Friday, December 31, 2010

Counting Blessings

As I am getting ready to take down my wall calendar in the kitchen and put up a new one (yes, I still use a wall calendar), I thought I would look back on the year and try to write something special that happened each month of the year... so, here goes...

January - We had lunch with Chip K (from Thebandwithnoname). I know this won't mean a lot to some of you... but it is a band from the UK that my kids LOVE!! Somehow Jon hooked up with Chip and they wanted to get together to talk about music in missions, possibilities and all that kind of stuff. Unfortunately the band is no longer together, but Ty and Devon loved meeting Chip!

February - Ty competed in his first Middle School Science Olympiad. This is a county wide competition that the kids train and study hard for.

March - I was able to travel back to California for my Grandma's 90th birthday party. I also got bumped up to first class for the first time! Thanks God!

April - Our family took a week's vacation on the gulf coast of Florida. We had our own Easter service sitting on a dock in the bay! Jon and I also celebrated 17 years of marriage!

May - School is out for the summer! (this is always a blessing at our house!)

June - My brother Rob and his family along with my parents came out to visit us for a week. We had fun showing them around and hanging out! Also, Ty turned 12!

July - We got to add 3 more countries to our been to list! Spain, Morocco and Italy! Great prayer trip that we got to take as a family! Also, Jon turned 38!

August - Devon turned 10 and started his first football season! He is a natural!

September - I turned 38! I also started a new job at Compass Dance Academy... such a blessing in my life! Jon and I (along with the boys) decide to pursue an international adoption!

October - I learn how I truly can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

November - A visit from Jon's parents! We are surrounded with friends and family for Thanksgiving... such a blessing!

December - A quiet Christmas.

We are so thankful for all that God has done for us, and hopefully through us this past year. This is just a small portion of the blessings that we have seen, there is no way to list them all! It is always good to stop and count your blessings... as the old song says "name them one by one! Count your many blessing see what God has done!" God is so good, I can't wait to see what He has in store for us next year! Happy New Year to all of you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mary's Reflections...

Scripture Reading: Luke 2:1-20

Her body lay sapped of strength, her eyes were heavily closed,but her mind refused to give way to rest. She ached for her mother. She wondered if she yet believed her. She heard the labored breathing of the man sleeping a few feet from her. Only months before, he was little more than a stranger to her. She knew only what she had been told and what she could read in occasional shy glances. She had been told he was a good man. In the last days, she knew he was far more than a good man. No man, no matter how kind, could have done what he had done. She wondered how long it had been since he had really rested.

A calf only a few days old awakened hungry and could not find its mother. The stir awakened the baby who, too, squirmed to find His mother. Scarcely before she could move her tender frame toward the manger, He began to wail. She scooped Him in her arms, her long hair draping His face and she quietly slipped out of the gate. She sat down and leaned against the outside of the stable, propped the baby on her small lap, and taking a strip of linen and tying back her hair, she began to stare into His tiny face. She had not yet seen Him in the light.

She had never seen the moon so bright. The night was nearly as light as the day. Only hours old, his chin quivered - not from the cold - but from the sudden exposure of birth. His eyes were shaped like almonds and were as black as the deepest well. She held Him tightly and quietly hummed a song she had learned as a child. She had been so frightened of this moment. So sure she would not know what to do. She had never held an infant so small. And He was God, wrapped in soft, infant flesh. With bones so fragile she felt like He could break. She had pictured this moment so many times. What would the Son of the Spirit look like? She never expected Him to look so normal. So common. Must have been the part He inherited from his mother. She was so sure she'd feel terribly awkward. So afraid she'd drop Him. The Messiah. And God would be awfully sorry He had given Him to her. Instead, every fear, every doubt, every inadequacy was momentarily caught up in the indescribable rapture of a mother's affection.

She remembered asking Elizabeth things she dared not ask her doubting mother. Once when they were walking together at the end of the day, the wind blew her cousin's robes against her and, like a curious teenager, Mary tried her hardest to catch a good glimpse of Elizabeth's rounded middle. She, herself, had no physical evidence that God's promise was true but she had enough faith to ask endless questions. "What am I to do when He comes?" Her cousin's reply would remain etched upon Mary's heart long after He had saved the world. "He will tell you what He needs from you. Beyond what He needs, all He wants is for you to embrace Him and talk to Him." She looked back in His delicate face and watched Him closely as He seemed stare deeply into the moonlit sky. And she began to talk. "Sweet baby boy, do you know who Your Daddy is? Do you know Your name? Do you know why You're here? What do you see when You look out there? Can you see the stars? Do you remember their names? Do you think I'll do okay? Will You love me, too?"

A tear dropped from her chin to His. He yawned and made such a funny expression, she grinned, wiping her face on the yellowed rags she had draped around Him. The fussing calf had obviously found its mother. Not a sound was coming from inside the stable. The earth stilled. The infant slept. She held the babe next to her face and, for just a moment, all the world silenced to the breath of God. She closed her eyes and listened, stealing time like a hidden metronome. As high and as wide as she dared to think, she still could not begin to comprehend. She, a common child of the most humble means, who had never read the Scriptures for herself, was embracing the Incarnate Word. The fullness of the Godhead rested in her inexperienced arms, sleeping to the rhythm of her heart. This time she hummed a song she did not know. A song being sung by the choir of angels hovering over her head but hidden from her carnal senses. The deafening hallelujahs of the heavenly hosts were silent to mortal ears except through the sounds of a young woman's voice who had unknowingly given human notes to a holy score. The glory of God filled the earth. Heaven hammered a bridge. But one young woman sat completely unaware of all that swelled the atmosphere around her. A tiny baby boy had robbed her heart. "So this is what it feels like to be a mother," she mused. She crept back into the stable, wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in the manger. Just down the path, the sun peaked gently over the roof of an inn full of barren souls who had made Him no room.

© 2000 Beth Moore

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Drowning in a sea of paperwork...


I really want to keep you all updated on this adoption process... but right now I don't really know what to write about. We have started our home study, and are trying to get through the mountains of paperwork that need to be done. I think there are at least 3 background checks that we need to get through. We cleared the background check here in our county, and have mailed our fingerprints off to the FBI (this will take 10-12 weeks to get back), and we still need to go get fingerprinted for the State of Georgia. It is nice to know that these will all come back clean (at least they better!)! We had our first meeting with our home study agent, and will meet again after Christmas. Along with everything that needs to get done for the home study, our adoption agency has sent us a binder full of information to read! Good thing I will have the next few weeks off of work, so I will be able to get through it!

People keep asking me if I know how old our child will be. We have requested a child that is 0 -3 years old. Last week when I really started thinking about it, I had a bit of a panic attack. If we get a 3 year old, that means she is alive right now. Knowing the conditions of orphanages and government run facilities in this area of the world has my "mother's" heart worried. I just want her home with us. Most facilities have no heat, and it gets really cold during winter. It has definitely brought me to my knees in prayer. God keep her safe and warm, protect her heart, body and mind. Guard her eyes in what she sees, guard her ears in what she hears. Let her know that she is already loved and wanted. I know in my last blog I mentioned that we weren't guaranteed a girl at this point (which has been another subject I have brought up with God lots!), but I keep hearing God ask if I am going to trust Him. Yes, Lord, I do... I know you will bring the child that is right for our family. Deep down in my heart, I still believe it will be a girl. The other day, someone left a beautiful quilt on our doorstep (if you are reading this, thank you!), we don't know who it was... but it is so perfect! Pinks and brown, flowery, polka dots and stripes. I love it! I am hoping God told someone else it was a girl, and was prompted to buy it for us. I guess time will tell.

Anyway, that is all I can update you on for now. I will try to keep posting as we go along in this process. Now, Jon and I have to do another hour of the 10 hour online class that is required for adoption!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Are you ready for this?

 "Adoption is a perfect picture of what God has done for each of us in making us His children through Christ." Steven Curtis Chapman

Our family is on yet another journey... one unlike any we have attempted before! We feel God is leading us to adopt a daughter from Kazakhstan. I wanted to get my thoughts and the pre-journey written down here for you to read... and to process it myself and see how God is moving.

4 years ago, I had a dream of a little Asian girl who was a part of our family. This might not seem strange to some, but I don't usually remember anything in my dreams, nothing... so when I do, I usually take it that it is from God. I don't know why that is, just something I feel.  Anyway, I felt like God was telling me we were to adopt a daughter. I always wanted a daughter, but God blessed us with 2 boys. Ty and Devon are the best, and I can't imagine our family without them, but for years I felt like we needed a daughter. I had prayed for God to take that desire away from me many times (Jon and I decided to only have 2 children). I wanted to be satisfied with what God had given me, but the desire wouldn't go away. So, after this dream I brought the idea up with Jon and it was pretty much rejected immediately. I was frustrated with thinking that this was from God and Jon not getting the same message as me! Why would God tell one of us this and not the other? Maybe it was just a dream... I couldn't shake it, and continued to pray that God would let Jon in on the plan as well! This went on for another 2 years, me praying and not really saying anything to Jon about it. Then one day it came up again. Jon was a bit more open to the idea. I felt like God was telling me to be patient and to continue praying. I have to admit the past few years, I hadn't prayed with as much passion about the whole thing. I think I was protecting myself from disappointment. And let's face it... we are closer to 40 than we were years earlier when this was all started. Did I really want to start all over with more kids? Deep down in my heart the answer to that is yes, of course I would start over, if that is what God had planned for us.

So, fast forward to 2010. The idea and conversation has been brought up again. Jon is actually pretty open to the idea, but we still don't move on it. Fear maybe?  Let me also mention that in the past year we have had a family move in next door that has an adopted son from Ethiopia. Getting to know them, the desire has really been stirred up again. I found out the agency they used and got on their web site and got an application package sent to us. When it came, I just put it away and never opened it! Also, sometime in this year I read an article on how adoption should be considered spiritual warfare... that the enemy doesn't want these kids to be in families. That shook me up as well. Then, at the end of August, Ty and Devon decided to move into one bedroom (totally unprompted by me!). Jon made the comment, "well, now we have one less thing in the way of us adopting."  Looking back now I see how God is putting pieces of the puzzle together for us, preparing us. Then it happened: on Sept. 9, 2010, Jon came home from an OM prayer meeting where they showed a video that toward the end had some orphan statistics from around the world. And God spoke to him, telling him we need to adopt. He came home and told me that (as I was walking out the door to go to my job!) and I was FLOORED!!!!!! Finally, we were both officially on the same page!!!! 4 years in the making, but it was going to happen!  I think I cried all the way to work! That night I pulled out the application and we stated filling it out and going through it. We knew it would be an Asian country. Both of us have a heart for Central Asia. But, we knew there was no way we could adopt from China with our current income status.  We mailed the application, pictures of us, the boys and our house on Sept. 21, 2010.  Much to our delight we were accepted into the Kazakhstan program just a few short days later.  November  29, 2010 we mailed our adoption agency contracts and home study contract. We had a slight delay in getting all this filled out, and notarized with Jon out of the country for 5 weeks, but we have to believe that God's timing is perfect!

Kazakhstan is currently not accepting new paperwork while they join the Hague Convention (which regulates adoption laws and helps prevent corruption). They are supposed to start accepting paperwork again in March, which gives us plenty of time to get our home study done and paperwork in order. If you think about it, please pray for us to be able to request a girl! In the past you were not able to give a gender request. But, again, we are trusting God to pick out the perfect child for our family (and I am not painting the bedroom just yet!) This whole process should take about a year... please pray that it goes smoothly and quickly!  Please also pray for us as we start looking and applying for different grants to help with the costs of bringing home our daughter!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

All Roads Lead to ROME!

Okay, my week got super crazy and I haven't had any time to sit and blog again! Sorry about that! Let's see, I think I left off  in Morocco. On Sunday, July 18th we found ourselves back in an airport headed to Rome. We arrived in the evening and then had to take a taxi to our hotel (which was outside of Rome). We were staying in Rome for a conference called Transform 2010. It took maybe a little less then an hour to get to the city of Pomezia. We ate dinner in the hotel  and then pretty much went to bed! Monday, we didn't have to be checked into the conference until later in the evening... so we had our one and only day off to explore Rome! We met with some other friends that were also at the conference and set out to find the bus stop. After asking lots of people, and backtracking a bit we found the bus stop and waited... when the bus finally did get there, the driver told us that he would charge us 7 euros for one way, but if we went into the store they would only charge us 2 euros. Being on a tight budget we decided to go for the cheaper fare. So, we all managed to get round trip bus tickets and then waited again for the next bus! The bus ride took us to the underground, and that took us into Rome! My first European underground experience! Yeah! 

When we got into Rome, we all decided we were pretty hungry. What do you eat for your first meal in Rome? Pizza of course! I think I had the best pizza of the whole trip here! Very yummy! The other really cool think about Rome (and most of Italy it would seem) is there are really cool drinking water fountains everywhere! They are just running all the time, and they have the best tasting ice cold water coming out of it! It was so nice not to have to buy water all the time! Plus it was over 100 degrees outside and not much shade! So, we were always looking for those fountains! 

After we ate lunch, we started walking toward Trevi Fountain. I have seen pictures of this before, but was so shocked at how big it was! REALLY big! So, after walking around and looking at that for a bit, we decided to move on. I can't even tell you all the buildings we saw, because I don't know what they were. It was really cool to be in a city where just about everything was older then the country we live in! We kept walking, and saw ruins of ancient Rome (which the boys enjoyed trying to imagine what it would have been like to live there!) and then we walked more... and then came to the Coliseum! I have always wanted to see the Coliseum! We didn't actually go inside and tour it (that darn budget again!), but it was fun to walk around and look at it! I heard that really only like 2 Christians actually died there, that there is another coliseum where they killed the Christians... don't know if that is true or not. After we saw this we were SUPER hot and sweaty and decided to start making our way back to the hotel. I know, we didn't see the Vatican, or St. Peters, or the Spanish Steps or tons of other stuff... but I am okay with that. I am happy I got to walk around a bit and did enjoy what I did see! Maybe someday I will go back and explore the rest of it, preferably not in the middle of summer when it is soooo hot and crowded! Here are some pics!

Ellan and Joanne

on the underground

first Italian pizza

getting a cold drink!

Jon
Trevi Fountain (a very small part of it!)

cool little car!



our family in front of ancient ruins

Roman Coliseum

original cobblestone street

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Open the gates!




July 14, 2010 found us in an airport on our way to the Southern tip of Spain... a city called Algecerias. We were going to be there for 2 days and then take a ferry to the northern tip of Morocco, a city called Tangier. Why do you ask? Well, let me tell you! The company we work for was doing a summer campaign in the Mediterranean region this summer... I will write more on that maybe tomorrow night! Our family decided at the end of last year that this was something that God was calling us to be a part of. We were with a group of people, some from here in the states and others from Europe, along with a few workers from Spain and Morocco to seek God and really spend time in prayer for all that would be happening in the Med this summer. So, why Spain and Morocco you might be wondering? If you look on a map you will see that there is a channel of water that runs between the 2 countries that leads into the Mediterranean Sea (The Straits of Gibraltar). We wanted to spend time in both of these countries to pray and ask God to "Open the gates" of the Mediterranean for all the work that will be going on there! It was a great few days of prayer and worship!  We also spent time praying for each country that borders the sea. Psalms 24 was the bible passage that kept running through my head during the few days...
 The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof,
   the world and those who dwell therein,
2for he has founded it upon  the seas
   and established it upon the rivers.
 3 ) Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD?
   And who shall stand in his holy place?
4He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
   who does not lift up his soul to what is false
   and does not swear deceitfully.
5He will receive blessing from the LORD
   and righteousness from  the God of his salvation.
6Such is the generation of those who seek him,
   who  seek the face of the God of Jacob.  
7 Lift up your heads, O gates!   And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
   that the King of glory may come in.
8Who is this King of glory?
   The LORD, strong and mighty,
   the LORD, mighty in battle!
9Lift up your heads, O gates!
   And lift them up, O ancient doors,
   that the King of glory may come in.
10Who is this King of glory?
  The LORD of hosts,
   he is the King of glory!

We didn't do any sight seeing really in either country... but both countries reminded me a bit of parts of Turkey that I had been in.  The ferry ride was amazing... it is only like 9 miles wide at its narrowest point. So, you are going down and you have Europe on one side of you and Africa on the other!  When we got to Tangier we then took a bus into the port town and then had to take taxis to where we were staying. The taxi drivers would only take 3 people at a time. So, we all had to split up. I think traffic laws are merely a suggestion... it was crazy!  I knew everyone on our team by this point, but had a bit of a panic attack when I put Devon in a taxi with 2 other people (neither one being Jon or I!), I turned to Jon and said, "don't tell my mom what I just did!" (I guess she knows now!) Ty also got into a taxi with 2 other people and then Jon and I with one other person got the last one. I was relieved when we made it to our destination and both boys were standing there alive and well! Thank you God! They thought it was fun to drive up the narrow streets full of people... I did not! July 18th found us again at another airport headed to Rome, Italy... come back tomorrow and hear about that! Here are some of my favorite pics from our first few days!
Devon brought Wallace with us
                           
   
flying about the clouds!
 playing at the airport in Spain while waiting for another team member to arrive on a different plane!
our first meal in Spain was actually a Moroccan dish called Tajine... so good!
we were reunited with Fanta Lemon... yummm!
                                           
on the ferry, that is Africa in the background!


                                             

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Come Save




Here is my new favorite song... hope you enjoy it as well. Below I am posting a few comments from her about what inspired the song.     LOVE IT!!!!!!

 

 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Fun

It was HOT today... We did end up spending part of the day up in Atlanta at the High Museum checking out the classic car exhibit. So we managed to stay out of the heat... but this evening the boys were still hot. So, what do you do with 2 bored, hot, restless boys?  Yep, tell them to go outside and turn on the sprinkler!
The next few pictures are of the boys using the slip n slide. They are dark... it is my first attempt at using the manual focus on my camera... and I still can't quite figure all of it out. But, I guess the best way to do that is play around with it!


Just so you know, I suffered for my art here... I got a ton of mosquito bites while taking these pictures!  Devon came in the house when they were all done, and said,"Wow, today turned out really well!" Funny how a few hours of fun and laughter with your brother can make you forget the whole day you just spent arguing with him! Now they are happily getting ready for bed and sleeping in the same room together (they do each have their own room), thanks God for brothers who really do love each other!

Monday, June 21, 2010

My husband is a rock star...



"The place where God calls you is where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." Friederich Buechner

Here is Jon's latest video! (thanks riotshark.com) I really love how it turned out. If you like the video, please repost it! If you like the song and want to hear more go to BugNogMusic.com and buy an album! The quote above is one that we came across on our way into full time missions and I was just reminded of it again the other day. I think it is so true! God places certain passions and desires in us that we can be using to further His Kingdom. We just need to ask how we can be using these gifts for Him! I know this is not always easy... trust me, it was not easy to leave a steady job, house and family in California and move 3000 miles away, but God has shown us so many things along this journey! I am still amazed that Jon is able to take his passion, his love for writing and playing music and make a full time job out of it, AND use it for Kingdom purposes. Wow... thanks God! For me personally... I am still trying to figure out what I am supposed to be doing. I love working with kids, and I do help out in church. I love to dance, and I am now on the path to bettering my skills. I never would have thought at 37 years old that I would start ballet lessons! But, God has used it, used it to touch others, and used it to teach me things. He is cool like that... :)  Are you using your passions to further God's Kingdom?  Just something I have been thinking about for myself, so I thought I would throw that challenge out there for you as well!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Frustrated

Okay, this is me getting on my soap box... A few hours ago I saw a 30 second clip from Katy Perry's new music video for "California Gurls". Now, I have loved that song since it came out... really cute, fun summer tune.  We listen to lots of different music at our house, and I personally have had tons of secular songs "speak to me" just as much as Christian songs. When I first saw the video clip, I have to admit I laughed... but I was by myself and my boys were not around. The more I thought about it, the more my stomach starting tying up in knots. My kids have sung this song in the car with me and I am positive the "melt your popsicle" line goes right over their heads (for now). This video will hit MTV tomorrow... and lots of impressionable young boys (and girls for that matter) will watch it over and over... is this really the image of girls I want to put in my boys' heads? NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

I thought about posting the clip here... but can't get myself to do it. I am struggling with how as a Jesus following mother do I protect my boys from this kind of garbage? I know the obvious answer is not to turn music channels on (and we don't usually, unless the boys are in bed or they are watching with us). Ty knows that if he is watching VH1 on Saturday morning for the video countdown and a Lady GaGa song comes on, he is to turn the channel, and he does!  But obviously I can't control what goes on when they are at friends houses. I just pray that Jon and I are teaching them the importance of guarding their eyes from what they look at and guarding their heart and mind when they are not with us.

Now, I realize that some of you reading this might not agree with me, might think I am being over protective or just silly about the whole thing and that is okay with me.  If you struggle with this, let me know... maybe we can bounce ideas off each other. If you think I am crazy, you can let me know that as well... I won't be offended! :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

I will make it!

Jon comes home tomorrow! I am so thrilled! He has been gone for almost 3 weeks, and man am I tired! It is not even that the boys are bad, they really are good boys... it is just HARD work being a single parent! I have a whole new outlook on what other people go through! Once again, God has been good... He has sustained me, given me extra patience, comforted me when I couldn't sleep at night, helped me to be loving to the boys even when I was tired and just wanted time to myself! I know that sounds selfish, and it is... but you know, sometimes I just need to have "me" time! When they go to bed at night, I am too tired to do anything fun. I had really good intentions to work on my scrapbook this month and that hasn't happened at all! Here are some things I did get done... I painted my kitchen island, cleaned out my closet and organized my filing cabinet, and cleaned out my boys rooms, planted flowers, and mowed the lawn! Pretty good! I did want to stain the back deck, but never did get around to that! oh well. Here is one of my new favorite verses. I think it speaks so clearly of what we need to do as mothers. Yes, we are tired, but if we take that new grip and make sure we are gripping God's hand, He will give us what we need, so that we in turn can raise our children to love the Lord as well. No, it is not easy... but so worth it! Thank you God for ALWAYS being what I need, for being the ONLY thing I need!


 Take a new grip with your tired hands, stand firm on your shaky legs and mark out a straight, smooth path for your feet so that those who follow you, though weak and lame, will not fall and hurt themselves, but become strong.
Hebrews 12:12,13 tlb

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Go Away Little Girl" - Tyrone Tempos


Devon had his spring musical tonight with the Tyrone Tempos. He sang a solo! He was soo cute! He said he got the part because he was the only boy who could get through the song without cracking up! Here is the video.  Hope you enjoy my little crooner as much as I do,  I am so proud of him!  I love how he grabs the mic stand at the end!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Confession time

So, here is something that struck me as pretty funny today. Today was bathroom cleaning day (wait, that isn't the funny part), and I walked into our hall bathroom and noticed something on the wall. Then started laughing. I have a white wall bucket that I change the flowers in for the seasons, okay, I know there is nothing strange about that... but it is almost the end of May and this is what my wall bucket looks like...



CHRISTMAS HOLLY! I still haven't taken down my holly! It is 90 degrees outside, but it is still Christmas in my bathroom!  Okay, there is actually more to this story. Later in the day, I went out to the front porch to finish mopping up the pollen that is still covering everything. We NEVER use our front door, even when people come over, they usually come through the garage to the kitchen door... by the way, is that a Southern thing? I still am getting used to it... I have even had people come to my back deck and knock on the back door! Okay, I am getting sidetracked a little. After cleaning the porch, I went to go back in the front door and this is what I noticed...


Yep, more holly. I should really be ashamed of myself...  Just so you all know, I did take the holly down and replace it with more suitable geraniums and hydrangea. Now my house is ready for summer! Oh, and one more thing... this was also on my front porch.


Aren't they cute! This is the 3rd year we have had baby birds on the porch, I just love them!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nothing to report...

I have nothing to say... I had a day full of laundry, grocery shopping, sorting mail , cooking and soccer practice. I am at the end of the day, and I haven't really talked with anyone except my kids...I guess I am kinda lonely which makes me kinda boring too! hmmm... maybe tomorrow will be a better day, one can only hope!

Here is a funny picture I came across today from a few years ago!





Monday, May 10, 2010

Undignified?

 "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven ... A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance."  Eccl. 3:1,4 


Is dancing undignified? Some people think so, do you? I have always loved to dance. When I was a little girl, I loved to have the full skirts that would fly straight out when I would twirl! Oh how fun that was! As I got older, maybe Jr. High, but definitely into High School I got more into hip hop.  My friends and I would dance for HOURS! It was innocent fun, but I wasn't doing it for Jesus, I was doing it for myself and maybe to have people look at me, but definitely not for Jesus. In the past 5 years I have been able to see dance in a new way. I have been re taught who we should be dancing for and why. The bible says there is a time to dance, so obviously it can be used to worship our Heavenly Father, a way to draw us closer to him when words just aren't enough. It is also away to "clear the birds" as my lovely friend   says. It pushes back darkness, because true worship dance is only from God and for God.  King David dances in 2 Samuel.  It says he was dancing and jumping before the Lord. His wife came out and told him he looked "undignified", do you know what his response was? He said,"I will become even more undignified than this." I am sure David looked silly in his wild dancing, but especially from someone who is just watching and not joining in. He was in full worship to his Lord. I think sometimes we are too safe in our little churches to fully engage in the worship that David was experiencing. Don't get me wrong, I am in no way knocking the church. I absolutely love the church we are involved in... it is just something I have been thinking about lately. The question keeps coming to me "When was the last time you (meaning me) stepped out in courage and did something foolish for God?"   







 See these dance shoes?                                                     
                                                                           They make me ridiculously happy. They are mine! I started taking dance lessons in January. I haven't really danced in 17 years, and never really danced for Jesus. Now I am. I have even danced publicly 2 times now! Trust me... I can only do this because I know who I am dancing for. I am in a class with other women who haven't ever really danced before either. We are learning ballet technique and then worship dance. It is amazing! I can't believe what a stress release it is for me! My friend I mentioned earlier... the one who said dance "clears the birds", she is one of my teachers. She is the leader of an OM Arts International ministry called Dancelink. Look them up. She takes or sends dancers all over the world to do work for the Kingdom. Amazing, amazing ministry, and I am so blessed to be learning from her!  So, I will end this all to say that I want to be like King David and become even more undignified for my Lord! 



Praise His name with DANCING! Psalm 149:3






Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Today is  Mother's Day! Hope you all called your Mom's and let them know how special they are! You don't realize how much work Mothers do, until you become one!  I once heard that “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”  How true is that!  At church today, I also was reminded that God sent HIS OWN SON to die... could I do that as a mother? Of course I am not God (I know you are all thankful for that!), but still... I would gladly die for either one of my boys, but send one of them to die... I don't think so. 


I feel like God has given me these 2 wonderful boys to raise up. I don't care where they end up going to college, or what they do for a living, as long as they are whole heartily seeking after God. If they are doing that, I know they will be fine. I think that is my biggest prayer for them.  Of course I want them to marry Godly woman as well...who will like me!  :) Anyway... I am getting way off course here. What I wanted to tell you about was my day. I actually got a clue last night that the boys were up to something sneaky. When I went to clean up the kitchen before bed I found this note.




 You see, my son Ty is a planner. He likes to be prepared, so he clocked out his morning to make sure I would have breakfast by 7:45 am!  He got up and baked orange rolls and poured my coffee in a cute new coffee cup they got me with Jon's help before he left!  That in itself thrilled me, because I have no idea when this was planned!  



See... isn't the coffee cup CUTE!!! I love it! And of course he remembered to bring my PEPPERMINT MOCHA creamer! Such a good boy! They also had homemade cards for me, which I love to get! Then we all got ready and went to church. This is the flower I received when I walked into the church building. I love flowers... I grew up in the flower business and used to have flowers in my house all the time. Now, I have trouble spending money on them... but I LOVE them! So, this was a real treat!



After church the boys and I went to Quizno's and then just hung out at home for the rest of the day! It was fun and relaxing... just what Mother's Day should be! Hope you enjoyed yours as well, or helped make someone else's day special!



We all look a little goofy here... but I guess that is reality! 


Saturday, May 08, 2010

Camera shy? I don't think so...

I took my camera outside today to capture this picture..



I loved the rainbow in the water and wondered how it would capture in a picture. I love how it turned out! Then I noticed Devon standing to the side, so I took this one...



cute, right? Well, then he noticed I was taking his picture...



And it turned into some crazy pictures... why is it that boys act so strange sometimes? They don't worry about looking cute for the camera, or anything! This happens every time I get my camera out. CRAZY! Anyway, I thought I would share this little piece of my day with you!



"Mom, Mom, take a picture of my ear!" Ummmm... okay...









Gotta love the boy!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

December

Wow, I really need to get better at this! December flew by, we left on the 17th and traveled to Portland, Oregon. We got to visit with Jon's sister and her family for a few days before driving south about 5 hours to the seaside town of Bandon (where Jon's parents live). For the next almost 2 weeks we visited with friends, partners and family. It was a really wonderful time to connect with people whom we haven't seen in the last 2 years!
There is a church there that supports us, and we were able to hold a Sunday evening service to share with them what we have been doing the past few years. It was great to be able to let them know about the work they are involved in through us. Also, to share what we are looking into for this next year. We traveled back to Georgia on Jan 3rd. It was a long trip, but good!
Can you believe 2009 is done? I can't. It amazes me how time seems to just fly by. God once again got us through last year, even with the 2 pay cuts we took...He is so good and faithful! I hope everyone who reads this, truly understands that! 2010 is going to be busy as well. We have tons of opportunity for ministry this year. Jon is looking to lead a few tours on his own again, and we are looking into a mission trip this next summer that we can take as a family. I am sure I will write more about that when we get the details nailed down a bit more...I will share this, it will involve 5 countries, and about 4 or 5 weeks (about 7 weeks for Jon!). We are praying about how it will all work out, and haven't even started to figure out the cost yet! But, God has already brought money in to go towards it! Yes, He is good!
I think we will have to start support raising again this year, not fun, but necessary! It is funny that we are starting the year with the most ministry opportunities, and the lowest financial situation we have ever been in! We will definitely need to see God move is some big ways! Well, I feel like I am now rambling. So I will just end with my favorite pictures from Oregon! Enjoy!










Oh how we miss the beautiful Pacific Ocean!