Day 319

A few weeks ago, my in-laws went to DisneyLand.  Being the good Nana and Papa that they are, they had to pick out some souveniers for their grandkids.  For my two year old Beau, they found a very sweet music box, with a twirling Cinderella inside.  Every time the box opens, Cinderella pops up and dances to an enchanting music box rendition of “So This Is Love.”  They got to give it to Beau yesterday and she was absolutely fascinated with it.  She sat it on the couch, kneeled down in front of it and watched her favorite princess dressed in blue spin until she stopped, and then we wound it up and she watched her spin some more.  We repeated the process for most of the evening.  When it was bedtime she had a hard time parting with her music box, but after I explained Cinderella needed to rest after all of that dancing and that she could see her as soon as she woke up she let me put her on her dresser and they both went to sleep.  This morning at 6:15, I hear through Beau’s baby monitor, the enchanting music box rendition of “So This Is Love.”  She got out of bed and went straight to the music box.  I think it’s safe to say Nana and Papa picked a winner.

This morning I had my quiet time with “So This Is Love” playing in the back ground and I got interrupted a few times whenever the box needed to be wound.  As I was winding it for the 4th or 5th time I happened to be praying this scripture over our family,

Romans 8:28 We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.

I couldn’t help but think about all of the things inside of the music box that were working together for good.  The tiny motor, the rotating cylinder, the perfectly placed pins on the cylinder, the comb that the pins brush against to create music notes, the springs, the speed governor…  all hidden away inside the box, working together to create a sweet sounding song and a twirling princess.  Fascinating, but to hear the song and see the princess dance someone has to wind the box.  The hidden parts can’t work together for good without me doing my part.  It’s a partnership.  I wind the winder and open the box and then the motor, the cylinder, the pins and all of the other little parts do what they are supposed to do.

God has many moving parts that He makes work together for our good, but if we don’t do our part, He can’t do His part.   We have to do the winding if we want to hear the music.  God makes all things (good and bad) work together for the good of those who… love Him!

We get the easy part in this partnership.  If we want all of God’s moving parts to come together in an awesome way for us, all we are required to do is love Him… but not with the same kind of love that you “love” sushi with or that you “love” DisneyLand with, but with a love that radiates from your heart, your soul, your strength and your mind.

The more you get to know God, the more you understand God.  The more you understand God, the more you understand His love for you.  The more you understand His love for you, the more YOU will love HIM, and that is what causes all things to work together for your good.

The winding isn’t a one time thing.  It’s more than praying one prayer where you ask Him into your heart.  It’s more than going to church once a week.  You’ve got to wind things up every day by reminding yourself of God’s goodness, praising Him, and investing time into your relationship with Him.  It will keep your love fresh, He will keep all of the moving parts moving… moving in a way that no matter what happens, it ends up as a good thing for you!

  1. God is always behind the scenes working things out for our good.
  2. God is easy to love!
  3. He loves me!
  4. Beau’s sweet little music box from Nana & Papa.
  5. Nana & Papa got Gus a little Mickey Mouse shirt for his souvenir.  He’s planning on wearing it when we go sometime next year.
  6. Nana & Papa got Blount Baby #4 a Baby’s First Mickey shirt that he or she can wear next year.
  7. Started my 15th week of pregnancy!
  8. Nana & Papa came to visit us and see the kids last night.
  9. Papa treated us to In N Out Burger.
  10. Gus & Papa got to go out for Starbucks and donuts together.
  11. All of the sweet words from family and friends congratulating Josh & I on our 10 year anniversary.
  12. Tried a new restaurant for lunch today… Whiskey Cake.  It was wonderful!  Everyone enjoyed the food, the atmosphere, the decor, the service.
  13. My friend Briana suggested Whiskey Cake to us… I’m so glad she did!  We can get stuck in restaurant ruts sometimes.
  14. Had my first fried green tomatoes.  Unbelievably tasty!
  15. Yummy Bahn Mi and Tomatillo Soup!
  16. Whiskey Cake was Papa’s treat.
  17. Afternoon nap.
  18. Gus got a nice little hair trim this afternoon.  Lookin good!
  19. Great night for Gus’ first baseball game!
  20. He had so much fun at the ballpark… just him and Josh.
  21. Ice cream in the plastic mini baseball helmet.
  22. Gus wanted a foul ball so bad and was determined to get one… Josh caught one for him with his bare hands, everyone cheered and it made Gus a baseball fan forever.
  23. Josh got to talk to Gus about the favor of God and about how God knew he wanted a ball and He made sure he got it!
  24. One of the Rough Riders hit a home run so they got to see some fireworks!  Gus loved that!
  25. Me and Beau had a fun night at the mall!
  26. I forgot the stroller, but Beau had a great time prancing through the mall in her little jean skirt and tank top.  She had to stop and look in all of the windows and loved carrying a little Sephora bag around.
  27. Got a great deal on some PJs for the kiddos.

Day 318

The year was 1999.  Most of America was worried about Y2K while the rest of America was downloading as much free music from Napster as possible.  I was 14, so I wasn’t doing either.  I was worried more about who was going to have the number one video on TRL than I was about whatever might happen when the clock struck midnight and we entered into a new millennium.

I was pretty care free in 8th grade.  I loved Jesus and I loved boys… celebrities like Justin Timberlake and Leonard DiCaprio mostly, but there were a few guys that went to my church that I thought were cute too;  all of them older than me and all of them had no idea I existed, but it was still fun for me and my friends to run around after youth group trying to find them… so we could not talk to them of course.  I was happy with the way things were, but one night God gave me a dream about one of those cute boys from church.  I had never had a spiritual dream before and I don’t think I even realized it was a spiritual dream at the time, all I know is when I woke up from the dream I knew that it would someday be a reality… someday I really would become Mrs. Joshua Blount.

I probably should have just held on to the dream, prayed about it and watched it all unfold, BUT I was fourteen and super mature, so instead, I decided to tell all of my friends that I was going to marry Josh Blount someday… and they reminded me that he was way too old for me AND that we had never talked to each other before.  True and true, but not enough to keep me from “pursuing my dream.”

The word finally got around to Josh that some girl had a dream she was going to marry him and of course he wanted to see who this girl was.  A mutual friend of ours introduced us and the first time we met, Josh asked me if I was the girl that was going to marry him, and I, without any hesitation, said, “yes!” and four years later I said “I do.”

Today I am celebrating being Mrs. Joshua Blount for TEN years!  Every year when our anniversary rolls around I can’t help but think of that dream and the desire that God put in my heart to marry Josh through it.

Psalm 37:4 (NLT) Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires. 

God knew that Josh was the one for me so He put a desire in my heart and then he gave me that desire!  I think sometimes we read that verse and think that it means God will give us whatever we desire… a new house, a nicer car, a better job, etc., etc., but I think what he really wants to give us is a desire to want what He wants for us, so then he can give us what He wants to give us and we’ll know that it came from Him.

Every year a few weeks before our son’s birthday rolls around we place a little desire in his heart.  We figure out what we are going to get him and then we’ll “happen” to pass by it at the store or see a commercial for it on T.V. and we’ll draw his attention to it.  “Oh man, Gus!  Look at that.  That looks so awesome.  I bet you would love that!”  He always takes the bait and then on May 20th, we get to give him the desire of his heart… the desire that we put there.

Fourteen.  God threw the bait out for me when I was fourteen.  I’m thankful every single day of my life that I took it and that He gave me the desire of my heart, Joshua Blount.

Instead of asking God to give you what YOU want for you, ask Him to give you what HE wants for you.

  1. God gives us the desires of our hearts and then He gives us the desire of our hearts!
  2. God gave me the desire to marry Josh and then he gave me Josh!
  3. 10 years ago today I became Mrs. Joshua Blount.  My dream came true and then some.
  4. Church On The Move.  We met there, we married there, and we learned a lot there.
  5. Josh and I have always been friends.  We were friends first and we have stayed friends, the very best of friends.
  6. AOL instant messenger.  blnt1179j got to know ToOoCute33 through it.
  7. 11 more sleeps until we are Santa Barbara bound to celebrate!
  8. Our marriage has not been perfect, but God used the tough years to bring us closer together and strengthen our marriage with an unbreakable bond.
  9. We are one!
  10. Our marriage just keeps getting better with each passing year.
  11. I married into an amazing family.  I’m proud to be a Blount and have little Blount children.
  12. Josh saved himself for me.  I saved myself for him.
  13. Josh is even better looking now then when we got married.
  14. We said “I do” in front of hundreds of our family members and friends.  I felt so loved that day.
  15. My sister in law did my makeup for my wedding day and made me feel absolutely beautiful.
  16. I had the cutest flower girls ever.  Gentry & Ryan.  I can’t believe how big they are now!
  17. My mom made all of my bridesmaids dresses and flower girl dresses and did an awesome job.
  18. Josh knew I wouldn’t have time to eat at the reception so he had sushi waiting for me when we got home to spend our first night together in our new, tiny house.
  19. Olsen Olsen” by Sigur Ros.  The whole wedding party walked in to this song… me right at 4:35.  It was as the teens say, epic.
  20. Wouldn’t It Be Nice”  We took our first steps as a married couple to this song.  It has been nice!
  21. My beautiful ring.
  22. On our five year anniversary I got Josh a real ring and he’s kept up with it the past 5 years!
  23. The olive plants God has placed around our table.  I love raising a family with Josh.
  24. I was just 18 when I married Josh.  I got to grow up with him and he got to grow up with me.
  25. Josh always tells me I’m his prize and he treats me that way.
  26. It was 10 years ago in San Fransisco, our 2nd night as a married couple, when Josh told me he felt God calling him to pastor.  I’ll never forget that night at Kincades eating huge shrimp and overlooking the bay.
  27. Josh Frillman caught my garter.  More epicness.

Day 317

If you weren’t awake by six this morning, here in Texas, you would think that this morning was 100 percent gray and cloudy. But I was up that early and I enjoyed a beautiful sunrise with the most vibrant colors.

I was walking, half asleep, to the kitchen to pour myself a glass of orange juice when I noticed a pink glow coming from my backdoor window.  I went over and opened all the kitchen windows and admired God’s handiwork while I started my quiet time.  I couldn’t believe how amazing the sky looked on such a rainy and cloudy morning. It was so stunning I wanted to wake everyone else up so they could see it, too.  It only lasted a few minutes, and then the sky turned gray and stayed gray for the rest of the morning.  I felt like I had been given a gift.  The heavens really do declare God’s glory!

Psalm 19:5 (MSG) God makes a huge dome for the sun—a superdome! The morning sun’s a new husband leaping from his honeymoon bed, the daybreaking sun an athlete racing to the tape.

The sun is amazing.  Every day, without fail, it rises.  It never calls in sick.  It never goes on vacation.  It never sleeps in.  It is so very faithful.  Even on a cloudy, rainy day it comes up and puts on a show.  Few people are up to see it.  Few people appreciate it when they do see it, but that doesn’t matter to the sun.  God tells it to rise and it rises, and it does it with a great attitude.  The sun rises with excitement like a man on his honeymoon gets out of bed in the morning!

A man on his honeymoon is one happy man!  Josh and I honeymooned in Hawaii almost 10 years ago and there wasn’t much you could do to rain on his parade.  He was totally enjoying life as a married man and was excited about the start of each new day.  He had a sparkle in his eye and a bounce in his step!  The sun rises every day with that kind of enthusiasm.

It’s easy to rise with enthusiasm when you have something special going on—like leaving for vacation or heading to the hospital to deliver a baby, BUT sometimes it’s hard to roll out of bed when you’ve just got another regular day ahead of you and even harder when you have what you think will be a long day ahead of you.  But if the sun, which has been having the same day, every day as long as it’s existed, can still wake up and put on a show like it did today, that tells me that we can wake up every day with the same kind of enthusiasm.

The sun has a purpose and is called by God, and that’s all it needs to act like a man on his honeymoon.  We all have a purpose and we’ve all been called by God and because of that we should wake up every morning acting the same way—letting nothing rain on our parade and wearing a smile on our face that can’t be wiped off.

We, like the sun, are called to bring God glory, but if we don’t rise and shine, it’s going to be hard to do so.

I’m thankful not only for the beautiful sunrise I got to witness this morning, but for the inspirational sunrise I got to witness this morning.

  1. I was up early enough to see the beautiful sunrise.  It looked like I had a mountain range in my backyard!
  2. The sun inspired to me rise with enthusiasm… even on regular days.
  3. The heavens declare God’s greatness without ever having to say a word.
  4. Psalm 19 in The Message translation.  Good stuff!
  5. We have been called by God and we have a purpose.
  6. Our honeymoon!  It was perfect.
  7. Hawaii.  I must go back someday!
  8. Asked Gus, who really wants a little brother, what he’d do if he found out we were having a girl and he said “I’d thank God.”  I love that kid!
  9. Got a sweet voicemail from a sweet lady letting me know she was praying for me this morning.
  10. Had a very regular, but very great morning at home with my kids.
  11. I get to stay home with them everyday!
  12. Got a good cantaloupe!  Tastes more like candy than fruit.
  13. Gus had so much fun setting up a pretend pet store for his afternoon play date with the Collin’s girls.
  14. Gus had even more fun playing pet store with the Collin’s girls.  They all played so nicely together.
  15. I love that Gus had Ava to play with and Beau had Olivia to play with.  A little friend for each of them.
  16. I really enjoyed hanging out and chatting with my friend Briana while the kids played.
  17. Briana confirmed something I had just been praying about earlier that morning.
  18. The pile on my desk at work shrunk significantly this afternoon!
  19. Monkey Bars granola bars.  Bought them for the kids, but I’m hooked.
  20. Great night with the Gateway Frisco pastoral staff!
  21. Lots and lots of laughing.
  22. Pastor Randy & Cheri had a really great spread of food prepared for us.
  23. The kids had a great night hanging out with Miss Kristine!
  24. Came home to a clean house and two sleeping beauties.
  25. Maxi dresses and skirts.  They feel pretty much like pajamas.
  26. Monster’s University tickets have been purchased!
  27. Trashcan Sinatras.

Day 316

My five year old asks me a lot of questions every day.  His favorite question lately is, “Mom, have you seen my Lego Batman?”  Sometimes, I have seen the tiny little action figure lying around somewhere and can tell him exactly where to go to find it, but most of the time I have no idea where The Dark Knight is hiding and that drives him crazy.  I’ll tell him to go look around some more and if he’s searched high and low and still can’t find it he will come to me and firmly request my assistance in helping him locate it.  So I’ll help and because I’m a better seeker than he is I always find the Bat Man within a few minutes of looking.

Have you ever needed someone to help you find something?  Your purpose, the perfect house, the right job, a spouse, a church home, the answer to the conflict you are having with your teenagers, your confidence?  We all have things going on in our lives that we need wisdom on.  We need someone older, wiser, and more experienced to help us find the answers to our questions.  There’s none older, wiser or more experienced than God the father and He loves to give out wisdom.  So what do we gotta do to get Him to give it to us?

James 1:5 (AMP) If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.

If you are deficient in wisdom, ask God.  He promises to give it to you liberally!

The Greek word for “ask” is aiteo and it means, to be adamant in requesting and demanding assistance to meet tangible needs.

When Gus can’t find his Lego Batman it’s a big deal to him, because he needs that Lego Batman to pretend whatever thing he is going to pretend and He knows that without Lego Batman his plans are going to be ruined.  So he’s adament about requesting my assistance!  He is respectful, because he knows if he’s not he’ll get a spanking, but he is persistent and demanding because he knows I can help him him find it.  I’ve proved that to him many times, so he is not shy about asking me to do it again!

Has your God not proved that He can help you with whatever you need help with?  He’s got a pretty impressive track record at our house, so when we need wisdom we should have no qualms about ASKing Him for it!  Respectfully of course, but we have permission to be adamant about it and we have permission to demand it, because we need it!

Colossians 2:3 In Him all the treasures of [divine] wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God) and [all the riches of spiritual] knowledgeand enlightenment are stored up and lie hidden.

The wisdom you have been looking for is stuck in the crack of the couch or underneath the armoire and if you’ll only go to God and ask Him for it, He’ll help you find it.  Don’t waste time trying to find it on your own, go to Him first and keep going to Him until your request for wisdom has been met!

  1. A few hours after I wrote this post Gus asked me to help him find Batman.  I did and he said, “I can always count on you!”  It was like God was reminding me that I can always count on Him.
  2. God gives us permission to be adamant when we need wisdom.
  3. God is liberal with wisdom.
  4. God is never deficient in wisdom.
  5. God’s perfect track record.  He’s so awesome.
  6. The wisdom we need is hidden in HIM!
  7. That little Lego Batman.  Gus got him free with his Lego Batman Encyclopedia and he has spent countless hours playing with him.
  8. Got three extra hours of sleep this morning!  I can’t remember that last time I slept til 9.
  9. The thunderstorms and cloudy morning made sleeping in even better.
  10. Josh put a new room darkening shade in for me in Beau’s room.  Now she won’t know when the sun comes up at 6:00 a.m.!
  11. This happy song from Lilo & Stitch.
  12. Life Cereal.
  13. Very productive working hours this afternoon.  Got a lot accomplished.
  14. The Blount family got teamed up with my little brother’s family for our family reunion games at the end of the month.  It’s going to be so fun!
  15. Josh went grocery shopping with us today.  I love having him around!
  16. Fridge is super full and pantry is all stocked up for the week.
  17. Josh cut up and washed all of our fruit.
  18. Josh vacuumed for me.
  19. Finally got our car inspection done and avoided getting a ticket even though we were two months late doing it.
  20. We got so much rain today!
  21. Pepperoni pizza and salads for dinner.  Easy & tasty!
  22. Found some great little Monster’s University cups and sandwich holders that will be perfect for bringing the kid’s snacks to the movie on Friday.
  23. We remembered today that we had money in our PayPayl account.  It’s always a great thing when you find an extra $500!
  24. Green apples with a dash of salt.  Good snack!
  25. Josh cut my apple snack up for me.
  26. Every episode of “24” has a “previously on 24…”  I always fall asleep during the last 10 minutes, and those recaps always fill me in on what I missed.
  27. Less than two weeks away from our trip to Santa Barbara!!  Time is flying.

Day 315

This morning at church I got to teach the four year olds about Zacchaeus.  You know, the wee little man who climbed the sycamore tree so he could see Jesus?  I had a first time visitor in my class, but it was obviously not her first time in church.  She knew every answer to every question I asked and she even corrected me on my pronunciation of Zacchaeus’ name.  I wasn’t annunciating it enough for her.  She was awesome.

The name Zacchaeus is not a very a common name these days, but it has a great Biblical meaning.  It means pure, clean, and just.  Before Jesus met Zacchaeus he was certainly not pure, clean and just.  He was a lying, cheating, thieving tax collector that everyone disliked.  People were appalled when Jesus showed kindness to Zacchaeus and even more appalled when Jesus invited Himself over to the corrupt man’s home.

But Jesus could see something all of the appalled people could not see.  He could see that Zacchaeus, if given a chance, could live up to his name.  He could change from a little dirt bag into man with a big, pure heart.

All it took was a few moments in the presence of Jesus and Zacchaeus repented and made a decision to pay back everyone he’d ever stolen from, four fold!

When Jesus said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down from the tree” He said, “Pure, clean and just man, hurry down from that tree” and because the word of the Lord is powerful, I imagine when those words left Jesus’ mouth and entered into Zacchaeus’ ears something happened in His spirit that would mark him for the rest of his life.

It must have been wild for Zacchaeus to realize that the man everyone was crowding the streets to get a glimpse of knew HIS name.  I’m sure he felt like a junior high girl that just passed by the most popular guy at school who not only said hi to her, but said “Hi, Sarah.”  Zacchaeus was trying to stay calm on the outside, after all he was already up in a tree, which had to look pretty silly, but on the inside he was probably thinking, “He knows my name!  He knows my name! Jesus knows my name!”

John 10:3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

Jesus knows your name too and not just the name your parents gave you, but the name HE gave you.  The name you will go by in heaven.  The name that He knows you can live up to if you’ll spend time in His presence.  When He sees you He doesn’t see what everyone else sees, He sees the person He created you to be long before you even existed.  God saw pureness is Zacchaeus and helped Zacchaeus see pureness in Himself.

Come down from your tree today into the presence of Jesus, invite Him to spend the day with you and listen as He calls your name.  He sees somethings in you that you have yet to see in yourself.  Remember, He knows you better than anyone else.

  1. When we are in the presence of Jesus He will reveal to us who we are in Him.
  2. He knows my name!  Jesus knows my name!
  3. Enjoyed teaching the story of Zacchaeus to the 4  year olds and studying it for myself.
  4. Miss Saylor.  She was fun to have in class today.
  5. Slept so great.  Slept good while Josh was at camp, but slept great with him sleeping next to me!
  6. Gus was so excited about Father’s Day he came downstairs in his PJs and Rangers hat ready to go to a baseball game with dad… even though the baseball game is not until Thursday.
  7. Josh was happy with his Father’s Day gifts!
  8. The whole family cuddled up in bed with with Josh this morning before church.
  9. Beau told me that she loves her class at church.
  10. Gus sang every word to every song they sang in his class for me and Beau on the way home.
  11. We got to skype with my dad and mom… Norah and Colton too!
  12. The kid’s got to face time with Nana & Papa for a little bit.
  13. Sunday afternoon nap.
  14. Tasty leftovers for lunch.
  15. Josh got to take a nap this afternoon too!
  16. Pappadeaux for dinner to celebrate Josh, the best dida around.
  17. Split a big plate of fried fish goodness with Josh.
  18. Banana Pudding for dessert.
  19. So nice to live near Dallas and have lots of great restaurants to choose from for special occasions.
  20. Tic tac toe, paper rock scissors, and talking with Gus about what he thinks his family will be like when he’s a dad.
  21. Kids were very well behaved even though dinner seemed to take forever… and that’s with no iPhones to pacify them!
  22. Pappadeaux has so many great places to take pictures.  Got a cute one of Josh and the kids!
  23. Next year we’ll have another little Blount celebrating Father’s Day with us.
  24. Relaxing night hanging out with Josh and watching TV together.
  25. I get to sleep in tomorrow!
  26. Josh is back on bath duty.
  27. Our calendar for this week is full of fun things.

Day 314

On May 20, 2008 we welcomed our first born, Joseph Augustus, into the world and I got to watch my husband become a father.  I felt like I became a mother the moment I saw the two pink lines on the pregnancy test I took 8 months earlier, but it’s different for the dad.  It usually doesn’t become “real” to them until they are holding their new little baby in their arms.

It was so amazing meeting my little Gus that day, but it was also amazing to see Josh leap into fatherhood.

He instantly fell in love with his son and was so proud of him.  I can still see him looking very sleepy but very fulfilled walking around the hospital room and holding Gus in the crook of his arm.  He changed most if not all of his diapers at the hospital and became a master swaddler.  It made him visibly upset when the nurses came in to prick his little boys heel to draw blood.  He wanted the plastic baby bed on his side of the room, because he is a lighter sleeper and wasn’t sure if I would wake up if Gus needed something.  He took hundreds of pictures of Gus’ first week of life.  He got up in the night to help me with feedings.  He was in heaven when we got home from the hospital and he got to take naps holding his little guy.  He was completely head over heels in love and the feeling hasn’t worn off.  A lady at church just a few weeks ago told me she loved watching Josh interact with our kids.  She loved that he is affectionate with them.  He hugs them, he kisses them, he holds their hands as he walks them to class, he helps me load them into the car each week, and he tells them that he loves them.  I love watching him too!  He is an awesome dad and my children are so blessed to have a father that realizes that how they see him is how they will see God.

Psalm 103:13 (NLT) The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.

I know not everyone was raised with a father that was tender and compassionate toward them.  Some people have never even talked with their real father or heard him say I love you to them.  34% of children today live in homes where their biological dad is not present, but I wonder out of the 66% percent of children who do have their father at home, how many of them have fathers that are tender and compassionate toward them and are giving them a positive picture of what God the father is like.

Many people struggle with relating to God as their father because of the relationship or lack their of that they had with their earthly fathers.  Their dad worked all of the time, so they see God as busy… too busy to care about what’s going on in their life.  Their dad was always stern and never loving, so they see God as a cold hearted disciplinarian.  Their dad was hard to please, abusive, disinterested, disconnected, or completely absent and so their idea of God as father has been warped.  But make no mistake about it God has never been or never will be a dead beat dad.

He is like a father that is tender and compassionate to His children, not like the father most father’s day card’s portray- a lazy, football watching, beer drinking joke.  We are God’s children and He loves us even more than my husband loves my children.  He’s the dad that watches us while we sleep.  That cries when we cry.  That can not wait to spend time with us.  That is never to busy for us.  That never forgets us.  That never gives up on us.  That desires nothing but the best for us.  That is pleased with us.  That never leaves us and never forsakes us.  That gave His own son up for us.

You may not be celebrating your biological father today, but I encourage you to celebrate your Heavenly Father.  Give Him a special gift of praise today.  Let Him know how thankful you are that you were born into a family with the greatest dad of all time.

  1. We have a tender and compassionate heavenly father.
  2. He never leaves us or forsakes us.
  3. He gave His only son so that we could be His children.
  4. How Deep The Father’s Love For Us.
  5. My dad.  Steve Newsom.
  6. My father in law.  Ken Blount.
  7. The father of my children.  Josh Blount.
  8. My kids love their dad, their grampy, and their papa.
  9. Kids slept late thanks to the overcast sky.
  10. Kids slept through the thunder that woke me up.
  11. Bills are paid.
  12. Cancelled Direct TV and switched to Grande.  Going to save $400 a year.
  13. Made some yummy cupcakes with the kids to celebrate Josh’s homecoming.
  14. Got to use the Snow White & Star Wars cupcakes sets the kids got in their stockings… so cute!
  15. Josh and all of the campers made it home safely this evening.
  16. Josh go to ride the van home instead of the bus!
  17. Josh Hall took good care of my Josh last night and this morning.
  18. Felt so good to give Josh a big hug when I saw him tonight.
  19. He came back tanner and in super shape!
  20. The kids were so excited to see Josh.  Beau kept hugging and loving on her daddy.  It was the sweetest sight.
  21. We had a very loud family dinner.  The kids could not stop talking!  They had to fill Josh in on everything.
  22. Yummy italian beef sandwiches for dinner!
  23. Root beer flavored dumdums.
  24. Awesome worship at Gateway Frisco.  Always great to have Pastor Ben home.
  25. Josh let me talk his ear off tonight.  So nice having a big person to talk to!
  26.  I get to sleep by Josh tonight!
  27. My proofreader and encourager is back to being the first one to get to read my blogs before published.

Day 313

A few days before summer break started I decided I wanted to dedicate some time every day to work with my 5 year old on school stuff.  I purchased some workbooks, stocked our school supplies cabinet with new crayons, makers, glue sticks, and construction paper, dusted off the sight word flash cards, checked out early reader books from the library and researched craft and lesson ideas on the web… so far so good.  He looks forward to our “activity” time everyday.

Today, I realized that the most important thing we purchased for summer school were pencils.

I have never had Gus use pencils to write with in the past, just crayons or makers since that is what he used at preschool, but we were at Mardel one day and I told him he could pick out a few things in the party favor section and he picked pencils.  Not because he likes pencils, but because he thought the big erasers on the end shaped like sports balls were cool.  They were only a quarter so I got them for him.

The next day he picked his green pencil with the football eraser to use for his work pages and what a difference having an eraser made for him!  Before, if he messed up on a work page and he was using a crayon he would try to scribble it out, but of course a big scribble over it just made it look worse, which bothered him.  I don’t think he liked seeing all the places where he had “messed up.”  His whole demeanor has changed since discovering erasers.  If he writes his “S” backward instead of getting mad at the “S” and scribbling all over it he just says, “oops, better erase that and try again.”

Who knew those twenty five cent pencils would make doing school work with Gus so much more pleasant?

Today, as I watched him work so calmly with his little pencil in hand I was reminded of this scripture,

Isaiah 43:25 I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.

God has got Himself a pencil with a big eraser on the end of it that He uses to completely blot out our sins.  He doesn’t just scribble them out of His book, He leaves no trace of them.  He chooses to forget when we mess up.  God sees no point in remembering our mistakes, so why do we have such a hard time forgetting about them?  Why do we prefer to see them as just scribbled over instead of completely erased? Jesus went to the cross to totally obliterate our sins!

Romans 3:24 (NLT) Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

See yourself how God sees you today.  He declares you are righteous and paid a great price to be able to declare that, so you declare it too.  Your sins have been erased, not just scribbled over.  Your work page looks the same as the one Jesus did during his 33 years on the earth… perfect.  Amazing grace.

  1. God blots out our sin.
  2. He chooses to forget when we mess up.
  3. My work page looks the same as Jesus’ work page.
  4. The undeserved kindness God pours out on us.
  5. Erasers!
  6. Gus is actually enjoying doing school stuff at home.
  7. Fun breakfast at McDonalds!
  8. Gus was SO sweet to Beau in the play place.  He gave her so many boosts so she could go up high with him and he was so encouraging to her.
  9. Dollar Tree!
  10. Kids have been so great for me this week.  Made my week without Josh as easy as I prayed it would be!
  11. One more sleep til Josh gets back!  Missing my best friend.
  12. Saw the final Monsters University trailer this afternoon.  Going to be awesome!  Can’t wait to take the kids next week.
  13. Stayed at the pool til we were good and wrinkled this afternoon.
  14. Beauty And The Beast move night!
  15. Beau found the cutest little box of Hello Kitty Jelly Belly’s for her movie night snack.
  16. Beau sat perfectly still snuggled up right beside me the entire movie.
  17. Beau’s soft hair against my cheek.  It’s SO soft!
  18. Gus shared some of the Jelly Belly’s he picked out with me.
  19. Beau twirling and singing “Tale As Old As Time” after the movie.  I love having a girl.
  20. Dale Helton is celebrating his birthday today.  Such a nice and very encouraging guy!
  21. Pastor Mary is celebrating her birthday today.  Her and Pastor Ken have such a huge heart for children’s ministry.
  22. Breakfast for dinner.
  23. Got myself all fixed up for Josh’s homecoming tomorrow.  Washed my hair took a good bath.
  24. Josh got thrown from a golf cart onto black top tonight at camp.  Hit his head really hard, but God protected him and he walked away with just a few scratches.
  25. Got pretty scared when I first heard what happened to Josh, but after praying in the spirit for a while and turning my worries into praise, peace came.
  26. Not the first time God has protected Josh from serious injuries at Dry Gulch!  Thankful for the blood of Jesus.
  27. Early to bed movie night… just me and Runaway Bride.

Day 312

In Mark 5 Jesus feeds 5,000 men plus women and children with 5 loaves and 2 fish.  In Mark 8 Jesus feeds 4,000 with 7 loaves and a few small fish.  That’s over 10,000 people that Jesus fed with only 12 loaves and a couple of fish.  The disciples were present for both miracles.  It was their own bread that Jesus blessed and multiplied in Mark chapter 8.  They saw with their own eyes thousands of people eat until they were full and they picked up with their own hands the baskets of food that were left over.  After everyone had finished their meal Jesus and the disciples got into a boat and headed to Dalmanutha, but one of the disciples forgot to grab the doggy bags;  which has to be the disciple most like me, because 9 out 10 times I forget to get my doggy bag when leaving a restaurant.  I understand how easily things like this happen, but the disciples are pretty bummed.  I guess they were probably busy helping distribute the bread and picking up the leftovers to eat themselves, so now they are stuck on a boat with just one loaf of bread and empty stomachs.

Jesus begins to warn them about the “yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod” but all they can think about is how hungry they are.  They begin to argue with one another and point fingers… while on the boat with the man who they had witnessed multiply bread and feed all of those people not even a day ago!  Jesus is listening to the argument and I’m sure thinking to Himself, you have got to be kidding me, and then He interjects.

Mark 8:17-21… “Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? ‘You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear?  Don’t you remember anything at all?  When I fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterward?”  “Twelve,” they said.  “And when I fed the 4,000 with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?” “Seven,” they said.  “Don’t you understand yet?” he asked them.

And the story ends.  I’m guessing the disciples sat quietly for the remainder of the boat ride.

If the disciples who saw with their own eyes and heard with their own ears the miracles of Jesus and still struggled with turning to Him first, then I think it’s safe to say that we, who have only read about the miracles Jesus did when he walked the earth, are going to struggle with the same type of thing.

We are going to have to work at not forgetting the greatness of our God!  We are going to have to purpose to remember the times that He has done miracles in our own lives.  We are going to have to continually read the gospels and let the realness of his power sink in.  We are going to have to make sure we understand that the same Jesus who fed thousands with less food than I have in my pantry right now is the same Jesus who we can come to with confidence when we need His help.

I don’t want Jesus watching me worry, fear, or argue about something while He is thinking to himself, “you’ve got to be kidding me!  Doesn’t she remember when I did this… and when I did that… and how I came through during that time… and that story about me in the Bible where I did that.”

I don’t want to be in the presence of the multiplier and not look to Him to multiply.

I have enjoyed so many things about writing this blog over the last 312 days, but my favorite thing is the way that God has used the list making process to keep His greatness always in the front of my mind.  It’s hard to complain and argue when I’m busy thinking about the things that I am going to be thankful for each day.  What if the disciples got on the boat with that mentality?  What if instead of fighting over the left behind left overs they said, “Let’s just thank Jesus for what He did back there tonight.”  Their hearts would have been in the right place to receive their own miracle, but instead they missed out.

Jesus is still a God of miracles.  Don’t forget who’s in the boat with you today!

  1. Jesus’ miracles were recorded for us… to help us remember!
  2. Jesus still does miracles.
  3. Jesus is always in the boat with us and we can always come to Him when we need help.
  4. The way these lists have helped me keep my mind fixed on God’s goodness.
  5. Started my 14th week of pregnancy and my 2nd trimester today!
  6. Other than being extra tired, my first trimester was a piece of cake.
  7. Listened to this awesome message by Tony Evans this morning while I was getting ready.  SO good!
  8. Watching Beau worship.  She shuts her eyes so tight, raises her little arms, and sways back and forth.
  9. Holy Spirit let me know the time we spent in the word this morning as a family was important even if it doesn’t always feel like it is.
  10. Hearing Beau crack up while she was watching Super Grover today.  She loves the blue puppet.
  11. Took the kids to Lego Land in Grapevine for the first time today!
  12. Got to catch up with my friend Becky and see her sweet little Nolan.
  13. Becky rode all of the rides with Gus since I have a baby on board.
  14. Gus had a great time!  He is already planning his next visit with dad.
  15. Beau enjoyed herself too.  She especially like the 4D movie!  She was so cute with her big 4D glasses barely hanging on to her little button nose.
  16. Got to meet my friend Kathleen and Gus & Beau’s friend Belle for dinner tonight.
  17. Got to have my favorite salad from Chic Fil A!
  18. The employees at Chic Fil A really are the greatest and most thoughtful fast food employees in the world.
  19. The option to trade in the kid’s meal toy for ice cream.
  20. The kids had a really fun time playing together in the play place.
  21. My phone died on the way home and so I had no GPS, but I found my way home perfectly!
  22. Only 2 more sleeps until Josh returns!!
  23. May book keeping complete for KBM!
  24. I can’t believe tomorrow is already Friday.  So glad this week has gone so fast for us.
  25. Tomorrow is Sabbath Friday.  So ready to do nothing!
  26. Text messaging.  Great way to keep up with Josh this week.
  27. In bed by 9:45!  Ready to do some serious sleeping!

Day 311

If someone were to take you aside, put their fingers in your ears and then spit on those same fingers and put them on your tongue, you would be mortified, right?  I would be… unless of course that person was Jesus.

Mark 7:32-35 …A deaf man with a speech impediment was brought to him, and the people begged Jesus to lay his hands on the man to heal him.  Jesus led him away from the crowd so they could be alone. He put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then, spitting on his own fingers, he touched the man’s tongue.  Looking up to heaven, he sighed and said,“Ephphatha,” which means, “Be opened!” Instantly the man could hear perfectly, and his tongue was freed so he could speak plainly!

Jesus healed people with all kinds of different methods, but this one has got to be the strangest.  Why didn’t Jesus just say, “Be opened!” and skip the whole wet-willy type of thing?

“Jesus did something completely new to catch this man’s attention, because He could not catch his attention with words.”  (Guzik)  “Through touch and the use of spittle Jesus entered into the mental world of the man and gained his confidence.” (Lane)

Wow!  I had to say that out loud to myself when I read those answers, because I was seriously wowed.

Jesus wasn’t trying to impress anyone, notice He took the man off by himself to heal him.  All He wanted was for this man to receive his healing and He knew exactly how to get him to receive it.  He needed to get the man’s expectation level up and because faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God, and this man could not hear, He would have to build his faith by doing something different.  His odd method worked.

When the crowd realized what happened, perhaps by the words spoken from the mouth of the man who couldn’t talk just moments earlier, they said, ““Everything he does is wonderful. He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who cannot speak.”

EVERYTHING he does is wonderful!  Even when He puts his finger in someone’s ear, spits on it and then puts it on that someone’s tongue… it’s wonderful!

It’s easy to box God in and think since He did something a certain way in the past, He has to do it that way again, but God’s creative.  He doesn’t just do the same things over and over again.  He gets the same results over and over again, but His methods change.

Our two children are similar in some ways, but they are very different in some ways, so we have to parent them differently.  The goal is always the same, but the way in which we obtain the goal is different.  They are unique and need to be parented uniquely.

We are unique.  Every situation we face is unique.  For instance, you may know someone who believed God to get out of debt and He answered their prayer, so now you want to get out of debt and you want it to happen for you just like it happened for them.  If you trust God and follow His plan it will happen for you too, but you probably won’t have the exact same testimony as they have when it’s all said and done, because God doesn’t always work in the exact same ways.

Let the God who made you so very unique work in your life in unique ways!  Everything He does is wonderful!

  1. God is creative!
  2. Everything He does is wonderful!
  3. The amazing way Jesus got into that deaf man’s world.  Really blessed me reading that today.
  4. After the kids woke up I put them in bed with me, put on a show, and went back to sleep for a while.  Needed those extra minutes!
  5. Beau is turning into quite a ham when the camera comes out… reminds me of video’s I’ve seen of me when I was her age.
  6. Great afternoon at the neighborhood pool.
  7. Gus was floaty free the whole time.
  8. Gus’ swimming lessons from last year were all coming back to him today.  He was doing great and I was happy to see he remembered what he learned.
  9. Beau is a little mermaid.  She loves to swim and sing while she does it.
  10. The water was not too cold today… perfect!
  11. Got Gus some new goggles which opened up so many more possibilities for him… he loved diving for fish at the bottom of the pool.
  12. The pool is a super short walk for us.
  13. Gus is always super quick to defend Beau if someone takes her toy or splashes her.
  14. My water is not contaminated!  Praying Broken Arrow’s water issue will be quickly resolved.
  15. Josh let me know he’s been eating very healthy at camp and working out extra hard… can’t wait to see him!  3 more sleeps!
  16. No make up day.
  17. Very light cooking week… so very light dishes week… and very light cleaning up the kitchen week.
  18. In N Out for dinner!
  19. Discovered they make grilled cheese for the kids at In N Out.  Gus & Beau loved theirs.
  20. Those awesome little sticker sheets they give the kids to play with until the food is ready.
  21. Air conditioning.
  22. I have Josh’s car this week.  I love driving a smaller car!
  23. Lorri Antioch is celebrating her birthday today.  Sweet, sweet lady at church and faithful volunteer in Amazing Kids.
  24. Miss Allie is home from the hospital after being there for 77 days!
  25. Puppy browsing at Petland.  Puppies are one of God’s cutest creations for sure.
  26. Quiet night to myself to catch up on some stuff for work.
  27. Got an extra blog written!

Day 310

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but washing a toddler’s hands in a public restroom where there are no stools for them to stand on is kinda hard.  Which is why I always carry hand sanitizer.  It’s much easier to squirt some alcohol on their hands than it is to hold them up with one arm and use the other arm to make sure they actually get their little hands clean.  My kids know the drill: go potty, leave the restroom, and prepare your hands for sanitizing.  If another lady is ever in the restroom while I am escorting my kids out without stopping to wash their hands with soap and water, I always make a comment to the kids like, “okay, let’s go out here so mommy can give you some hand sanitizer” because heaven forbid the stranger in the bathroom think that I don’t wash my kid’s hands after visiting a public restroom.

In Mark 7, some of Jesus’ disciples got caught eating with “common hands” aka hands that had not been ceremonially washed.  They may have squirted some sanitizer on their hands before breaking bread with them, but that wasn’t enough to be considered purified.  The Pharisees were watching to see if they would go through with the traditional, very extensive ritual of washing hands that had been handed down from generation to generation that was supposed to take place before every meal and when they saw that they didn’t go through with it, they of course had to tattle on them.  And Jesus, of course, totally schooled them… The pharisees, not the disciples.

In verses 9-16 He puts them in their place and makes them aware of the fact that they are nullifying and making void God’s word through their efforts to keep their man made traditions alive and then He lets them know they are concerned about the wrong kind of cleanliness.

Mark 7:15 There is not [even] one thing outside a man which by going into him can pollute and defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him and make him unhallowed and unclean.

Wow.  Good stuff, Jesus.  It seems like our society is more concerned about high fructose corn syrup or MSG going into our bodies than we are about what kind of ingredients we are putting into our spirits.  It’s more important to get your child’s hands clean after leaving the restroom than it is to purify their spirits with the washing of the word.  We spend more time picking out organic fruit than we do cultivating the fruit of the spirit in our lives.

The things that come out of man are what defile him and make him unclean.  Not his “common hands.”  And if something comes out of you, you first have to put it in you.  If unclean things are coming out then you can be sure that you have been putting unclean things in– via the television, internet, magazines, music, and whatever else you allow into your home.

I take care of my kids by washing their hands and feeding them healthy foods most of the time, but my most important job as a mother is monitoring what goes in to their spirits, because I want them to be pure.  Same with me.  I try to eat more fruit than Twizzlers (although I’m not doing great at that this week) but what’s most important is not what I feed my flesh, but what I feed my spirit.  It doesn’t matter if I eat all organic and then fill my mind with some trash.  Garbage in, garbage out, right?

The Bible does not say the people with the cleanest hands, cleanest homes, purest pantries and healthiest fridges see the Lord it says the people who are PURE IN HEART see the Lord!

Yes, take care of your body and yes, make sure you wash your hands before meals, but focus on what the word says is important more than what the world says is important!

  1. The pure in heart see God.
  2. When we take time to fill our spirits with good things, good thing will come out of us.
  3. Hand sanitizer.
  4. The ceremonial hand washing days never got passed down to me.
  5. We have lots of healthy options when it comes to feeding our families.
  6. Gus decided to use Josh’s pillow to sleep on until Josh returns for camp.  Love seeing this sentimental side of him.
  7. Fridge & pantry are full!  Grocery shopping done for the week!
  8. Got to take a little power nap.
  9. Got to go to the Hillsong United Welcome Zion concert tonight!
  10. Zion.  My favorite album of the year so far.  Every song is awesome.
  11. The amazing musicians that got to lead us into God’s presence tonight.
  12. The girl that sang “Oceans” tore it up!!  Really, really great vocal on a really, really great song.
  13. God showed me some sweet things about Gus’ future while I was worshipping.
  14. When I found out Welcome Zion was coming to Dallas I was so excited and then I realized Josh wouldn’t be able to go with me because he would be at camp, so I asked my friend Sayra if she would go and she said yes!
  15. Sayra drove us.  This was a huge blessing because I don’t like driving when I’m not sure where I’m going.
  16. The Verizon theater had concessions!  We did not have time to stop for dinner, so I had to eat some nasty nachos, but I needed something to sustain me before 2.5 hours of standing and singing.
  17. Hearing thousands of voices singing as one to and about Jesus.  Powerful.
  18. “Relentless” was fantastic live.
  19. “Love Is War”  also fantastic!!
  20. “Scandal of Grace” sounded beautiful with the sold out crowd singing along.
  21. Gus’ buddy Alex got to come hang out with him tonight.  He was excited about it all day.
  22. Beau got to hang out with her favorite baby sitter Miss Sacha!
  23. Miss Sacha is my favorite baby sitter too!  Always on time, kids are always asleep when I get home, and they both love her.
  24. New “Real Simple” magazine came today.  Just in time for our day at the pool tomorrow.
  25. These first few days with Josh away at camp went fast!
  26. My friend Shannon is celebrating her birthday today!
  27. My bed feels so good!