Day 299

If you and Indiana Jones were to go on an archeological grave digging adventure in ancient Rome you would probably come across a lachrymatory.  A lachrymatory is a small vessel found in ancient tombs, it was used to catch the tears of bereaved family and friends while they mourned and then it was buried with the deceased’s ashes.

It’s hard enough to lose a family member or close friend, but can you imagine having to catch the tears shed over them into a bottle?  It seems like such an inconvenient ritual.  Last July when we delivered our precious son Felix still born there were a lot of tears shed and there’s been many tears shed since then, but I haven’t cried any of them into a bottle, they just fall to the ground or get wiped away by my hand or a kleenex… or so I thought.

Psalm 56:8 (NLT) You keep track of all my sorrows.  You have collected all my tears in your bottle.  You have recorded each one in your book.

Every tear I’ve cried over Felix God has seen, as if He were there, right in front of me, catching each one in a bottle.  He’s written them all down in his book.  He knows each thought that triggered them and He knows the exact number of tears that have fallen from my eyes.  Why would God bottle up our tears?  Why are they so important to Him?  I asked Him those questions this morning and He reminded me of Isaiah 61, the chapter that helped get us through Felix’s delivery, so much so that we chose Isaiah for his middle name.

Verse 7 says, Because you got a double dose of trouble and more than your share of contempt, Your inheritance in the land will be doubled and your joy go on forever.

God collects your tears because He wants to make sure you receive a double portion of joy for all of the contempt you went through, whatever it was that made you cry the tears in the first place.  He takes every tear that the devil meant for bad and uses it for good.  If I cry 10,000 tears of sadness over Felix, He will make sure I cry 20,000 tears of joy over the way He turned a tragedy around for my good.

We serve a God who cares.  He doesn’t keep track of the times that we have hurt Him, instead He keeps track of the times that we have been hurt.  He keeps track because He wants to make things right for us.  He wants to put an end to our tears of sadness.

Take heart knowing that someday Jesus will wipe away every tear from every eye.  Revelation 21:4 says a time is coming when there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain, but until then, the tears that we cry don’t go unnoticed.  God catches everyone and has promised to make all things work together for the good of those who love Him.

  1. Jesus has a lachrymatory with my name on it.
  2. He turns my tears of sadness into tears of gladness.
  3. A time is coming when Jesus will wipe away every tear.
  4. God makes all things work together for my good.
  5. My inheritance in the land will be doubled and my joy will go on forever!
  6. Indiana Jones ride at Disney Land.  One of my favorite rides of all time.
  7. 12 week check up went great this morning!  Got to see our little baby and his or her little heart beating away!
  8. My doctor does ultrasounds every visit.
  9. My doctor is not charging us any fees outside of what our insurance will cover.  Such a huge blessing!
  10. New cute picture of baby to keep in my notebook.
  11. My friend Sayra watched Gus & Beau this morning so they didn’t have to tag along to the doctor’s office.
  12. The kids had so much fun playing with Sayra and Alex.
  13. Josh let me sleep in this morning.
  14. Josh cut up all the strawberries and cantaloup for me.
  15. Fun lunch date with my sweet little family.
  16. Found some cute sandals at Old Navy.
  17. Relaxing afternoon napping, Ducky Dynasty, napping, and napping.
  18. Gus was so pumped about the Lego Batman movie Josh found for him to watch this afternoon.
  19. Josh got Gus’ bike all fixed up for him.   He’s been trying to ride with a flat tire that I didn’t know was flat.
  20. My Snoogle body pillow.
  21. Yummy brocoli and chicken for dinner… and egg rolls too!
  22. I was out of sweet and sour sauce so I had to use another kind of sauce I had handy and it we all liked the dish more than we usually do.
  23. Stayed at the table for along time after dinner playing name that song with the kids.  They are good at that game and had me smiling the whole time we were playing.
  24. I still can’t get over how great of buddies Gus & Beau have become over the last few months.  They played upstairs all evening just the two of them.
  25. Date night at home with my favorite.
  26. My cousin had a successful heart surgery today.
  27. Enjoyed my Sabbath Friday.  No e-mails, no work stuff, just having fun with my family.

Day 298

This morning my kids were sitting on the couch, watching their morning show, while I was picking up the toys that had been strung all over the living room.  I kneeled down in front of my two year old to pick up the steteschope that goes with her Doc McStuffins doctor kit and I heard her little sweet voice say, “Move, mom!”

Apparently, I was blocking her view of the T.V.  Don’t worry, I told her that “Excuse me, mom” would have been a politer way of letting me know I was disrupting “Team Umizoomi.”  As I finished picking up, I began to think about how even a toddler knows that if something is in her way she should say to it, MOVE.

In Matthew 17 a man brings his demon possessed son to Jesus and tells Him that the disciples tried to cure him, but it didn’t work.  I’m sure the disciples were embarrassed.  It’s never fun when a customer lets your boss know that you aren’t doing your job right, but Jesus didn’t replace the disciples, instead He used the opportunity to talk to them about what they were doing wrong.  When the disciples asked Him why they were unable to heal the man’s son, Jesus replied with this:

Verse  20, Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 

Jesus was letting them know that when they come up against mountains, like a demon possessed boy for instance, that if they have faith,  just the size of a mustard seed and they tell the mountain to move, it will.

I imagine the disciples attempting to cast out demons without Jesus around was pretty frightening for them.  Maybe they weren’t bold enough to say to it, “Hey demon, MOVE!”  Maybe instead they were saying, “Excuse me, demon.  You are kind of messing this kids life up could you please go somewhere else?”  Whatever the case was, they weren’t operating with mountain moving faith.

I was raised to be polite, I’m trying to raise my kids to be polite, as I’m sure all of you are, but when the enemy has placed a mountain in your way you don’t have to be polite.  You don’t have to say excuse me or please and thank you.  You don’t have to walk the long way around so you won’t disturb the mountain.  Jesus has given you permission to be bossy.  He has given you authority to say to the mountain, MOVE!

Don’t be politically correct when addressing that mountain of fear the enemy placed in your path this morning, just tell it to move.  Don’t step up to the mountain of stress that’s standing between you and a good day with your head down while you quietly ask it to go away, get authoritative and tell it to move.

Jesus made it easy enough for a two year old to understand so don’t over complicate it.  When something gets in your way tell it to move and believe that it has to and it will.  Learn how to say MOVE  and mean it and nothing will be impossible for you.

  1. Jesus was a great teacher.
  2. Jesus made faith easy enough for a toddler to grasp.
  3. We walk in the same authority Jesus walked in.
  4. Nothing is impossible when we have faith in God.
  5. “Team Umizoomi”  One of my kid’s favorites.
  6. F.A.I.T.H.  Love this song written by my father in law.  My kids love it too!
  7. Having fun teaching Beau about creation this week and she’s having fun too!  She loves Bible time.
  8. Playful Songs & Bible Stories Book.  Beau loves the new songs we are learning out of it.
  9. Gus was a bad sport when he lost the board game we were playing, but he came back and gave me a sincere apology and told me he asked God to help him change his attitude.
  10. 23 new library books!
  11. Josh got his video series for Mix56 wrapped up today.  Can’t wait to see it!
  12. Crossed a lot of things off of my to do list at work this afternoon.
  13. While I was in my office I could hear Gus in the play room making the best boy sound effects ever… made matching up credit card statements a little more entertaining.
  14. When I’m 64.  Cute little song in honor of my mom turning 64.
  15. My mom and dad got to see Paul McCartney in concert tonight.  Pretty cool he was in Tulsa on the night of my mom’s birthday.
  16. My Aunt Jean Anne is also celebrating her birthday!  She is one fun aunt… wish she didn’t live so far away.
  17. Mrs. Tripode left the sweetest comment about yesterday’s blog.
  18. My mom posted some awesome pictures of my handsome grandpas in their WW2 uniforms.  Got to brag about them to Gus.  He thought they looked cool too.
  19. Gus’ preschool teacher sent him pictures of all of the butterflies his class had been waiting to emerge from their cocoons.  He was excited to get to see what they looked like!
  20. 12 weeks pregnant with a sweet little baby the size of a plum.
  21. WebMD pregnancy app has the coolest pictures of what the baby looks like from week to week.  Really starting to get cute now!
  22. Pretty sure I’m feeling baby “flutters” every once in a while.
  23. Dinner with my 3 favorite people at Liberty Burger.
  24. Skinny fries.
  25. Crossed more stuff off of my work to do list this evening.
  26. New to me episodes of Duck Dynasty!
  27. Family and friends in Broken Arrow protected during the bad weather tonight, their homes too.

Day 297

My parents have lived in the same house since before I was born.  In their kitchen above the sink and to the right of the window sits a built in curio wall case.  A case that has been filled with salt and pepper shakers, a cute collection that my mom started, for as long as I can remember.  All 17 of her grandchildren have been introduced to the girl and boy penguin shakers and I’m sure someday, a long long time from now, when she’s gone home to be with the Lord each of us kids are going to want a set of her salt and pepper shakers to keep in our own kitchens, to remind us of her.

I can’t think of an object in that house that represents my mom better than a salt shaker.

Matthew 5:13 (MSG) “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

My mom hasn’t had a picture perfect life.  Her first husband turned to drugs, alcohol and affairs leaving her a single mother of 4.  She worked for the United States Postal Service and did whatever she had to, including working night shifts to make ends meet.  She met my dad a few years later and went from a party of 5 to a party of 9.  She continued to work for the postal service to help take care of our huge family.  There were lots of surprises for her along the way.  My dad lost his job.  She became a grandmother at 38, her daughter became a mother at only 17  She watched 4 her kids go through 6 divorces.  She almost lost my dad to a heart attack.  Her X-husband and father of four of her children was murdered.  She had to deal with mouthy teenagers (myself included!) and mouthy customers on a daily basis, but through it all she remained salty.

She never lost her purpose.  She never gave up.  She never quit loving people.  She never quit loving God.  She knew why she was put on the earth: to be the salt seasoning that brings out the God flavors in it- and she did and is still doing just that.

I remember walking around at the mall or the grocery store or being out to eat with my mom and almost always someone would stop her and say, “Hey, I know you.  You are the nice lady from the post office.”  People were so used to dealing with jerks who hated their jobs when they visited the post office that after they met her, a lady who smiled, was helpful, and was working like she was working unto the Lord, they couldn’t forget her.  She retired from the post office a few years ago and I would put good money on the fact that she was the nicest window clerk that has ever worked for the whole organization.  She let the love of Jesus shine through her and turned one of the most flavorless places of all times, into a wonderfully seasoned one.

Everything she puts her hand to she brings God flavor to.  She sees people how God sees them.  She treats people how Jesus would treat them.  She never gives up on people.  She’s the most giving person that I know.  She never needed a ministry position to be in ministry.  She just takes her salt shaker with her wherever she goes and seasons the people and places that need seasoning.

Whatever you’re going through, don’t lose your saltiness.  Salt that isn’t salty is worthless.  My mom taught me that no matter what happens in life, if you stay salty, God will use you wherever you are at to bring flavor to the very bland world that we are living in.

Thank you mom for being worth your salt and showing me that I’m worth mine.

  1. 64 years ago today my mom was born.
  2. A major part of who I am today is because of who she has always been.
  3. She is the salt of the earth.
  4. She sees people how God sees them.
  5. She treats people how Jesus would treat them.
  6. She has a never giving up love for her family and close friends.
  7. She is so generous.  She has the gift of giving.
  8. She never needed a full time ministry position to do ministry.
  9. She decided to have her tubes untied after she already had 4 kids and then she had me!
  10. I’ve always known God still speaks because she told me the story about how God spoke to her about me while I was still in her womb lots of times while I was growing up.
  11. She is the hardest working person I know.
  12. She is known all over Tulsa as the kind post office lady.
  13. She made sure we were in church come rain or shine.
  14. She has never been obsessed with her looks, but she is beautiful and she taught me not to be obsessed with my looks.
  15. She always supported me in whatever I was interested in- softball, cheerleading, writing, mission trips.
  16. She never missed one of my games and sat through hours and hours and hours of tumbling lessons.
  17. I always had the best projects in my classes at school because of her help.
  18. She is the one who told me that I should break up with my boyfriend because I obviously liked Josh… she was right.
  19. She was always so great about me dating Josh even though he was quite a few years older then me.  She knew he was the one.
  20. She’s always volunteered at church.  Teaching Sunday School or holding babies.
  21. She is a wonderful Grammy to my kiddos.
  22. She loved me through my bratty teenage years.
  23. She loves her parents very much and did a great job at making sure her kids had a special relationship with them.  Love my Grandma and Grandpa Wagner.
  24. She’s a great steward.  She has puzzles and toys 40 something years old that still have all the right pieces.
  25. Her candy dish is always stocked with good candy.
  26. She made dinner for us almost every night even after coming home from a full day of work.  She was wonder woman!
  27. She adopted my puppy Norah when we were looking for a new home for her.

Day 296

The first three verses of Psalm 60 are kind of depressing.  David recalls how he felt like God was angry with him and how He had left him and his people to suffer through hard times, but in verse four things start to look up.

Psalm 60:4 (AMP) [But now] You have set up a banner for those who fear and worshipfully revere You [to which they may flee from the bow], a standard displayed because of the truth. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

David, who felt abandoned by God now sees a banner.  A banner God set up for all of His children to see in the midst of chaos and confusion.  That banner let David know He was not alone.

I was a cheerleader from 6th grade until 10th grade.  In 7th grade I was on the silver squad and our silver football team was the best 7th grade football team in the state.  When we had a big game coming up the cheer squad would get together after school and create a big banner for the team to run through before the game.  We had a huge roll of paper, lots of poster paints and paint brushes and whoever had the best bubble writing would paint something encouraging like, “Silver Team Is #1, Beat The Trojans!” on the middle on the banner, and the rest of us would fill in the blank spots with “Go favorite player”, “I heart #13”, doodles of footballs, megaphones and other cute stuff.

What was the point of all of that?  Why stay after school and create a banner that the football team was going to destroy in a matter of seconds?  Wouldn’t our chants from the sidelines be encouraging enough?  Maybe so.  But I think there was something beneficial about the whole football team running out toward the same target and busting through it together.  It was a great way to rally all of the boys before they started the game and I’m sure it got their middle school egos revved up too.  They had to have felt pretty cool tearing through the banner, all the cheerleaders and fans cheering for them and that cool feeling had to have carried over into the way they played.

The banner that God set up for David and his men had the same kind of effect.  It gathered the troops together, it got them in the right frame of mind to battle, and it gave them the confidence boost they needed to win!

I love that David placed a “Selah” at the end of verse four.  He wanted all who would read that particular Psalm to stop and think calmly about the banner that God has placed in our lives.

Isaiah 11:10 says that Jesus would be a banner for all of the Gentiles who sought after Him.  Hebrews 4:16 tells us where we can go to gather around that banner.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

When we are going through trials and tribulations or times when we feel abandoned, we need to huddle around the throne of grace.  We need to run with confidence to the throne and fix our eyes on our banner.  We need to take time to stop and think calmly about what our banner says about us.  “Go Sarah!  I love #4485!  You win everyday!  I am on your side!  I am keeping score, refereeing, and playing for you!  You are my favorite!  Your opponent doesn’t stand a chance!”

Everyday, run to your banner and to stop and listen to what He says about you!  It will totally change the way you play the game!

  1. Jesus is my banner!
  2. He is for me!
  3. Because of Him I win everyday!
  4. We can go with confidence to the throne of grace and receive mercy and grace to help us when we need help.
  5. When we understand who we are in Christ it changes the way we play the game.
  6. 7th grade silver!  That was a fun year to be a cheerleader!
  7. Kids woke up with sweet, sun kissed faces this morning… even though the sun didn’t appear to be shining yesterday.
  8. Gus did great learning “UN” words today.  It was fUN.
  9. Gus is getting easier and easier to do school work with at home.
  10. Beau enjoyed finger painting while I worked with Gus.
  11. Round two of swim suits and the water slide.
  12. Bomb Popsicles!  Blue and sticky isn’t so bad when you can rinse it off in the water hose.
  13. It’s not too hot to be outside yet!
  14. My children were happy and well behaved at the grocery store this afternoon.
  15. Fridge and pantry are full!
  16. Target Red Check Card.  5% off every day!
  17. Gus spent some more of his birthday money to buy a new ninja turtle mask.  Now he and Beau both have their own.  Awesome watching them play together.
  18. Yummy taco mac n cheese for dinner.
  19. Sweet conversations at the dinner table.
  20. Beau says “I love you mamma” all the time now without me having to say it first every time.
  21. Beau’s hair is already getting pretty blonde highlights from the sun.
  22. My tummy has officially popped out.  The kids notice it all the time and are always talking to their new little sibling.
  23. I remembered to buy ink for my printer!
  24. David Moore is celebrating his birthday today.  One of my favorite worship leaders/songwriters at Gateway.
  25. Great, Great God by David Moore.  Great, great song!
  26. In bed by 9:50!
  27. Josh has been turning the thermostat down to 70 at bed time and I have been sleeping extra good.

Day 295

Today we celebrated Memorial Day.  We remembered the amazing men and women who selflessly gave their lives fighting for our country and since we had the day off we started our summer vacation.  Summer in Texas means popsicles, sunscreen, watermelon, grilling, water slides, splash pads, and swimming pools.

When I was a kid I couldn’t wait to jump in a cold pool, but once I started caring about my hair I had to stop jumping in and start walking into the pool instead.  Ankle deep, knee deep, waist deep, and finally shoulder deep… I can never do it fast, I always have to do it the brutal way- making each part of me experience the cold water at different times instead of dipping all the way in and just going for it.  It takes me about 2 hours to wash, dry, and straighten my hair and getting it wet just isn’t worth it most of the time, BUT every once in a while I’ll take the kids to the pool on a day when I have to wash my hair anyway, so I’ll actually go all the way under and it makes swimming so much more enjoyable.  It’s very freeing.  I feel like Ariel or Missy Franklin instead of the mom who doesn’t want anyone splashing around her.

In Ezekiel 47 Ezekiel shares a really interesting vision he had in which Jesus is walking him through water that is pouring from the temple.

Verses 3-5 (MSG) He walked to the east with a measuring tape and measured off fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water waist-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet. By now it was a river over my head, water to swim in, water no one could possibly walk through.

The water Ezekiel was walking through represents the gospel of Jesus, the good news of Jesus, and the way it spread from Jerusalem all over the world.  Then Ezekiel sees the kind of effects this water has on the trees that have roots that are being watered by it.

Verse 12 (NIV) Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.

The same water that Jesus led Ezekiel through is available for us to dive into every day. The gospel spread from Jerusalem to you.  It’s the easiest to get your hands on that it’s ever been.  The YouVersion Bible app has been installed on more than 69 million smart phones or tablets… for free!  The water of the gospel of Jesus is probably right there on your nightstand or on the phone on your nightstand.  But how deep in that water have you gone so far?  Are you just sitting on the side and getting your feet wet?  Are you ankle deep? Knee deep?  Waist deep?  Or are you totally immersed in it?

Maybe you’re not sure how to tell.  Ask yourself these questions:

Is my life producing perpetual fruit?  Do my leaves stay green no matter what season of life I am in?  Is the fruit I am producing being used to help nurish and heal others?

A person that can answer yes, yes, yes, and yes to those questions is a person who isn’t afraid to get their hair wet.  Don’t wade around in God’s word, jump in, get completely covered in it.  It’s the only book you’ll ever read that can transform you into a fruit bearing, always in season, life giving, tree of beauty.

  1. The same water Jesus led Ezekiel through is available for us to dive into every day.
  2. The gospel spread!
  3. YouVersion.
  4. With roots being watered by the word we can be those fruit bearing, always in season, life giving trees!
  5. Writing this blog has pushed me from being knee or waste dip to fully immersed in God’s word.
  6. All of the selfless men and women who gave their lives serving our country.  Amazing.
  7. Both of my grandpas fought in WW2 and returned home safely.
  8. Justin & Courtney.  My nephew and niece Navy veterans.
  9. Summer is here!
  10. Popsicles.
  11. Sunscreen.
  12. Watermelon.
  13. Charcoal grills.
  14. Water slides, splash pads, and swimming pools!
  15. Beau in her American flag swimming suit today.  So unbelievably cute.
  16. Gus looking sweet in his new sunglasses.
  17. Set up the water slide in the back yard today.
  18. The kids had so much fun sliding together even though it was cloudy and windy.  They were shivering and smiling all at the same time.
  19. Didn’t have to pick up any toys inside today because the kids played outside all day.
  20. Josh grilled chicken and corn for lunch.
  21. Made a very yummy, very healthy fruit salad.
  22. Josh grilled burgers and peppers for dinner.
  23. Got myself a new sun hat… can’t wait to wear it to the beach in just 34 days!
  24. Hot chocolate caramel brownies and ice cream for dessert.
  25. Toy Story 3 movie night.  That movie gets me every single time… and several times.  Well done Pixar, well done!
  26. I spent every moment of my day surrounded with my precious family.
  27. Nana said I was one of her favorite Bible teachers.  She’s so sweet!!

Day 294

My daughter Beau has the prettiest blue eyes I’ve ever seen, but don’t tell her that they are blue.  She wants them to be pink and she gets offended if you say anything about what color they really are.  I tried to tell her that pink eye is not a good thing, but she doesn’t get it.

My son Gus really did have pink eye a few years ago, right around Christmas time.  One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do as a parent is administer drops into the eye of a 3 year old!  We assured him a million times that the drops would not hurt a bit and that they would make his eye better, but every time we laid him back and he opened his eye to see a huge milky drop heading straight for his eyeball he would turn his head, close his eyes, or do whatever he thought necessary to protect his eye.  It took me holding his head and hands still and my husband holding his eye open to successfully get the drops in.

When I was in 4th or 5th grade I got my first pair of contact lenses.  I still remember being at Doctor Dubin’s office, in a blue wall papered room, trying so hard to not blink every time the lens got too close to my eye.  It took several tries, but I was determined not to have to wear glasses anymore and I finally mastered it.

God went to a lot of work to make sure our delicate eyes stay protected.  He gave us eyelashes, which help defend the eyes from foreign material.  He gave us a blink reflex, which signals the eyes to shut when something is getting to close to them.  He gave us tears to flush out dirt, dust and particles that don’t belong in our eyes.  He gave us eyebrows to keep sweat from dripping into the eyes and to reduce the amount of harmful light that enters them.   He gave us eyelids which close up to keep anything from disturbing our eyes while we sleep.  I’m no eye specialist but it’s no secret that God thought of everything when it came to keeping the inside of the eye as safe as possible.

Deuteronomy 32:10 In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye…

I’ve always heard that I was the apple of God’s eye, but never realized what that literally means until today.  I am the pupil of God’s eye or the inside of God’s eye.  It doesn’t sound as cute that way, but it makes more since.  Moses didn’t know just how amazing the human eye was but he did know it was a part of his body that always seemed to be safe.

Moses wrote those words when his journey with the Israelites to the promised land had ended.  He thought about how many times God had kept him safe and he realized that he was like the inside of God’s eye, super guarded.  When Moses was demanding Pharaoh let God’s people go, God batted his giant eyelashes to make sure he was protected.  When he was crossing the Red Sea, God closed his eyelids to keep the Egyptians from getting in.  Through wilderness, fiery serpents, scorpions, and all kinds of other dangers Moses was kept safe.

We are the apple of God’s eye.  We are a part of Him, a part of Him that is “near and dear to him; and about whom he sets guard upon guard, employs all his perfections to secure them, and constantly watches over them night and day, and keeps them from all evil and every enemy, and preserves them safe to his kingdom and glory.” (Gills)

He’s like a three year old that will do whatever it takes to keep anything from hurting his eye, only no one can hold His eye open.  If God can part waters with a blast of his nostrils, imagine how powerful a bat of his lashes is.

Psalm 17:8 (NLT) Guard me as you would guard your own eyes.  Hide me in the shadow of your wings. 

  1. I am the apple of God’s eye.
  2. I now know what that really means… not just a cute saying, but a powerful truth!
  3. God has set guard upon guard around me.
  4. The BIGness of my God!
  5. The detail God put into protecting our eyes.
  6. Beau’s pretty blue eyes.
  7. Beau prefers you to say her eyes are pink.  She’s one funny girl.
  8. My parents let me get contacts in elementary school.
  9. The invention of glasses and contacts.  I would be unable to do a lot of things without them!
  10. Orange juice.  I have to start everyday with a glass while pregnant.
  11. Listend to “I Believe In Jesus” this morning while we ate breakfast… couldn’t help but think about the little kids all across the country that would be singing the same songs in their classes at church.
  12. I have a new group of 4 year olds to get to know in my class at church.
  13. I can see Beau in her class from my new class.  I loved seeing the back of her little head sitting up in her chair and listening to her lesson.
  14. Beau singing “He’s Got The Hoe World In His Hands” on the way home.
  15. Powerful power nap this afternoon.
  16. Woke up from my nap to loud shouts of excitement coming from Gus.  He could not believe that a Donkey Kong game for Nintendo DS exists.
  17. Took a long walk with Josh and the kids.  Felt good to get a little exercise in.
  18. Josh & I always get a great chance to talk on walks.
  19. Gus & Beau swinging in a tire swing together.
  20. White fluffy clouds shaped like animals.
  21. Picking up the living room while Beau was watching a show when she said “come sit with me mamma”  I could not pass up that offer.
  22. My amazing friend J.J. is celebrating her birthday today!  I’m so glad she was born!
  23. Cheap and yummy dinner at Del Taco.
  24. Beau was just staring and smiling at the little baby at the table next to her.  I’m so excited about seeing her as a big sister!
  25. 200 days… give or take a few until I get to see Beau as a big sister!
  26. Beau prayed her own pray at bed time tonight.  I love that God can hear her soft little voice talking to him about the booboo on her finger.
  27. Josh has the day off tomorrow!  Looking forward to an extra family day.

Day 293

Habakkuk 3:17-19 (MSG) Though the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries don’t ripen, Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted, Though the sheep pens are sheepless and the cattle barns empty, I’m singing joyful praise to God.  I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God.  Counting on God’s Rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength.  I run like a deer.  I feel like I’m king of the mountain!

What an amazing perspective on life Mr. Habakkuk had!  He saw in his imagination the devastation that the Judean countryside, the land he loved, was going to go through.  He saw the total loss people would suffer.  He got a glimpse into a not so bright future, but he didn’t cry.  He didn’t question God.  He didn’t feel sorry for himself.  He didn’t give up.  He didn’t ignore it.  Instead, he sang his heart out in joyful praise unto God.

How could someone who had seen such terrible things turn cartwheels of joy?  Imagine a family from Moore Oklahoma seeing a news report a few weeks before the tornado hit that showed their home and family business completely leveled.  They would be happy that they were warned, but sad to know that everything they owned was going to be destroyed.  I’m sure not much jumping for joy or singing would take place after the broadcast ended.

What was Habakkuk’s secret?  How did he manufacture such intense joy in the middle of such a terrible time?  His strength was not in the cherry trees, the strawberries, the apples, the wheat fields, the sheep or the cattle.  His strength was found in God.

How do I know that?  Because whatever a person praises is their strength!

“If by his words, life, or heart a man lives to praise his own achievements and resources, then those are his strength. If by words, life, or heart one praises a person or an idea, then those are his strength. We demonstrate that the Lord God is our strength when we praise Him.” – Guzik

It truly didn’t matter to Habakkuk to see his world as he knew it destroyed, because he could at the same time see his strength in God carrying him through it.  He had such great faith in God he could say with total conviction that in the middle of tragedy, he felt like king of the mountain!

Money, education, possessions, talents, appearance, earthly relationships… all of that stuff will let us down, so why praise it?  Why put our strength in things that can’t pour strength back into us?  I look back at some of the major trials I’ve had in life and thank God that my parents and pastors taught me while I was growing up that God and God alone is where my strength comes from.  I knew to turn to Him before anything or anyone else.

If you want to figure out where your strength lies, pay attention to your praise.  Whatever your life praises is where you will turn for help in a crisis.  The only help that will never fail is help from God.

Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

  1. God is the strength of my heart!
  2. God never fails.
  3. We can rejoice even in tragedy because we serve a God who will carry us through.
  4. My parents and pastors taught me that my strength comes from God, so I always knew to turn to him first.
  5. Habakkuk’s beautiful perspective on life.
  6. Cloudy, sleepy morning watching cartoons with my kids.
  7. My sweet niece Emma organized a trip for her school choir up to Shawnee OK to help with the tornado clean up.  She has such a kind heart.
  8. Gus had a fun morning painting his huge Jake & The Neverland Pirates coloring pages he got from Tate for his birthday.
  9. Josh put away dishes and laundry while I took a nap!
  10. Josh got the lawn mowed so we can get out the water slide on Monday.
  11. Filled the house with Disney music this morning.  It just puts everyone in a great mood.
  12. Filled the house with good smells from the white chicken chili I prepared for dinner.
  13. Beau is always up for going to the store or running errands with me.  She’s my little buddy.
  14. I told her she was my buddy when I was strapping her in her car seat and she said, “I’m not buddy, I’m Beau!”
  15. New maternity shorts are super comfy!
  16. Sweet note from my mom on FB about the blog.
  17. Josh found a new park on his run this morning!
  18. Great praise & worship at church tonight.  So happy to have Pastor Ben & Elisa back.
  19. Pastor Jimmy Evan’s I Changed My Mind series has been awesome!
  20. As believers we never die, so we don’t have to fear death.
  21. Lindsay Cochran is so thoughtful and brought Gus an awesome Captain American shield for his birthday!
  22. Miss Lindsay also brought Beau a special pillow pet present that she fell in love with.
  23. I Can Hear Music.  My ringtone when Josh calls and one of the best songs ever.  Your welcome.
  24. Beau asked me what I learned at church.  I told her I learned that I didn’t have to afraid because Jesus is with me and she said, “That’s Right!”
  25. There was a scary spider in my car that got away the other day when I tried to kill it, it was back but this time it didn’t get away!  Can drive around in peace again.
  26. White Chicken Chili was awesome!  Josh was happy happy happy.
  27. The moving tribute and video they showed at church tonight to honor the men and women who have given their lives serving our country.

Day 292

Every morning I get up at 6 and head straight for the armchair in the living room.  I pray there, I read there, and once my son Gus wakes up I cuddle there.  He knows where to find me.  A few nights ago I was putting him to bed and he was so excited about going out to town the next day.  He wanted to make sure I packed his favorite shirt and he wanted to know what time we were leaving.  He asked, “mom, when you are done reading your Bible and you get out of your chair, then are we going to leave?”

It made me happy to know that he knows that I start everyday with God, in my chair, no matter what.

Matthew 6:6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

My chair is my secret place.  Although it’s not a secret to my family, and it’s not in a room that has a door I can shut, it is where I go to pray and be alone with God.  Everyone needs a secret place.  Pastor Jimmy Evans reminded me why in his message last week at church.

Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 91 is one of the most popular chapters in the Bible, because it is all about something that every human desires, protection.  My nephew was in the Navy and got deployed to Afghanistan in 2008.  My grandpa told him to read Psalm 91 everyday while he was there so he kept a small Bible in his back pocket so he would always have those powerful promises handy.  Promises like God is our refuge, our place of safety.  He rescues us from traps and diseases.  He gives us shelter under His wings.   10,000 fall at this side and 1,000 on the other side, but no evil can befall us or come near us.

God promises us the best security system in the universe, but to activate it we have to be secret place dwellers, not regular church attenders, not pastors, not rich, not poor, just secret place dwellers.

It makes me happy to know that Gus knows about my secret place, but it makes me even happier to know that God knows about my secret place.  Jesus Himself said that His father sees me in secret, and rewards me openly.

Protection is a promise and a reward for those who spend time with God daily, for those who tell God from their secret place that He is their refuge and their fortress.  For those who look to Him and Him alone for security.

Turn your car, your armchair, your closet, your bathroom, wherever into your secret place and be sure to visit it everyday.

  1. The Father sees us in our “secret place.”
  2. God rewards us openly.
  3. When we dwell in the secret place we are promised protection.
  4. My nephew was protected while in Afghanistan.
  5. Psalm 91.  So much goodness in such a short chapter!
  6. Gus know about my secret place.
  7. My armchair.
  8. Josh let me sleep in this morning.
  9. Woke up to Josh folding lots of laundry!
  10. Snuggling up with Beau and watching some “Backyardigans” this morning.
  11. Nice morning at the park with the kiddos.
  12. Totally relaxing afternoon watching Duck Dynasty, napping, and searching for baby’s middle name.
  13. Swim suit shopping for the kids.  Beau has the best bathing suit body ever!
  14. Found Gus $5 trunks at H&M.
  15. The maternity section at H&M Grapevine is BIG.
  16. Got to meet up with the whole Hall family for dinner tonight!
  17. Yummy taco’s at Fuzzy’s.
  18. Beau shared her strawberry ice cream with me for dessert.
  19. Beau in a tank top.
  20. We discovered Josh does a really, really good Stich from “Lilo & Stitch” voice.
  21. The kids were laughing so hard listening to “Stich” say whatever they told him to say.
  22. I was laughing so hard listening to the kids laugh so hard.
  23. Got ahold of the most ticklish little spot on Gus’ neck tonight before bed.  I love having a little buddy to tickle until he can’t stand it anymore.
  24. Started an old, new show with Josh tonight.  X-Files.  It was fun!
  25. Sharing with Gus about the veterans in our family.  Proud of my grandpas and niece and nephew!
  26. One of my FB friends went to help in Moore, OK today and posted this, “Encountered nothing but joy & love in Moore today. Amidst destruction, something beautiful is happening here.”  Love that!
  27. Seeing pictures of the men & women from Guts church in their servolution shirts serving in Moore.  Pastor Bill Sheer has such a huge heart for OK!  That church knows how to be Jesus to the community!

Day 291

In 1989 five boys ages 14-16 were arrested for causing trouble in New York’s Central Park.  While they were being held for questioning a 28 year old woman was found in the same park, critically beaten and sexually assaulted.  The detectives asked the young boys if they had anything to do with it, they all said no.  After hours of interrogation the boys were professionally coerced into admitting they were the ones responsible for the awful crime against the innocent jogger, even though they were not.  The detectives had them convinced that if they would just make up a statement they could go home… and they wanted to go home, so they confessed.

When the cases of the 5 boys went to trial there was no incriminating evidence against any of them.  In fact, all the evidence pointed to the fact they they did not do it.  No DNA from any of the boys was found on the victim and they were in another part of the park causing trouble with a bunch of other kids when the crime would have happened.  BUT a district attorney got their confessions on tape and because of those confessions (that did not agree with each other) they would each spend the next 7-10 years in prison!

I learned many things last night while watching “The Central Park Five” the most important being, do not confess to things that are not true!

We make confessions every day.  We confess we are tired.  We confess we are stressed.  We confess we don’t feel good.  We confess we are overweight.  We confess we don’t like our jobs.  We confess we aren’t good enough.  We confess the wrong kind of confessions all of the time, and mostly we do it without even realizing it.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

The word “confession” in Hebrews 10:23 is from the Greek word “homologia” and it’s not referring to someone who just reads confessions or makes mindless parrot like confessions, it’s referring to someone who has meditated on God’s word and has it so down in their heart that it fills them with hope and when they open their mouth they can’t help but to confess what God says about them.  They can’t help it, because they believe it.

When you hear people talk or see their Facebook posts about how they are dreading Monday or about how it’s going to be a realllly long week,  you can be sure that they haven’t taken the time to get in sync with God concerning those things, because I know He isn’t dreading Monday and I know He’s not complaining about the long week.  He says, this is the day I have made, rejoice and be glad in it.

We have to pay attention to our confessions, because they matter.  Life and death are in the power of the tongue.  When you say things about yourself, your husband, your children, your day, your week or your year that don’t agree with what God says about them you are confessing things that are not true!  When those boys opened their mouths and confessed to a crime they did not commit, they changed the path of their lives forever.

Don’t let your circumstances coerce you into confessing a lie!  Get in the word and let it sink down into your spirit, so when you open your mouth or update your status you confess truth, hope and faith in a faithful God!

  1. God’s word is truth and when we study it we confess truth.
  2. God’s word is always true, no matter what circumstances we are facing.
  3. He who has promised is faithful!
  4. God gave us such powerful tongues.
  5. Gus was watching The Gospel Bill Show the other day and learning the same thing.  He was so excited after it was over to tell me how his tongue is like a steering wheel on a ship.
  6. The Gospel Bill Show!  Those shows are so anointed and full of God’s word.
  7. Beau think it’s neat to see Papa playing Nicodemus on T.V.
  8. Beau thinks cantaloup is called “buffalo.”  I can’t tell her that’s wrong.  She’s too cute asking for more buffalo!
  9. Gus’ last day of school!  Here we come summer 2013!
  10. Gus grew up a lot this year.  He just keeps getting more handsome.
  11. New box of crayons, new markers, new paints, and a fresh stack of construction paper.  All stocked up for summer indoor activities.
  12. Beau spent all morning painting.  She’s very talented with her watercolors.
  13. I got all of our color books, work books, play doh, stickers, glue sticks, etc REorganized.
  14. My kitchen has a butler’s pantry.  Great space to store all of the kids “school supplies.”
  15. Leftover pizza for lunch.
  16. Gus had a great last day!  He was so excited on the way home telling me about all of the fun he had on their fun day.
  17. Got two blogs written today and got all caught up on my work e-mails.
  18. Beau running around in her Rapunzel dress and Captain America mask.  So awesome.
  19. Yummy guacamole chicken for dinner.
  20. Josh cooks chicken perfectly!
  21. Finding Nemo movie night for Josh and the kids.
  22. Washing hair and some alone time for me!
  23. Beau loved Nemo.  Josh said she just snuggled with him and sat still and watched the whole movie.
  24. The kids were extra sweet when I came to help them get ready for bed!  They must have missed me while I was doing my hair.  They really know how to make a mom feel loved.
  25. I think Beau is starting to figure out that there really is a baby in my tummy.  She patted it tonight and said, “I love you little baby.”
  26. Milk at Kroger was half price!  Usually 6 something for one gallon, only 3 something today.
  27. Tomorrow we sabbath!

Day 290

Acts 17:28 for in Him we live and move and have our being…

This morning I woke up with that verse in my head.  I chewed on it for a while and while I was chewing I couldn’t help but think about the little 11 week old baby that is growing in my womb.  He (or she) knows exactly what that verse means, because he or she is living, moving, and being in ME!

For approximately 40 weeks babies live, and move, and have their being in the confines of their mothers womb.  When a baby makes his entrance into the world, one of the first things to happen is the cutting of the umbilical cord.

The umbilical cord is what connects the baby to the placenta and it is how the baby receives respiratory gases and nutrients from the mother and it also gets rids of waste.  It’s vital to a fetus while he is in utero, but once he pops out he no longer needs the cord.  Thus the belly button!

Once the cord is cut the baby does not have to have his mother to survive.  He needs someone to take care of him and make sure he’s fed and changed and has a safe place to grow up, but he no longer lives, moves, and has his being in his mother.

Have you ever heard someone talking about a grown “mamma’s boy”?  The kind of guy that still goes to his mother for every little thing even after he’s married and has kids of his own.  “That dude needs to cut the cord” they might say sarcastically, meaning that guy needs to stop depending on his mom for everything!

I think sometimes we think we need to cut the cord between us and God.  We are adults now, we don’t have to depend on Him for everything.  We can figure some stuff out on our own. We don’t need to ask his opinion about this or that.  We can take care of our own family, etc. etc.  But Acts 17:28 says we are to always live, move and have our being in Him, because we are his offspring!

We are children of God and no matter how old we get, we need to stay His children.  We need to depend on Him for everything!  We need not ever sever the cord of faith that keeps us connected to our source.  That cord provides what we need to breath and what we need to grow.  That cord provides a way to eliminate harmful waste.  That cord is vital to our survival.

When we stay connected with God, when we purpose to live and move and have our being in Him, when we are dependent on Him in all areas of our life, He will sustain, renew and love you through that cord of faith.

Let me leave you with this thought today:  Your spiritual self should never have a belly button.

  1. In Him we live and move and have our being because we are HIS offspring!
  2. I never have to cut the cord and make myself dependent on anything other than God.
  3. When we stay connected with God He sustains us, renews us and loves us.
  4. I have a little baby living and moving and being in me!
  5. “I Need You” by Deluge.
  6. The way a baby grows in utero.  Astonishing.
  7. My kids have cute little belly buttons.
  8. Play date with our friends Alex & Sayra.
  9. The new Hope Park at the Frisco Commons.  SO neat!
  10. Gus got to do a see-saw!
  11. Beau totally enjoyed exploring the new park.  She loved how everything was just her size.  She’s so happy and bouncy.
  12. Alex gave Gus a new Darth Vader towel set for his birthday.
  13. Alex brought Beau some adorable animal ice cream spoons.
  14. Palio’s king pizza.  Yum!
  15. Gus had some Smarties in the car that saved me from getting sick on the way to get pizza.
  16. Started Gus’ his new Pigeon activity book today.  He didn’t want to stop!  He’s so cute humming while he colors.
  17. I started to get a bad headache, prayed and it immediately left!  Thank you Jesus!
  18. Josh made dinner again tonight!  He’s a great cook!
  19. French fries at home. Yum!
  20. Greek Yogurt Bars.
  21. Josh taught Gus how to throw a real punch tonight.  Love my boys!
  22. Signed Gus up for Wacky Week today!!  He’s so excited he’s old enough to go this year.
  23. Date night at home with Josh!  Great movie, great company.
  24. Chili’s chips & salsa to go.
  25. Josh got me laughing so hard at something so stupid that I couldn’t breath for a few seconds.
  26. Josh got to share a story with Gus about how God protected him when He was little.  It’s amazing what an impact real life stories have on your kids.
  27. My sister in law Brooke got a job at her kid’s school!