coffee in a cup, a Chickadee coming in for a nice soft landing, a hummingbird and a chickadee sharing a tree, a hummingbird introducing its' bill to a pink flower, two doves quarreling-one of them sounding a lot like Edith Bunker, self-serving crows, a hummingbird chasing off three chickadees, a neighbor rearranging stacks of wood, atleast that's how it sounded to me, a loving dog that snores, random pieces of corn silk here and there from last night's corn shucking event, an empty coffee cup, an insect investigating my hand, quiet air, mostly.
This is what I have observed this morning, so far.

"Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy." 1 Timothy 6:17

Sunday, July 26, 2009

His Quick Reply

Second guessing. Friday night I shared with a friend by phone, and in person with another friend, my concern regarding curriculum choices I had made for this upcoming school year. My phone buddy used her God-given gift of encouragement to reassure me "it's going to be fine." My face to face friend and I spent some time in prayer together over many matters, and one of my prayers was laying down my concerns about curriculum choices before the Lord.

I will say that I prayed over my choices, I researched until there was little research left beyond talking with the authors themselves. Ultimately, I went with what I felt like was best for us in this very strategic year. Isn't choosing curriculum like so many other areas....."trust in the Lord, lean not on your own understanding." Can I trust the one who made their able minds to fill in the gaps where I as an instructor may fall short?

Saturday morning my face to face friend took me to the airport signaling the end of my visit to West Texas. With only a carry on (which also held a couple of books to read), and realizing a gate-checked bag was in my future I quickly grabbed the one called,"The Well-Trained Mind",written by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. They are the authors of the Language Arts Curriculum I'll be using this year. While I was holding up the boarding process the woman behind me said, "That's the best book! We use that all the time in our homeschooling." Wow, did you hear that??? Can you say, "reassurance!" Our brief conversation included specific concerns for one of mine in the area of language arts, and upon mentioning my choice for this dear child she said, "That's what we're using too, and it's great, you're going to love it!"

What I loved was not her approval, encouraging though it was, but how God, my Father, the maker of my children, chose the person behind me in line to say, "I heard you Kathy and here's my quick reply! I love you, I love your children even more than you, and I am leading you. I will do it because that's how I work."

I call to the Lord, and He hears me. To this knowledge I will cling.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Beautiful Introduction to The Odes Project


Please take about 3 minutes to view a promotional and moving introduction to something called, "The Odes Project." Then, you may wish to take a moment and register so you can hear sound clips from the songs taken from the two volumes of this project. John Andrew Schreiner, close friend and producer of most of Fernando Ortega's projects is behind the initial vision, so take a listen and be truly blessed. While I do not have these CD's in my own collection, I have two of the songs on other compilation CD's. Blessings in Christ!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Joy In Grace

Joy in Grace. Have you considered the joy that comes from grace, the freedom that comes from grace, the brokenness that comes because of grace(the kind where you throw yourself at His feet), the peace that comes from grace? Grace fills in the gap. Grace spans the gap. And I take comfort knowing that grace spans the globe!

I spent a nice portion of time today visiting with the people from Voice of the Martyrs at our annual Homeschooling Convention. I have a keen interest in cultures around the world, and low and behold, so do my children. I'll be honest, I don't know why God has given me this desire for His world because I feel so helpless, and I feel as though anything I might do is barely a drop in the bucket. Voice of the Martyrs has a wonderful component to their ministry called Kids Of Courage. (I posted previously on Kids of Courage.) A part of Kids of Courage are these wonderful Country Guides filled with geographical information, stories, prayer opportunities, puzzles, crafts, recipes, but most of all, beckoning the children and their Christian families here in America and around the world to pray for the Persecuted Church. These Country guides along with a set of Heroes Then and Now books from YWAM Publishing will be the foundation of a Geography/World Cultures study in our upcoming school year.

When I walked away from the VOM booth, and anytime I read about the persecuted church, I feel an excitement rising in me. I am so very comforted to the point of joy in realizing His deep love for those who suffer for their faith. I don't mean to sound lighthearted because I know their reality is unlike anything I have ever known. I add though, that God becomes bigger to me for this reason: I cannot understand their suffering apart from the grace and greatness of our Father. A strange kind of joy that I was referencing earlier seeps into my heart because I know that I know that I know we have a great God. We're going to spend eternity with those people that I'll be studying with my children. Pray hard for the Persecuted Church.

Prayers That Avail Much

Remember the book, Prayers That Avail Much? Longer than the book itself has been around, we have a faithful God who hears our prayer. It avails much! I think we're going to get quite a revelation in heaven, and certainly a greater understanding about the power of prayer.

I have a friend who is a blogging friend to many of you, but to me she is a personal friend. I encouraged her recently to post about a physical need she has so that people can pray. For that reason, because of who she is in our family, I am asking that you pray for Mary Lee at Into The Abyss. You can read about this ailment which dogs her periodically, and then let's pray. I want Mary Lee to see a harvest in this season of prayer on her behalf.

Friday, July 17, 2009

About Worship

I was made for Worship. I know it. I started playing piano at the wee age of 4 when we got an old upright. I remember its very place against the inside wall in our living room. I started out playing by ear, and it's not as painful as all the jokesters make it out to be. Yes, I've heard every joke out there about playing by ear. When it came to a song, if I heard it, I could play it. Of course with my raising that meant a lot of hymns which I still love today. And if it wasn't a hymn I'd make it sound like one because that's what I knew. I still cherish the hymns and include them regularly within the context of our own worship services. I am thankful for writers and worship leaders such as Fernando Ortega, and Keith and Kristyn Getty who re-release old hymns and write new hymn-like worship songs-often introducing the beauty and theology of the hymns to many for the first time.

When I look back on my life I feel like David the shepherd boy, except that I am Kathy, the little Montana schoolgirl/shepherdess in training. I feel like David because all the while, God was preparing me for worship: the playing, singing, writing and leading of worship. I could talk about the divine intervention of God in the area of worship: a lady in our church who insisted on teaching me piano at no charge my Junior and Senior year in highschool. What about the years of college instruction by the most sought after professor in the entire School of Music.

Music comes naturally to me. Sitting at a piano and playing is similar to breathing. It's that much a part of me, and that easy for me. When I sit at a keyboard and play to the Lord, I might as well be breathing. Am I an expert? NO! But I know I was made for worship. And as for the breathing, I think I've been walking around holding my breath.

We don't live long without breathing as it's clearly known. Over the years I've taken big deep breaths during times when ordinarily the wind would be knocked out of me if you can follow the analogy. I ran to Jesus and then we ran together. The greatest hardships in life were when a new sweet fragrance would be released. Disappointment, death, divorce. I've experienced a lot, but as I said yes to the God of Sovereignty, and yes to the sovereignty of God, I have felt the faithful companionship of the Holy Spirit. I learned that God has the last word over every circumstance in life, and little did I know He was creating a costly perfume in me unlike no other. I say that because that's how God is. He's doing the same in you. Your fragrance before God is like no one else's.

The good news is I'm breathing again! Did you know it's possible to function in a gift and calling, but not flow in it? I lead worship every week at our local church of Jesus followers, and I love it. I'm not saying I've been a phony week after week as I lead because I haven't. God is more than faithful to pour out His presence in those times. But I found that I had stopped enjoying and flowing in my calling as a worshipper in my home. The sign was on the door- Secret Place, I would see it, but I didn't spend much time there with my precious Father. I was having a hard time adjusting to a secret place with windows...children, husband, etc. While I'm not there 24/7 because duty simply calls, I am finding myself there more often. In the busyness of life and doing wonderful Mom and wife things, I am learning there may be nothing better I could do for my family than release the fragrance of true worship in the walls of our home. I could see it last night as son and husband were clearing the table and cleaning the kitchen, and I sat and played and sang....and worshipped. It's a ministry to God and to my family. The stirring of that God-given gift is rising again, and I live for the next time I am with Him for a precious time to sing what I think He likes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thankful R Us!


I spent the afternoon shopping for pre-homeschooling convention bargains at a local resource center, and in my view, mission accomplished! Everything was slightly used, and here's what I found: I did my best pricing everything out retail, and I think I came up with between $275 & $300 dollars (give or take $50 or so dollars) for all of the items, and I was able to purchase them in very good condition for $141.oo, and because they were having a 50% off sale, it then reduced the bill to $70.50! Favorite items are: the GeoSafari Game with multiple card sets(not shown). It's one of the prehistoric models but works beautifully! , 7X9" Christ Centered Phonics Card Sets (I purchased 3, using 2 as gifts for two new-to-homeschooling friends), the Usborne books-4 in total, the Phonics Fraction Manipulative kit, Eagles Wings Considering God's Creation Science Curriculum (been eyeing this all year!), plus pretty much everything else I was able to purchase-17 items total. God is good!

They say you should eat before going to the grocery story, and I'm hoping this little shopping venture will curb my appetite at the convention as well.

Friday, July 10, 2009

12 Easy Steps To A Sleepy Smile

How to get a sleepy smile:

Step 1. Allow oldest child multiple opportunities to talk to her Daddy on the phone to get orders from headquarters on how to pull off the big surprise for the Mom's birthday.

Step 2. Allow and help the oldest child to set her alarm clock for, cough cough, 4:30 a.m. in order to pull off the big surprise so that planned event in Step 3 can occur. Remember to seem as though you haven't a clue about the whole thing.

Step 3. Plan a 6 a.m. hike to the pond that same day to observe God's beautiful creation: ducks, cranes, egrets, rabbits, quail, hummingbirds, a roadrunner, some other kind of bird, and ants. (Don't forget to stay up until 1 a.m. the night before!)

Step 4. Get up at 5:15 a.m. Walk downstairs and stand in honest amazement and cast your eyes on the first blessing of many for the day.

Step 5. Recall the shining faces as they observe your expressions of gladness at their hard and earnest work: a set table, a birthday balloon, cards, and thoughtful gifts, especially the pencil.
Oh yes, and don't forget to have them put out a cake, some fruit-flavored licorice and chocolate covered raisins. (It helps to share the raisins with the working children.)

Step 6. Eat a fresh garden tomato and the best zuccini bread ever brought by someone who understands what really matters.

Step 7: Take a short nap-the appetizer for the real one that is forthcoming. Eat again.

Step 8: I don't remember this one. I'm too tired.

Step 9: Read one chapter of The Little Princess to the children who have made every effort to make this a one-of-a-kind day.

Step 10: Watch the young man in the family fall asleep to the sound of your voice as you read.

Step 11: Hold hands with him while you walk upstairs to pack them both off to bed.

Step 12: Sing and Pray with them, thank them (and Him), reflect on steps 1 through 11, and wait.

Results are guaranteed: one sleepy smile for each participant!

A Song In Season

The providence of God saw to it that I would one day meet Roxie. I always thought it was so cool that she and Jeff shared this special day with me-their anniversary and my birthday. Same day, same year. Today is that day, and I have candles to prove it!

If Roxie and I were together we would, on this day....I just know it, laugh and cry together, because that's what happens every time we get together, especially the laughing part. This year is different for Roxie because Jeff went home to be with Jesus in February.

This is a new season for her and I'd like to walk the path with her for a while today. Yes, I'm humming a birthday tune, but I'm humming this song too. I appreciate the footage in this song in that it includes times of joy and sorrow, and I share any of both that this day may hold for you, Roxie.

God hears our prayers, so let them rise on Roxie's behalf today.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Seemingly Small Stuff


I was considering an upcoming mini-study on Oceanography. Coffee in hand, unspoken thoughts. I was thinking about all the scriptures in the Bible that talk about Oceans, waters, the sea and things in the sea, and was just wondering how many verses there were like that. So, I ceased my wondering, opened my Bible and my gaze fell on Revelation 5:13 which says,

"And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They also sang: "Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever."

While this happening may seem like small stuff, it says to me, "I am near, Kathy. I know your thoughts, your wonderings, I hear you. So, here's HOW EASY IT IS for me to answer you."

I couldn't help but wonder how many of those kinds of events happen in our daily life that we are unaware of. I like the way He works

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bethany's Grand Old Flag


She wants to do it the way it's supposed to be done now that she's the proud owner of a small American flag. In the dark of a girl's pink bedroom she remembers. You never leave a flag up overnight. I was a guest in the room for that moment as she crawled out of the comfy high-rise bed to do the honors. She unwound the string from the nail on which it was wrapped (wow, how'd she think of that?) and slowly began to lower Old Glory to the floor. It gripped me as a mother watching the girl who decided the flag should be displayed and found a way to do it. I found myself caught somewhere between a laugh and a cry, a strange but very real place, as the flag came down. The heart of the girl who insisted it be done had touched me and brought out that emotion that seems to escape words. I didn't make a sound but just watched. Honor was never more beautiful than it was right then as a young and innocent girl did what must be done. After all, it was the flag.