Day 238

In Luke 24 after Jesus has risen from the grave and appeared to Mary Magdalene He does some eavesdropping.  Two disciples were traveling to a village called Emmaus, which was 7 miles from Jerusalem, and they were engaged in a deep conversation along the way.  Jesus was able to listen in without them knowing He was there until He just couldn’t resist… He had to get in on this, so He becomes visible and casually asks them,

“What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”

They can’t believe this guy hasn’t heard about “the things” that have been going on in Jerusalem the past few days.

Jesus knows all too well about the things that have happened, He knows better than anyone, yet He asks, “What things?”

Jesus gets them to describe all of “the things” that have been happening and to admit that the reason they are sad is because they haven’t seen Him.  They weren’t sure if He was really who He claimed to be.  They weren’t sure if he really rose from the dead.  They weren’t sure if what Mary told them was accurate.  They were noticeably sad and it was all because of their unbelief.

I love what Jesus tells them next,

Luke 24:25 “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!

These guys would eventually believe, because they would eventually recognize that the man that they had been talking to was Jesus, but their hearts were slow in getting there.  Jesus wanted them to have hearts that were quick to believe… hearts that didn’t need physical proof to trust, hearts that were full of faith!

Hebrews 11:1 (GWORD) Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us of the existence of things we cannot see.

Jesus eavesdrops on me all the time.  He know what I am going to say even before I know what I’m going to say.  He knows the conversations I have with my husband.  He knows the conversations I have with myself.  If He were to show up disguised as someone else would my conversation with Him show that I was slow of heart to believe or the opposite?  I hope the opposite.  I don’t want to have a heart that has to have tangible evidence of something before I can believe, I want to have a heart that believes first and then sees!

John 20:29 (AMP) …Blessed and happy and to be envied are those who have never seen Me and yet have believed and adhered to and trusted and relied on Me.

I want to be blessed and happy and envied and I know everyone reading wants the same things. God desires our trust, our faith, a quick heart, not a slow one.  Take Him at His word, believe before you see and blessing will follow- it’s a promise!

  1. When I have a quick to believe heart I can be blessed, happy, and envied.
  2. We have been given all the faith we will ever need.
  3. Luke recorded Jesus’ interaction with the two disciples on the way to Emmaus.
  4. Resurrection Day!!!
  5. Watching the kids little faces light up as they were going through their Easter baskets this morning.
  6. Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs.
  7. My mom used to make us the best Easter baskets with all of the best candy!
  8. Got to teach a fun Easter service with lots of excited 5 year olds!
  9. Gus & Beau got to stay home with Nana & Papa this morning.
  10. Beau took a nice, long nap.
  11. I got to take a little nap after church.
  12. The kids had a great time hunting Easter eggs this afternoon.  Turned out to be a beautiful day!
  13. Beau can walk this year!  This was the first Easter she was really into the hunt.  She did good and looked adorable doing it.
  14. All the rain we’ve been getting.  Love all the green that’s showing up around town.
  15. 92 salvations in Gateway Kids at the Frisco campus this weekend!
  16. 900 kids attended Gateway Frisco over the weekend!
  17. Found out my friend Joleen is expecting her first baby!
  18. Got to see Brad & Amy’s very new little girl today.  She was so precious, I cried.  Children truly are gifts from the Lord.
  19. Traditional Easter dinner at Pappadeaux with Nana & Papa.
  20. Papa and I split the very tasty crawfish trio!
  21. The waiter told us since our desserts took a while to get to the table they were all free!  So sweet of them!
  22. Key lime pie!
  23. Lindsay Cochran bought Beau the nicest little birthday gift and she got Gus something special too!  They are big fans of hers!
  24. All of my family in Tulsa got to be together to celebrate Easter… I missed them, but it made me happy knowing they were celebrating together.
  25. March was a good month!  A fast month, but a good month!
  26. Hanging out and watching some Duck Dynasty tonight.
  27. Kids looked so cute in their new PJs from Grammy & Grampy and were thrilled to get to wear them to bed tonight.

Day 237

Before Jesus conquered the grave on Resurrection Sunday, He let it know that He was coming for it when He brought his friend Lazarus who had been dead in a tomb for four days back to life.

John 11:43-44 …He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

If you grew up attending Sunday School you probably remember being wrapped in toilet paper on the day that you heard the story of Lazarus… his grave clothes are always mentioned in the telling of his story.  Jesus had grave clothes too, but He didn’t come out of the tomb wrapped like a mummy.

Peter and the “fast disciple” also known as John,  had just heard the news that Jesus’ body was no longer in His tomb and they ran to go see for themselves.  Of course the fast disciple got their first and here’s what happened next.

John 20:5-7 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in.  Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.

Jesus’ grave clothes had been neatly folded and left in His empty tomb.  Why did John mention that part?  I think it’s because he wanted us to know two things.

One.  Lazarus was not resurrected, he was just brought back to life.  Eventually, he would need those grave clothes again, because eventually he would die again.  Not Jesus.  Those clothes were useless to Him now, because he was resurrected for eternity!  He will never die again!

Two.  Jesus was a carpenter and so was Joseph, His earthly father.  When a carpenter completed a job he would fold up the cloth he had been using to wipe his sweat or dry his hands and place it atop the finished project.  When the person who hired him came to inspect the work and saw a folded towel lying there, they knew that the carpenter had completed his job. Jesus had probably done this himself when he was working as a carpenter and he probably learned it from Joseph.

When the disciples saw the neatly folded clothes they had to have known what Jesus was trying to tell them.  His work was finished.  He had completed His project.  He had conquered the grave once and for all.  I can see John & Peter picking up the clothes and nodding their heads at the subtle yet powerful message that their friend, their savior, Jesus Christ had left behind for them.

I am so thankful that I don’t have to walk around bound by grave clothes because of the completed work of the cross.  Jesus painted a beautiful masterpiece during the 33 years that He lived on the earth, and then, like any artist who was proud of his work, He signed it.  He completed it with His signature, His neatly folded grave cloths.

Romans 8:11  But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Rejoice today!  He is risen!  He is risen, indeed!  He is sitting at the right hand of the Father, not in grave clothes, but in ultimate glory!

  1. Jesus conquered the grave!
  2. He is risen!  He is risen, indeed.
  3. The fast disciple wrote about the neatly folded grave clothes.
  4. The Spirit of Him who raise Jesus from the dead dwells in me!!!
  5. Easter has risen to a whole new level for me this year… studying it in depth has been so cool.
  6. Enjoyed my quiet time in the bathtub this morning.
  7. Slept like a baby through the thunder storm last night.
  8. Gus and Papa enjoyed looking at all of the cool cars at the car show this morning.
  9. Beau held her own in the bounce house with all the big kids.
  10. Thousands of Easter Eggs being devoured by all the little locust children.  I’ve never seen so many Easter eggs disappear so quickly.
  11. Jelly beans!
  12. Delicious lunch at 5th St Cafe.  That place never disappoints.
  13. Nana got Gus the stuffed Mario & Luigi he’s been praying for for his Easter basket.
  14. Nana got Beau the ice cream eating Baby Alive for her Easter basket!
  15. Gus got some nice, new Jake pajamas for his basket.
  16. Beau got some pretty Tangled PJs for her basket.
  17. Beau looked absolutely adorable in her Easter outfit.  I’m glad I got to experience that!
  18. Gus in a bow-tie.
  19. J Crew decided to leave the sensor on my shirt and I didn’t notice until a few minutes before church, thankfully my skirt hid it pretty well.
  20. I loved worshipping my King tonight at church.  It was completely overwhelming.
  21. Pastor Robert never waters down the word.  His Easter message was deep and powerful.  Daniel 7!  Amazing!
  22. Full 4:00 service at the GW Frisco campus!
  23. Papa carries a handkerchief… bonus learned how to spell handkerchief tonight.  Who knew it had a D in it?
  24. The kids the cutest little stuffed lambs in their classes at church.
  25. Beau graduated… she’s a Tiny Train now and proud of it!
  26. Yummy roast, potatoes and carrots waiting for us when we got home.
  27. Via Dolorosa. 

Day 236

After darkness fell over the land and Jesus hanging from the cross declared “it is finished” which meant “paid in full” He surrendered His spirit, and died so that we could live.  A rich man named Joseph, commanded the body of Jesus be given to him because he wanted to give Him a proper burial.  He let Jesus “borrow” his tomb for three days.  What a nice guy!

The chief priests and Pharisees started to get a little nervous that Jesus might actually rise again… God did put quite a show on for them with the earthquake, darkness, and the veil being torn… maybe Jesus really was who He said He was.  Instead of repenting and waiting at the tomb for Jesus to appear they decided it would be best if they persuaded Pilate to “seal the stone and set the guard” to secure the tomb, lest any of Jesus’ disciples (that were nowhere to be found) might come and try to steal Jesus’ body.  Pilate agreed and he sent guards and soldiers to make the tomb as secure as possible!

These guards went to great lengths to make sure that no one was getting in and no one was getting out of that tomb.  The big stone that was placed in front of it was a great start, but Pilate commanded them to seal it and guard it, so they did.

“The seal was a rope, overlapping the width of the stone covering the entrance to the tomb. On either side of the doorway, there was a glob of wax securing the rope over the stone. You could not move the rock without breaking the seal. It was important that the guards witness the sealing, because they were responsible for whatever was being sealed. These Roman guards would watch carefully as the stone was sealed, because they knew their careers, and perhaps their lives, were on the line. The Roman seal carried legal authority. It was more than yellow tape barricading a crime scene; to break a Roman seal was to defy Roman authority. That stone was secured by the authority of the Roman Empire.” – Guzik

The guards assigned to the tomb would have been fully armed and dangerous.  They weren’t the type that were going to fall asleep of the job or fall for some planned distraction to take them away from their posts.  These guys were chosen for an important job because they were the best at what they did.

The tomb were Jesus’ body laid had officially been sealed and the guards were set, but no power in hell or scheme of man, could keep Jesus in that tomb.

Matthew 28:2-4 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.  His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.  And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

I love that!  God let Pilate and the Pharisees know what He thought about their little seal and their big tough guards.  He had no problem whatsoever breaking that “official” Roman seal and knocking out some the the best soldiers around.  NO obstacle placed around that tomb was a match for God and NO obstacle the enemy places in our lives is a match for Him either.

Sickness – NO MATCH!  Depression – NO MATCH!  Debt – NO MATCH!  Drug Addiction – NO MATCH!  Sin – NO MATCH!  Death- NO MATCH!

Jesus’ last words before He died were, “Paid in full.”  What a powerful statement.  He paid for the salvation of your soul in full and no seal, no guard, no obstacle can keep the same power that raised Christ from the dead from working in your life today!

  1. Tetelestai – it is finished!!!!!!  PAID IN FULL!
  2. The grave was borrowed!
  3. Whatever obstacle the enemy places in our life is NO MATCH for God!
  4. I really blogged myself happy with this one!  God is so awesome.
  5. Beautiful Exchange.
  6. Lots of people preaching the cross on FB and Twitter today.
  7. Enjoyed being creative and designing a t-shirt for my family reunion in June this morning.
  8. Dying Easter eggs with Josh and the kids.
  9. Dyed eggs are just so pretty to look at.  I love all the bright colors.
  10. Happy memories dying eggs with my mom and little brother.
  11. Beau loved dying the eggs so much she cried her eyes out when we were finished.
  12. The Rescuers movie afternoon snuggled up with my favorite little boy.
  13. Great cat nap.
  14. Nana & Papa made it safely to Texas!
  15. Beautiful weather today.
  16. Sidewalk chalk.
  17. Papa always gets Gus laughing so hard!
  18. Cowboy Chicken for dinner!
  19. The smell of fire wood cooking rotisserie chicken.
  20. Dinner was Papa’s treat!
  21. Corn fritters.
  22. Blackberry cobbler.
  23. Papa did Gus’ bed time for me.
  24. Got the kid’s Easter baskets filled with lots of goodies!
  25. Nana got the kids a Peter Pan and Aristocats book on her iPad that they both thoroughly enjoyed.
  26. Really sweet and encouraging note from one of my old childhood friends that has been reading the blog.
  27. My husband was looking very handsome for church tonight!

Day 235

A few days ago I wrote about the notorious criminal Barabbas who was chosen to be released over Jesus.  Pilate, the governor at that time knew that Jesus was innocent and seemed confused by the crowd’s decision, but afraid that a riot was about to break out, Pilate agreed to crucify Jesus.  Then, he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.  The responsibility is yours!”

The crowd, obviously under the power of darkness, replied, “His blood is upon us and upon our children!”  They took full responsibility for the murder of Jesus Christ and they even threw their kids under the bus too.

Little did they know that the blood of Jesus wasn’t your typical O positive blood.  The blood of Jesus was the only thing that could completely erase their sin.  The blood of Jesus was the only thing that could save them and their children from the wrath of God.  After what they had just done, demanding that God’s only son be crucified, the blood of Jesus was exactly what they would need to be “on” them and their children.

Just a few hours earlier, at the last supper, Jesus explained the significance of His blood.

Matthew 26:28 (NLT)  for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.

The blood of Jesus is our victory!  The blood of Jesus is the reason I have a covenant with God the father.  The blood of Jesus is the reason that sin has no power over me.  There is power in the blood of Jesus, we overcome by the blood of the lamb!  If only the people who put Jesus up that cross realized that, their sins would have been forgiven and the blood of Jesus being on them would have been a glorious thing.

Realize, you had a part to play in putting Jesus up on that cross too, every person who has ever lived had a part to play in it.  We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God so we have all had Jesus’ blood on us, but the moment you make Him Lord of your life, you go from being responsible for the murder of God’s son to being one of God’s sons… or daughters.  He welcomes you into His family and covers you with His blood.

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

  1. The blood of Jesus that covers me and my children.
  2. I was once far off, but I have been brought near and have entered into a covenant with God the father.
  3. O The Blood – one of my favorite Gateway worship songs ever.
  4. Nothing But The Blood/O The Blood of Jesus Niccodemus style.
  5. Got to surprise my little 2 year old with a birthday party complete with balloons, cupcakes, baby roses, presents and all of her favorite stuffed animal friends.
  6. Gus was SO excited about his sisters birthday he lost about 4 hours of sleep last night.
  7. Beau loved her new Rapunzel dress.   She looked so cute in such a fancy dress.
  8. The balloons were her favorite part of the morning.  She played with them all morning.
  9. Gus & Beau got to play with her new Minnie’s Bow-tique tent for a little while before he had to go to school.
  10. Cupcakes for breakfast!
  11. Gus had a great day at school even though I’m sure he was very sleepy!
  12. Josh cleaned the entire upstairs for me.
  13. Beau’s friends Ava & Olivia bought her a Minnie Mouse makeup kit that she adored.  It was so fun watching her blow dry her hair and put lipstick on in her little Minnie mirror.
  14. Beau likes to pretend to be me!  So sweet!
  15. Mee Mee Rudy sent Beau an Elmo card and some birthday cash!
  16. The Halls brought Beau a pretty little shirt!
  17. Beau got so much love on Facebook today.
  18. My mom called and left the happy birthday song on my voicemail for Beau to listen to… one of her favorite songs.  She loved it.
  19. Got to face time with Nana & Papa for a little while this morning.
  20. My friend Sayra left me the sweetest note and two bracelets that are not only cute, but have the sweetest meaning behind them.
  21. I am 3 for 3 on my American Idol kick off predictions!  Victory is sweet!
  22. Dinner with the Halls before they head to Fort Worth next week.
  23. Watched some home videos of the kids with Josh before bed tonight.  Laughed and cried.  I love those kids, just can’t believe how fast they are growing up.
  24. Gus was cracking up trying to tell me that one of his friends at school calls his booty his “patootie.”  He makes me smile.
  25. My bracket is still looking good!  It looks like I’m going to do better than Josh once again.
  26. The high school my brother teaches at and my niece attends was forced into lockdown this afternoon, but it was just a hoax.  No one was hurt!
  27. Our big dining room table.  8 sat comfortably around it tonight and we had room for more!

Day 234

About this time three years ago I got invited to a women’s conference at a church I had never been to.  It was kind of a strange deal because the church I went to and my husband worked for had just lost the pastor due to moral failure and the church that invited me to the conference was the church that we were told would be turning our church into one of their satellite campuses.  I wasn’t crazy about the idea.  I didn’t know anything about the church, the pastor, the people, their vision, but I figured I should probably go to this conference and see what they were all about.  I went in with my guard up, but within seconds of praise and worship starting I sensed in my spirit that this was a good church.  This was a church that cared more about the presence of God than putting on a good show.  This was a church that cared more about people than numbers.  It was so refreshing.  I got lost in worship that night.

I can still remember Kari Jobe singing “You Are For Me” while God was busy ministering to my heart.  He let me know this whole mess we were in with our church would work out and then he surprised me with this, “you are going to have a little girl next.”

I was shocked.  We had been trying to get pregnant for a while and all the while we had been praying for a boy.  I’ve always wanted a daughter, but I wanted two boys together first and I figured since I prayed for a boy and got a boy the first time around since I was praying for a boy again we’d get a boy the second time around.  I came home and told my husband and we both agreed that if that’s what God was saying, if that was His will for our family, then that’s what we wanted, and from then on we started praying for a girl.  3 months later I was pregnant… with a girl, and about a year from the time God told me I would have her, I gave birth to Celia Beau Blount… the prettiest little thing I had ever laid eyes on.

She is a constant reminder that God’s will is always better than my will.  His plans are always better than my plans.  His ways are always higher than my ways.  He thoughts are always higher than my thoughts.

The night that Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane he said 3 times, “Lord “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 

The human side of Jesus would have loved to have been delivered from the horrific death he was about to experience, but He chose to do the will of God instead.  He submitted cheerfully to the will of the Father and because of that I am no longer lost, but found in Him.

I knew it was His will for me to have another baby, but I didn’t know his will concerning the sex of that baby.  I had a desire in my head for a boy so I never left room for God’s will in my prayers, until of course He let me know His plans for Beau.  There are certain things that God has made perfectly clear in His word, things that are always His will- like healing, but when you are praying about something you don’t know His will on, make sure you let Him know that you prefer His will over yours, because Beau is living proof that His will is perfect!

  1. Two years ago today, on a Monday, at 2:41 p.m. I gave birth to the prettiest little girl I’ve ever seen.
  2. My labor with her was a piece of cake.  1 push and she was here.
  3. Her sweet little ears.  They were the first body part of hers that I fell in love with.
  4. She was such a good baby.  Patient.  Easy to nurse.  Great sleeper.
  5. The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck, but God protected her and it didn’t hurt her in anyway.
  6. I totally needed a girl for my second child.  What did we ever do without her?
  7. God spoke to me so clearly that night at the Pink conference at Gateway Church and everything He spoke was accurate.
  8. You Are For Me.
  9. Gus must have heard from God before I did because he started asking for a sister as soon as he could talk.
  10. Beau is and has always been healthy.
  11. I so enjoyed the last year with her… watching her grow up is such a joy to me.
  12. She potty trained like a champ… before she was 2!!
  13. She got a big girl bed this year and transitioned so nicely.
  14. She can say anything she wants and she does.  She’s very smart!
  15. She loves Jesus and she loves church!
  16. Loved taking her to Disney in November.  She made that place even more magical.
  17. I was worried Gus might over shadow her with his huge personality, but she definitely holds her own!
  18. She is a mamma’s girl.
  19. Her eyes literally sparkle.
  20. Her pretty brown hair.
  21. Her smile is contagious.
  22. She loves to sing and to be sung to.
  23. She is exactly what her name means- heavenly and beautiful.
  24. She’s girly, but she’s got some tom boy in her too.  She’s happy playing princess or playing storm troopers.
  25. She’s easy to discipline.
  26. We are going to have terrific twos with her!
  27. God has used her to show me His goodness so many times this year… she always makes my list.

Day 233

After being scourged with a whip, complete with several leather strands, sharp pieces of bones and metal, having his back reduced to raw flesh, Jesus was in very critical condition.  The soldiers had accomplished their goal of getting him within an inch of his life.  After they spent some time humiliating this innocent man who had only ever done good his life, they had him carry his own cross to the place where he would hang from it, Golgotha.

Along the way he became so weak that his Roman soldier escorts were afraid he would die right there, and they didn’t want that. They wanted to see him up on that cross, so they recruited a man to help him carry it.

Mark 15:21 Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross. 

Simon was not from around those parts, in fact he was 800 miles from home.  I’m sure at that moment when he got called out of the crowd and forced to help this mangled man carry his cross he was wishing he had never left Cyrene, but something must have happened to him that day as he locked eyes with the savior of the world.  I think he went from being forced to carry the cross, to being honored.  Honored to walk along side of the man who would change the world forever with His great love.

Mark mentions Simon’s sons, Alexander and Rufus, when he introduces us to him, and it’s not the last we hear of them.

Romans 16:13 (NLT) Greet Rufus, whom the Lord picked out to be his very own; and also his dear mother, who has been a mother to me.

Many Bible scholars believe that Alexander and Rufus went on to be influential Christians and close friends with the first group of disciples.  Rufus obviously had great favor with the Lord.  I imagine when Simon literally took up the cross and followed Jesus that it marked him and his children for the rest of their lives.

Luke 9:23  Then he (Jesus) said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.

Simon, according to the words of Jesus, qualified himself as a disciple that day and he made disciples out of his boys by continuing to take up his cross every day after that.

If you want to be a true follower, a true disciple of Jesus, and raise your children to be disciples, you have to take up your cross daily.  How do you take up your cross?  You simply prefer God’s will instead of your own… every day in every way and then repeat.

“Not my will, but yours, be done.” – Jesus

  1. Got more revelation today on what it means to take up your cross than I’ve ever had before. 
  2. Jesus took up His cross for me.
  3. Spent my study time this morning reading about the torture Jesus endured the day of his death.  Hard to read, but I’m glad I did.  I never want to take the cross lightly.
  4. When our kids see us taking up our cross daily, it marks them!
  5. By Jesus’ stripes I was healed!
  6. Josh wouldn’t let me get out of bed without cuddling with him for a few minutes this morning.
  7. Beau woke up feeling better today!  Been missing her sweet smile.
  8. Had a nice, quiet morning with just Beau doing girly things like coloring and reading princess books.
  9. Gus laughs so hard when I pretend my lips are stuck to his cheek.  His laugh is one of my favorite sounds of all time.
  10. Lunch date with Josh!
  11. Authentic mexican at Mariana’s Taco Shop.
  12. Gus had a great day at school!  He was in such a great mood when I picked him up.
  13. Gus singing “Little Bunny Foo Foo” to Beau on the way home from school… so sweet.
  14. Gus is still little enough to appreciate the stickers I put on the ziploc bags every time I pack his lunch.
  15. Best dance party ever this afternoon.
  16. The Locomotion. 
  17. Happy Birthday by the Beatles.
  18. Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows.
  19. Fend for yourself dinner night!
  20. Beau was delirious and cracking herself up before bed by saying “Do Do” over and over again.
  21. Had Beau in bed by 7:30, so I got a head start on my bath!
  22. Got to listen to this powerful Easter message by Pastor Robert from 2009 – The Lamb.
  23. Text from my friend Sayra… Hebrews 6:14-15 what great verses.
  24. Manta 4 t-shirt.  I stole it from Josh when we were dating and it’s one of the best sleep shirts ever.
  25. Catching up on “The Bible” on the History Channel.
  26. My friend Phoebe is celebrating her birthday today.  The pictures she posted of the surprise Disney party her family threw her made me smile.
  27. Dustin & Megan Evans had a perfect little boy yesterday… God is faithful!

Day 232

You don’t hear the name Barabbas used very often these days.  Come to think of it, I have never met anyone with that name.  Try looking it up at babynames.com and you won’t have any luck.  It might have something to do with the fact that it’s a little hard to spell, but I’m sure the most common reason for its unpopularity is that the most well known Barabbas to ever exist was a notorious criminal.

Matthew 27:15-17 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.  Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”

The people voted to save Barabbas and to have Jesus crucified.

The name Barabbas means “son of the father” and signified that he was spoiled, ruined and that satan was his father.  That day at the feast the guilty son got off the hook, and the true son, the son of God, was sent to die on a cross… the cross that was probably intended for Barabbas to hang from.

Barrabas deserved to be beaten, he deserved a crown of thorns, he deserved to have to lug a heavy tree up a hill, he deserved to have nails driven through his hands and feet, he deserved to die on that cross, but instead Jesus took His place… literally.  It just doesn’t seem fair.

I don’t know the rest of Barrabas’ story.  I don’t know if seeing an innocent man die on the cross that was meant for him changed his life, but I do know that it changed mine.

Before I made Jesus Lord of my life, I, like Barabbas was a daughter of the wrong father, satan.  I was spoiled, and ruined, and I, was guilty.  I deserved the death penalty.  I deserved to be punished for my sins.  I deserved to be shamed.  But Jesus took my place.  He gave me my freedom.  He endured the cross for me.  It just doesn’t seem fair.  But that’s how much God loves me!

2 Corinthians 6:18 “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.”

You don’t have to go through life with the wrong father, Jesus took your place so you could call His father YOUR father and so His father could call you MY son, MY daughter.

  1. Jesus took my place.
  2. Jesus is unfair.
  3. I am not a spoiled, ruined child of satan, I am a redeemed, loved daughter of the most high God!
  4. Scandal of Grace by United. “Too much to make sense of it all, I know that your love breaks my fall.  The scandal of grace, you died in my place, so my soul will live”
  5. Actually felt rested this morning when I got up!  So good to get to bed at a descent hour.
  6. Was trying to decide if I should take Beau to the doctor and just felt like I should… glad I did, because it turns out she has an ear infection.
  7. The option to pick your flavor add in at Walgreens.  Beau took her grape smelling antibiotic like a champ!
  8. Gus to the nurse who was checking Beau’s ear and making her cry – “Get your hands off of my sister!”  He’s a pretty good big brother.
  9. Kids did really good considering we had to wait for quite a while to see the doctor.
  10. Suckers and stickers!
  11. Good health insurance.
  12. Gus has never had an ear ache in his life!
  13. Gus had to miss the Easter story through Easter eggs at church this weekend so we made our own and did it this morning for Bible time.  He loved it.
  14. One, Two, Three by Little Praise Party.  My kids love singing Jesus is Alive!
  15. Finished Beau’s birthday video!
  16. Found the perfect ending song for the video!
  17. Zooey Deschanel.  She has a song on both Gus and Beau’s birthday video this year.
  18. Found Gus a Bowser Mario Race Car while we were waiting on Beau’s prescription to be filled and he played with it all evening long and told me thank you for getting it for him a few times.
  19. Leftover lasagna… better the 2nd time around!
  20. Easter bunny cookies and milk for dessert.
  21. Josh got to spend his night teaching parents about training up champions!
  22. The non stop 10 minute explanation Gus gave me on how a Transformer is built… at least how he imagines it’s done.  Very entertaining!
  23. Gus drew a family picture… it included Josh Hall.
  24. Found a great worksheet to teach Gus his number families with.
  25. Some much needed alone time tonight.
  26. The smell of Gus’ hair pomade.  My hands always smell like it after bath time.
  27. The way Beau runs on her tip toes when she’s excited.

Day 231

Your reputation starts to matter about the time you enter junior high school.  One rumor can either make or break your year.  There are lots of things that you wouldn’t want to be known for, but one thing that could leave you friendless was people finding out that you were “two-faced.”

Two faced – When someone is nice to your face, but talks trash about you behind your back.  Having two faces.  Deceitful or hypocritical.

I don’t know if there were any girls at my school that weren’t two faced!  Even I talked about my “friends” behind their backs sometimes.  It’s a pretty common thing among immature people.

Judas is by far the most famous two-faced person that has ever lived.

In Matthew 26:15 you can read about his agreement to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, equivalent to about 25 bucks.  Then, in verse 21 Jesus tells his disciples at the last supper that someone will betray him.  Judas has the nerve to ask, “Rabbi, is it I?” knowing full well that he was exactly who Jesus was talking about.  Jesus confirms, “You have said it.”  That had to have been a very awkward moment!  Judas stayed for communion and then later that night he led a mob of men armed with swords and clubs to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest Jesus.

Matthew 26:49 Immediately he (Judas) went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.

Seriously, the nerve of that guy!  He greets Jesus with a customary kiss and then says, “Greetings, Rabbi!” which is a way of wishing someone health, prosperity and happiness.  He said one thing to Jesus with his mouth, but with his heart he was saying something totally different.  In his heart he was saying, 25 bucks is worth more to me than your life.  He didn’t really wish health, prosperity, and happiness for Jesus, or he wouldn’t have given him up to an angry, armed multitude.

What Jesus says next is one of the most touching things in the whole Bible.

Matthew 26:50 Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.” Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him.

Jesus called Judas “My friend” with his mouth, but he also called Judas “My friend” in his heart.  Jesus has never been or will never be two-faced.  If He says something, He means it 100% of the time.  He’s not sarcastic.  He doesn’t say one thing and mean another.  There is no shadow of turning in Him!  He changes not, His compassions they fail not!

Jesus was not Judas’ friend, but Judas was Jesus’ friend.  Judas proved that he was a two-faced, deceitful, immature, hypocrite, yet Jesus still loved Him and called Him friend.

It doesn’t matter what your past looks like, what mistakes you will make in the future, or if you’ve acted like Judas and said one thing to Jesus with your mouth, but said something different with your heart… Jesus has called you friend.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

Jesus has only one face and that face loves you with an immeasurable love!

  1. Jesus is not two-faced.
  2. Jesus calls me friend.
  3. Jesus loves me with an immeasurable love.
  4. His compassions they fail not!
  5. Enjoying reading and studying the Easter story.
  6. Breakfast in bed with my kiddos.
  7. Morning power nap.
  8. Had to stay home from church this weekend because Beau was not feeling well, but we didn’t miss the awesome message by Pastor Robert… Yay for live streaming!
  9. The extra time at home this morning gave me an opportunity to get all caught up on things around the house.
  10. A nice, hot bath seemed to make Beau feel better.
  11. PJs all day.
  12. Makeup free day.
  13. Camp socks.
  14. Sunshine!
  15. Got all of the footage for Beau’s birthday video edited… so close to being finished!
  16. Beau went back to sleep after she woke up 30 minutes into her nap… she really needed the rest, so I’m glad she got a full two hours in.
  17. Good old fashions wooden blocks.
  18. Fresh cans of Play-Doh!
  19. Got to try a new recipe for lasagna.  It was a lot of work, but everyone liked it.
  20. Monster’s Inc. movie night.  It made me want to get on a plane, fly to Disneyland and ride the ride over and over again.
  21. A friend shared a video of her daughter singing the songs she’s been learning at church.  So cute and so awesome to know she is soaking it all in.
  22. Two of my dear friends who both live in Tulsa but have never met got to meet today at their church!
  23. Early to bed catching up on some of our shows night!
  24. My dad made an awesome highlight reel of Gus’ first football practice.
  25. 3 more days of having a one year old!
  26. The ability to write from the comfort of my bed.
  27. The Mr. Books.  Gus loves those crazy books.  Mr. Grumpy was a fun read tonight.

Day 230

Last weekend at church all of the little five year olds in my class were pretty excited about waving palm branches and shouting “Hosanna” as we talked about Jesus riding a donkey into Jerusalem.  It’s one of those stories that always goes over well with small kids because it’s got an animal, a parade, and Jesus- all things that they love.

Matthew 21:8-9  And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Hosanna in the highest!”

This had to have been quite a scene.  Coats all over the floor, people climbing up palm trees to cut down branches, young and old shouting “Hosanna, save us!”, and a normal looking guy riding a donkey right in the middle of it all.

Verse 10 says that the city of Jerusalem was moved, saying, “Who is this?”

Who is causing all of this commotion?  Who is the one these people are celebrating?  Who is the one they are shouting at to save them?  Who is this guy!?  They city of Jerusalem had officially been stirred up.

Is your life stirring anyone up?  Have you made a scene lately?  Have you caused a commotion?  Have you moved anyone to ask, “Who is this?”

Imagine living in Jerusalem at that time and hearing that Jesus, the savior of the world, the one who had healed the sick, raised the dead, taught circles around the Pharisees, and loved like no one had ever seen anyone love before was riding into town.  You would drop everything so you could be apart of that right?  I would have had my husband load the kids up in a wheelbarrow or whatever they used for strollers back then and when we got to our spot along the parade route,  I would have thrown my favorite sweater down, put my little girl on my shoulders, found palm branches for my son to wave and shouted “Hosanna” until I lost my voice.

Many of us have no problem whatsoever causing a commotion when Mickey & Minnie come parading down Main Street at Disney Land.  We start waving, shouting, taking pictures, and smiling ’til it hurts.  People do the same when Santa Claus closes out the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but when it comes to Jesus, we hold back, so much so that we go through life never causing anyone to ask,”Who is this?”

If you are waiting for Jesus to come parading through your town on a donkey before you stir some people up, it ain’t gonna happen.  He will return, but it will be on a white horse, and you don’t want to wait until then to throw your coats down and shout, Hosanna, because at that point, it will be too late.  You need to move the people in your life to ask, “who is this?” now!

Jesus is still the savior of the world, the one who had healed the sick, raised the dead, taught circles around the Pharisees, and loved like no one has ever loved before.  Celebrate Him today!  Throw a parade for Him today!  Stir some people up today!

  1. Jesus is the savior of the world!
  2. Jesus is healer.
  3. Jesus raised the dead.
  4. Jesus taught circles around the pharisees.
  5. Jesus loved like no one else has ever loved or will ever loved.
  6. Jesus is alive!!
  7. Jesus is coming back on a white horse.
  8. The challenge to live my life so people can’t help but ask, “Who is this?” about the one that I call Jesus.
  9. Got a few naps in this morning while the kids were watching Saturday morning cartoons.
  10. Gus’ game got rained out.  Beau’s not feeling well, so if they played I would have had to miss it!
  11. Rain!
  12. Biscuits & Gravy from Braums.
  13. Got to visit with my mom and dad for a little bit this morning before they headed back to Tulsa.
  14. Norah really brightened Beau’s day.
  15. Finally got my Easter table set.
  16. Fruit salads for lunch.
  17. Beau let me rock her in the nursery for a long time.  I don’t like that she’s not feeling good, but I did enjoy holding her sweet little body.
  18. Putting Gus to bed he asked for one more story and then said, “how can you say no to a face like this?”
  19. Game night with the Lewis’!
  20. Little Caesars.
  21. Chips and queso, chips and guacamole, chips and salsa!
  22. Twizzlers.
  23. Chocolate chip caramel cookies!
  24. Our kids can sleep through anything… even very loud laughter.
  25. Cranium.  That game never gets old to me.
  26. 230 days of thankfulness!
  27. 17,408 views in 230 days.  That’s pretty cool!

Day 229

On Monday morning I spent some time praying for my husband Josh and for the parents that he would get to minister to that night during a class at church.  As I was praying God begin to show me how generations would be effected from the training and equipping that took place over the next 4 weeks.  People would get revelation on how important their job is as a parent, and their kids, and their kid’s kids would benefit from it.  God also reminded me how much Satan hates when parents get serious about being the primary disciplers of their children.  The fact that Josh was teaching this class was making the devil cringe.  He hates us and he hates our kids.  He knows Psalm 127:4 by heart, Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth, and he prefers that our “arrows” miss their mark.

In the very first blog I ever wrote, the last thing I listed on my thank you list was this promise:

Jeremiah 50:9 Our arrows shall be like those of an expert warrior; none shall return in vain. 

That verse is talking about actual arrows and expert archers who never miss, but I love to speak it over my children.  I like to declare that Josh & I are expert warriors and our arrows will not return vain, they will hit their marks, they will accomplish the plans and purposes that God has for their lives.

Every child that is born on this earth has a purpose, they have a target, and if you are a parent it’s your job to make sure you aim them in the right direction.  I like to think of the time that we have with our kids before they leave the nest as one big draw on a bow, and when they head off to college or get married or start their career, we let go… our arrow’s start to fly through the air, and if we have been pointing them in the right direction all of this time they won’t return in vain.

In July at a routine 20 week ultrasound we found out that they baby we were expecting in November would have to be delivered still born.  I can still see his little face on the screen.  He didn’t have a heart beat anymore, but he had a face.  He was a little person, an arrow that God had a purpose for.  It was hard when that realization hit me, but God let us know that He would use our entire family to fulfill the things that our son was meant to do and we’ve already seen some of that come to pass.

Satan would love if he could keep every believer alive from having children, the less arrows flying toward him the better, but he can’t.  God is the giver of life!  So instead, he focuses on getting us to aim the children we do have in the wrong direction. He wants to get our eyes off of the true target and get us to start aiming our kids at sports, school, careers paths, or college, but none of that matters unless Jesus is the bullseye.  I am determined now more than ever to do whatever it takes to keep Jesus in the center of my children’s lives.

Treasure the arrows that you have already been given and pray for the ones yet to come, that they will go straight to the mark, that they will not miss.  Devote yourself to becoming an expert warrior.

  1. My children will not return in vain!
  2. My three arrows.
  3. My future arrows.
  4. God is the giver of life!
  5. The opportunity that Josh has to teach on such an important topic.
  6. Hot shower with clean water and good smelling soap.
  7. 13 years ago today my niece Ryan was born!
  8. I remember playing with Ryan when she was Gus’ age and now she plays with Gus!  She’s an awesome role model and my kids love her!
  9. My dad introduced Gus to Pac Man today… he loved it.  Had so much fun playing it.
  10. Rudy’s smoked turkey!
  11. Mom & dad treated us to lunch.
  12. Took a really good nap this afternoon.  I love Sabbath Friday.
  13. Got to play a little Monopoly Jr with Grammy, Grampy, and Gussy.  I came from behind and beat ’em all!
  14. My friend Shannon let me know I had something mixed up on yesterday’s blog.  Thankful to have such a great proofreader reading my blog and helping me out.
  15. Josh looks so handsome when he gets dressed up.  Loved seeing him in a tie today.
  16. Picked out some really cute outfits for Beau for her birthday presents from Grammy.
  17. My mom let me shop for my birthday… I’ll be getting an awesome wallet and some new sunglasses in a few weeks!
  18. Tangled PJs for Beau, Jake PJs for Gus to put in their Easter baskets from Grammy and Grampy.
  19. Fun night at Gatti Town.
  20. Cherry Coke.
  21. Beau laid so still on me for a little while after she finished her dinner.  She’s so sweet.
  22. I told Gus we could only read one book before bed since it was late and he picked his Bible.
  23. I had him laughing so good before bed.
  24. 170+ kids got saved tonight at the Mix56 fun night.  I’ll give up my Friday night with my husband for that any day.
  25. All of the pictures of the little girls at church all dressed up for the daddy daughter dance.  I’m so glad I have a daughter that will someday want to take her daddy to a dance.
  26. Movie night with my parents.
  27. Popcorn + M&M Minis + Apple Slices = Perfect movie snack.