Day 345

My two year old daughter Beau loves babies.  Her favorite Bible stories are the one about baby Jesus being born and the one about baby Moses floating in a basket.  Yesterday, she added a new baby Bible story to her favorites list.  The one about baby Isaac.  I read the story of Abraham and Sarah to her from her Bible.  We talked about how badly they wanted a baby, but they were both too old, so they had to trust God.  They waited and waited and finally their son was born, proving that nothing is impossible for God!  They were so happy about their new baby they named him Isaac, which means laughter.  In the video I showed her after that about the same story, they had Sarah quoting this verse as she held her sweet boy in her arms,

Genesis 21:6 (NLT) And Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me…

It stuck with me.  Especially the last part, all who hear about this will laugh with me.  

I’ve heard about it and I’ve never laughed.  I’ve been amazed, inspired, and challenged by the story, but I’ve never laughed about it.  And I doubt you have either.  But I don’t think she was saying we would read her story and laugh out loud about baby Isaac, but that we would read this story and be able to laugh when we are up against impossible circumstances.

When Sarah first received word from the Lord that she would have a child she laughed because she didn’t believe that it could ever really happen, but now she laughs for a different reason.  She laughs at all the doubt and unbelief she battled over the last 25 years.  She laughs because now she has living, breathing proof that God is real.  She laughs because she knows that no matter what the future may hold, her God is greater, her God is stronger.  She laughs because God kept and always keeps His promises.

You need to read Sarah’s story and meditate on how faithful God is so when the enemy attacks, your response will not be panic, but laughter.  The big bad problem the devil dropped off on your door step is not a tragedy but a comedy.

Sarah was a virtuous woman, so it only makes since that the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 share some of her same attributes,

Proverbs 31:25 (NLT) She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

Take time to laugh today.  Not just at your silly kids, your favorite TV show, or your husband’s funny joke, but laugh with Sarah at the greatness of your God and the smallness of your problem.

  1. While teaching my little girl a Bible story, I got ministered to too!
  2. We can laugh with Sarah… without fear of the future.
  3. Our God is so very faithful!
  4. Beautiful sunrise.
  5. Dollar movie with the kids this morning at a full price theater.
  6. I brought our own popcorn, drinks, and candy so we only paid $3 for our morning at the big show.
  7. My big, roomy purse.
  8. Gus was sad when he realized Josh couldn’t go to the movie with us because he had to go to work.  He has such a big heart.
  9. California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizza for lunch.  It was actually really tasty.
  10. Indoor picnics.
  11. Clean house!
  12. Our vacuum wouldn’t turn on, so I called Dyson and we still have 4 months left on our 5 year warranty.  So it will be fixed free of charge!
  13. Purchased a new rocking chair for our nursery and got an insane deal on it.  Usually a $1,175 chair before tax and I purchased it for $408 after tax!  That’s less than the slip cover we were thinking of buying for our old chair.
  14. Got a random 15% off coupon for PBK in my inbox this morning.  I’m so glad I waited until today to make the purchase.
  15. Our old chair.  I have spent countless hours in that chair rocking, feeding, and reading to my sweet little babies.
  16. Get to give our first rocking chair to my niece and nephew for their nursery.
  17. My sweet friend Becky is celebrating her birthday today!  She is one of a kind and I’m so glad she’s part of my life.
  18. Yancy aka as “Little Praise Party” around our house is celebrating her birthday today!  Awesome lady who has blessed my kids and kids all over the world with her praise and worship songs.
  19. Eggs, bacon and toast for dinner.
  20. My family loves my eggs!  All three of them told me I was the best egg maker that they know.
  21. Decided to go for a walk and a storm started to blow in when we were about half way home.  Right when we walked into our garage  it started to pour!  I’m so glad we didn’t leave a minute later than when we did.
  22. Josh let the kids play in the driveway in the pouring rain.  They had a ball!
  23. More rain… in July!
  24. My little boy is totally in love with his mamma.
  25. Josh gets into the nursery planning.  He came home with a few ideas he thought of while he was at work today.
  26. In bed by 10!!
  27. 345 posts written, 20 more to go!!  Can’t believe it!

Day 344

On the fourth of July my husband and I were flying back from our ten year anniversary trip to Santa Barbara.  Our 5 year old Gus and 2 year old Beau were staying with their Nana & Papa so they spent the holiday poolside in Tulsa.  My sister and brother in law and their two girls were there too.  We were bummed we had to miss out on the grilling competition and home made banana pudding, but we were happy to know our kids were having such a great time.

The next day while we were getting all packed up and ready to head back to Texas, Trudi, my mother in law, aka Nana, told me about something special that happened during the 4th festivities the day before.  She said they decided to take communion as a family… by the pool, in swimming suits.  You realize you don’t have to be in church to take communion right?  Just making sure.  After everyone ate a piece of cracker that represented the broken body of Jesus and the price he paid for our healing, and drank some grape juice that represented the blood that Jesus shed at the cross for us, she felt led to have the granddaughters pray for her knee.

For about a month her knee had been causing her pain and discomfort and on that morning she woke up to find that a large lump had formed on the side of it.  She told Ryan 13, Olivia 10, and my little 2 year old Beau that she would like them to pray for it, so they did.

They all came over and laid hands on her and asked God to heal her.  She said Beau prayed with her little eyes closed up tight, “Jesus, heal Nana’s ouchie.”  After they were finished she knew that their prayers of faith had been heard and were already going to work.  Every day after that the swelling went down until it was all the way gone, along with the pain!

I read this quote today and I immediately thought of the prayers those young girls prayed that day,

“Our prayers may be awkward.  Our attempts may be feeble.  But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.”  – Max Lucado

Now, Ryan & Olivia know how to pray!  They’ve been doing it since they were Beau’s age, so I’m sure they had some pretty powerful prayers, but Beau’s little 4 word request, although not eloquent and not long, was powerful too!  Not because she prayed perfectly, but because of the one who heard her.

God heard all three of their voices that day, their voices full of faith, and it didn’t matter if they prayed a perfect prayer or not, all that mattered was that they believed He would make Nana’s knee better and He did.

Don’t try to be someone you are not when you talk to God.  He’s not waiting for you to impress Him with your knowledge of scripture, the length in which you can pray, or your vocablulary.  He just wants you to talk to Him.  You can’t mess it up.

It’s not the way you verbalize your prayers that makes a difference, it’s the One who hears them that makes the difference and all it takes for Him to hear your prayers is praying for things that are in line with His will.  Ouchies being healed is definitely part of His will, so Beau asked and He did!

1 John 5:14 (NIV) This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

  1. The power of prayer is in the One who hears it!
  2. If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us!
  3. His will includes anything that we need pertaining to life and godliness.
  4. He heard the granddaughters that day at the pool and Nana’s leg is healed!
  5. Gatherings at the Blount’s always have Jesus at the center and it’s not because they plan it out that way it’s just because He is at the center of their lives.
  6. Beau knows that Jesus heals ouchies.
  7. You don’t have to be in church to take communion and remember the cross.
  8. Another awesome rainy day.  My lawn is happy, happy, happy.
  9. July 15th, high of 77!
  10. My niece Courtney is celebrating her sweet 16 today!!
  11. Back to our summer routine this Monday morning.
  12. Had a good school time with Gussy.
  13. Had a good Bible time with Beau.  She loves stories about the babies in the Bible, so she loved learning about Isaac.
  14. I am getting better about telling people no.
  15. Tomato soup and grilled cheese for lunch.  Me and Beau’s favorite.
  16. The kids got to play and ride their bikes outside in the sprinkling rain.
  17. Got to catch up with my mom this morning.
  18. Board game kind of an afternoon.  Disney Scene It & Curious George.
  19. Chocolate dipped bananas.
  20. Yummy brocoli chicken stir fry and egg rolls for dinner.
  21. My kids LOVE chinese food.
  22. Almost bought a new rocking chair at PBK last week, but decided to wait, went back to look at it tonight and it was $220 cheaper.  I still haven’t made my mind up, but the sweet lady working tonight said she would hold it for me for 3 days.
  23. Gus talked a solid 15 minutes on the way to the mall about how excited he is about baby Sunny.  Approx 150 more days!
  24. Remembered to buy our tickets to the dollar show tonight so I won’t have to wait in a long line tomorrow morning.
  25. My friend Jackie had her sweet little girl Jada today!  Pretty and perfect little newborn baby.
  26. KBM received it’s first pledge toward the next kid’s album, “All Thing Through.”
  27. Josh cleared out a bunch of shirts from his closet that he doesn’t wear anymore and now it is much easier to find empty hangers when putting away laundry.

Day 343

One of my older sisters used to love watching the television show “Cops”.  You know?  Bad boys, bad boys, watcha gonna do, watcha gonna do when they come from you?  I apologize in advance for getting that stuck in your head the rest of the day.  She would watch it on Saturday nights and me and my little brother would watch it with her.  It was entertaining to see german shepherds chase down drug dealers and then listen to the ridiculous story they told after being caught.  They didn’t even know they had drugs in their car.  They just magically appeared.  Seems like “Cops” was good for one of those cases at least once an episode and they always featured a “disturbing the peace” case too.  Neighbors would call in about something like a couple fighting in their front yard over who took the last can of beer quite loudly and violently, so much so, that they had disturbed the peace of those around them.  The cops would show up, try to figure out what was going on and do what they had to do to make things peaceful again.

It’s against the law to disturb peace.  If you play your music too loudly, break into a fight at a restaurant, or throw your boyfriend’s belongings out into the yard while you’re yelling about how much of a loser he is, you could end up with a misdemeanor or an infraction.  It could go on your permanent record and depending on the severity you could have to pay a fine or even serve jail time.

No one wants their peace disturbed.  No one enjoys a 9 year old kicking their seat for the duration of a two hour flight, so when the 9 year old starts you either ask him to stop or ask a flight attendant to tell him to stop.   No one enjoys a crying baby in a church service, so an usher will escort the mother and baby out of the service, if they aren’t polite enough to leave on their own.  No one enjoys neighbors who like to play loud music at midnight, so you ask them to turn it down and if they don’t, you can call the cops.

But what do you do when your inward peace gets disturbed?  You can’t call the cops or ask a flight attendant to take care of it for you, you’ve got to do something about it yourself.  You are not fighting against something that is of this world, so you can’t play by the world’s rules.  You can try yoga, ice cream, taking a beach vacation, or shopping, all of which may help a little, but when you really want to restore the peace, you’ve gotta transform into a cop.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (VOICE)  …We are taking prisoners of every thought, every emotion, and subduing them into obedience to the Anointed One. 

You can’t just let whatever it is that is disturbing your peace keep disturbing you while you try to ignore it by busying yourself with other things, you have to hunt it down, handcuff it, throw it in the back of your cop car, drop it off at the jail, and then leave it there for the judge to deal with.  The  judge being the Anointed One, the Anointed One being JESUS!

When your peace is being disturbed, stop whatever you are doing and take a moment to visualize yourself arresting that thought.  See yourself taking it to Jesus, and then see that thought on trial.  Watch it squirm around as the judge opens his mouth and peace fills the room.  Watch it shrink down smaller and smaller as it’s confronted by the word of God, until it’s so small you can’t see it anymore.

If you do not take your thoughts captive, they will take you captive.  When the “bad boys” are disturbing your peace, you gotta go after them and give them no breaks.

  1. We have been given authority to take thoughts that disturb our peace captive.
  2. Jesus is the prince of peace so He will always rule in favor of peace!
  3. Cops… not so much the show, but for the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect their communities.
  4. Lovely, rainy day!
  5. High of 77 today!
  6. No 100+ degree days in the forecast all week.
  7. Went back to sleep for an hour after my quiet time with Beau snuggled up next to me on the couch.
  8. Beau found an old pirate ship of Gussy’s and the two of them played with it all morning like it was a brand new toy.
  9. The air conditioner was back on in the kid’s classes that it was not working in last night at church.
  10. Gus was teaching Beau his new memory verse on the way to church this morning.
  11. Got to teach some sweet four year olds about the good and perfect plan that God has for their lives.
  12. Left overs for lunch.
  13. Good rainy day nap!
  14. Bills paid.
  15. Gave every dollar an assignment for the next two weeks.  Having Dave Ramsey at Gateway the last four weeks has been great!
  16. Colored in a little bit more on our Disney 2014 savings thermometer.
  17. The kids took an imaginary trip to Hawaii.  I love watching them pretend together.  Gus has such a great imagination.
  18. I got to spend the afternoon hanging out with Minnie Mouse and Raphael who was protecting Minnie’s Bow-tique from Shredder.
  19. I got some incredible video of Beau dancing to Gus rapping.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time!
  20. Josh grilled yummy burgers and corn on the cob for dinner tonight… in the rain.
  21. Still enjoying our S’mores Ice Cream Cake!
  22. “Over The Hedge” soundtrack.
  23. AFV on a relaxing Sunday evening.  I love having the whole family on the couch hanging out together.
  24. Made Gus his first official chore chart.  He’s excited about two bucks a week and starting to save for some toys he has been eyeing.
  25. Food Network Star + Karate Kid alongside my favorite person.
  26. Pro-life bill HB2 passes in the Texas senate.
  27. Got in bed and remembered the amazing video I took of Gus rapping and Beau dancing and I got to share it with Josh.  I laughed so hard I cried… all 5 times that we watched it.

Day 342

Summers when I was a kid meant playing outside every night until it got dark.  Me and my best friends who lived directly across the street would swing on their tree, play basketball with my brother and his friends, ride our bikes, practice the new stunt I learned at cheerleading practice earlier that day, play baseball, play tag, or just sit on the curb and eat snow cones that we purchased from the snow cone lady who lived just a few doors down from us and would make us a snow cone anytime we came and knocked on her door with fifty cents in hand.  But there would come a point when the fireflies would start to light up and the sun would start to go down and if I didn’t notice and come in on my own, my mom would open the front door, usually with a dishtowel in her hands because she was in the middle of drying dishes, and announce that it was time to come in.

Noah had spent the last 120 years of his life building the ark.  120 years!  I’m sure at times he felt like the project would never be completed, but he kept going, and finally one day God said to him, “it’s time to come in.”

Genesis 7:1 (YLT) And Jehovah saith to Noah, ‘Come in, thou and all thy house, unto the ark, for thee I have seen righteous before Me in this generation;

I have read the story of Noah many times, but I’ve never noticed those two unbelieveably welcoming words until today.  Come in.

It was about to get dark.  The storm clouds were moving in and it was no longer safe for Noah and his family to be outside, so God being the loving father that He is, told Noah to come in.

When someone tells you to come in, they are already in.  When my mom would tell me to come inside, she was already inside.  When company arrives at my doorstep, I open the door and tell them to come in, into the place where I already am.  God was in the ark and now it was time for Noah to join him.

How comforting it must have been for Noah and His family to know that they weren’t going to be alone on that huge boat, but that God had already made Himself at home in it.

Whatever God has called you to build- a business, a church, a family, a boat, you can rest assured knowing that when it’s time to set sail He won’t leave you.  When the rubber meets the road and it’s really time to do this thing, He’ll be right there.  He actually goes in before you and makes sure that everything is good to go and when the time is right, He will call you to come in… and when He calls you best listen.

God’s timing is always better than our timing.  Noah understood that.  He didn’t try to get in the ark too early and he didn’t wait too late.  When God commanded him to come in, he came in.  Don’t rush God’s timing or get frustrated because what you want to happen isn’t happening.  Realize He’s going before you and making sure everything is the way He wants it to be… perfect, and when it’s perfect, He will come to the front door and announce that it’s time for you to come inside.

  1. God’s timing is perfect.
  2. He goes before us and then invites us to come in.
  3. God knows when things are about go get dark and stormy and calls us inside.
  4. There’s always new stuff to find in familiar Bible stories.
  5. Come In My Courts by Deluge.
  6. Summers when I was a kid.
  7. My best friends Lilia & Crystal lived right across the street from me.
  8. Fireflies!
  9. I lived a few doors down from the snow cone lady and my dad always had change laying around.
  10. Got my roast in the crock pot nice and early this morning so it could cook low and slow.
  11. New dance party music for the kids.  Happy & Fun Fun Fun from Despicable Me.
  12. Listening to the kids worship together while they watched the “I Believe In Jesus” DVD.
  13. Gus told me he was teaching Beau about what the cross meant while they were listening to Stripes and Scars.
  14. Josh told me he used a song that Gus wrote in a song that he wrote and it will be on the next kid’s album.  So Gus will be listed as one of the song writers.
  15. Awesome afternoon with my favorite friends at the Siegrist’s new house.
  16. Grilled burgers, watermelon, salad, salsa bean dip, and cookies for lunch.  Yum!
  17. The Carpenters let me follow them and Clint filled my car up with gas before we left.
  18. Gus had a blast playing on the water slide with all of his buddies.
  19. I had a safe trip back to our house and I didn’t get lost at all!
  20. Beau fell asleep in the car and I figured when we got home she would wake up, she did, but she asked to go sleep in her purple room and she slept for another hour and a half.  Yay!
  21. Great worship at Gateway Frisco tonight.
  22. Free sno cones after service!
  23. Beau picked an orange sno cone because that’s the color of her favorite Ninja Turtle.  She is one cute little Tom Boy.
  24. Gus picked a rainbow sno cone because he learned about Joseph’s coat of many colors.
  25. The roast was delicious!
  26. Beau told me while I was getting her ready for bed, “Mrs Tammy calls me sunshine!”  She has the nicest teachers in her class at church.  She knows they all adore her.
  27. Ice cold water.

Day 341

I found out I was pregnant with my fourth little gift from God the day after my 28th birthday, April 5, 2013.  I woke up at 5:00 a.m. knowing that in just a few hours I would be waiting 3 minutes to see if the little stick I peed on had one line or two.  I was so hoping for two.  I laid there for a little while trying to fall back asleep, but to no avail.  I shot out of bed at about 5:15 and went to take my test.  My husband Josh knew I was testing so he rolled out of bed, not knowing for sure what time it was.  When he walked into the bathroom I had about one more minute left before it was time to check the results, so we waited together.  And then after 60 long seconds we walked over to the sink, looked down at the test sitting on the counter, and we saw two pretty pink lines.  It was such a sweet moment.  We hugged, I cried, we rejoiced and thanked God for blessing us with another child.

We were in Tulsa staying at my in-laws house when we found out and were headed back to Tulsa that morning.  The four hour drive back to our home in Texas, was filled with lots of excitement and anticipation.  It such a joyful day.  That night I climbed into bed and my joy turned into concern.  Less than a year earlier we had to deliver our son Felix stillborn.  I was spiritually prepared going into the pregnancy process after seeking God and getting the go ahead from Him and I also felt like I had a definite advantage over the enemy and the lies that he would try to torture me with.  I was armed with specific scriptures God had given me and I was ready to start every day declaring God’s promises and sending the devil squirming away, but I hadn’t thought about my dreams until I laid my head down on my pillow that night.

I didn’t want the devil to be able to come against me while I was sleeping.  I didn’t want to experience any nightmares or wake up feeling afraid, so I did what I felt God was leading me to do.  I said a short prayer and asked God to give me sweet sleep.  I prayed Psalm 4:8, a Psalm I’ve prayed over my kids many a time, In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe. And I went to sleep.

Well, that night I had a dream.  And it was the exact opposite of a nightmare.  I dreamed that I was sitting on the couch in our living room with a big tummy and Josh and the kids were sitting around me with their hands on it feeling the new baby’s kicks.  It was so real.  I woke up overwhelmed with the sweetness of my God.  He not only protected my mind from bad dreams, but he gave me a wonderful one.

I never felt Felix kick.  We delivered him at 20 weeks, but the doctor said he probably passed away at about 17 weeks.  That dream meant so much to me.  It was more confirmation from The Lord that what happened with Felix would not happen to this baby.  I am 18 weeks pregnant as of yesterday and last night I felt Sunny Joone kick.  Not a little flutter, that I thought might be her, but big movements that I knew without a doubt were her.

It made me think of the dream God gave me 3 months ago.  He had set me up with so many precious promises while preparing for this pregnancy and then He confirmed those promises with a sweet dream.

“Confirmation is God’s memorably creative way of repeating something He’s already told you.” – Pastor Preston Morrison.

We serve a creative God who loves to confirm His written word is memorable ways.  Seek confirmation!  It will help you get through moments when you begin to doubt if you are doing what God has called you to do.

  1. April 5, 2013.
  2. Josh and I got to find out our happy news at the exact same time.
  3. All of the promises God had in His word for me about getting pregnant again.
  4. In peace I lie down and sleep, for the Lord keeps me safe.
  5. The Lord has kept dreams away and the very night I prayed over my dreams He gave me a sweet one!
  6. Confirmation.  It’s pretty awesome getting confirmation in memorable and creative way and having it to reference back to when you begin to doubt.
  7. My friend JJ being pregnant was another confirmation from God, because before either of us got pregnant I felt like He told me she would get pregnant before me and she did… 3 weeks before me.
  8. The fact that my due date is just a few weeks before Christmas… more confirmation.  The Christmas card I saw a few days after we lost Felix with me and Josh and the kids huddled around a newborn baby will be our Christmas card this year!
  9. Noah Was Crazy.  Great message by Pastor Preston Morrison.
  10. I’m not too far off from sitting on the couch surrounded by my family and having them feel Sunny kick.  She’s moving around as I type this.
  11. Got Sunny her first pair of PJs today at Target.
  12. Despicable Me 2 at the big show today with the fam.  I totally enjoyed myself.
  13. Just enough light from the big screen to be able to see the kid’s faces while they were watching the movie.  They both loved it.
  14. Beau’s minion impression while she was going potty after the moving.  She had it down pretty good.
  15. Cheaper tickets when you see the first showing of the day.
  16. Beau let me hold her sweet little hand through the movie.
  17. Got lots of work done this afternoon for KBM.
  18. Got to grocery shop alone!  Josh and the kids came with me, but he took them to look at toys while I was getting everything on my list.
  19. So awesome having Josh to load and unload the groceries in the 103 degree heat!
  20. Gus wore his red Ninja Turtle Mask to the grocery store and didn’t take it off until we came back home and he went outside to swim.
  21. Josh put all the groceries away while I made dinner.
  22. Fridge and pantry are full!
  23. Yummy black bean burritos for dinner.  Everyone asked for seconds!
  24. Listening to Josh read to the kids.  He did bath time and bed time stories for me tonight.
  25. Finding a stuffed animal of Beau’s tucked in in every room upstairs.  She’s a good little mamma.
  26. Date night at home with Josh.
  27. Thought we lost one of Gus’ DS games this afternoon, but he had just left it at Nana’s.  He was so relieved.

Day 340

When I married my husband Josh 10 years ago I changed my last name from Newsom to Blount.  When we were dating I would practice writing and signing my soon to be new name all over everything.  I never thought twice about keeping my maiden name, not because I wasn’t proud to be a Newsom, but because I wanted everyone to know I was Josh’s wife.  I wanted to identified with him.

5 years later we had our first baby.  His tiny hospital bracelet said “Baby Boy Blount.”  He will be Mr. Gus Blount for the rest of his life, because his parents are Blounts.  Our daughters are Blounts too, until some day, a long, long, long, long, long time from now, they get married, change their last names and start their own families.  But for now we are the Blount party of 4.5.  You know we go together because we all have the same last name.

In Numbers 6 the Lord gives Moses this beautiful, powerful prayer that He would like for Aaron to pray over the children of Israel.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”’

God desired to bless and keep His children, to shine His smiling face on them, to be gracious to them, to give them favor and to give them peace, so He came up with those specific words and instructed Aaron to speak them over the Israelites.  Then He tells Moses what effect this blessing will have when released over His people.

Verse 27, So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.

Whoever heard Aaron declare this “priestly blessing” would put on the name of God.  They would take God’s name and become part of His family.  They would be identified with Him and His nature.

These words weren’t just for anyone, but for God’s chosen people.  We become God’s chosen people when we choose to make Jesus Lord of our lives.  If you have chosen Jesus, that blessing is for you today.  You can put on God’s amazing name.  The name above all names.  The name that every knee must bow to.  The name that means provider, healer, deliverer, peace, protector, righteousness, shepherd.  The name God gave Himself, I AM, is yours to take as your own name today.  HE wants to be identified with YOU!

You don’t have to have a guy named Aaron declare the priestly blessing over you, you can declare it over yourself.  I’m going to memorize those verses so I can speak it over my family.  I want the Blount family to not just be Blounts, but to put on the name of God and be reminded daily that we are a part of a bigger family, we are a part of God’s family and God blesses His family.

  1. God wants to be indentified with me!
  2. His name is I AM!
  3. His name is provider.
  4. His name is healer.
  5. His name is deliverer.
  6. His name is peace.
  7. His name is protector.
  8. His name is righteousness.
  9. His name is shepherd.
  10. He desires to bless us the same way he desired to bless the children of Israel.
  11. Great quiet time out in my back yard this morning.
  12. Pretty sunrise.
  13. Heard God’s voice when I asked Him to confirm something I needed confirmed.
  14. Gus has been sleeping until 8 all week!  Me and Beau have been enjoying our hour in the morning where it’s just the two of us.
  15. Answered prayers for a friend’s mother.
  16. My friend J.J. sent me a really awesome message by Charles Neiman that I got to listen to this morning.  Can’t wait to listen to it again.
  17. We had a normal day just the four of us at our house.  It’s been two weeks since we’ve had that!
  18. Got the check book balanced.
  19. Spent the whole afternoon swimming with the kids at the pool.
  20. The ice cream truck drove by the pool while we were there and Gus told me he would give me five bucks if I got him an ice cream.  I said no.  He upped it to fifteen bucks.  He had me and Josh cracking up.
  21. Taco Bueno for dinner.  So bueno!
  22. Started my 18th week of pregnancy!
  23. My tummy is really growing, which means Sunny is really growing.
  24. Felt Sunny not just flutter but kick for a while tonight.  It was such a sweet, special moment.  I never felt Felix kick.
  25. Got a little rain shower tonight.  Every lit bit helps!
  26. The smell of summer rain.
  27. 24, pretzels, and hanging out in my cozy bed with Josh.

Day 339

Being hungry is not fun… especially when you are pregnant.  We got a late start this morning and I forgot to grab a snack on our way out the door to the library.  About 30 minutes after we got there I realized how hungry I was.  I checked my purse to see if I had any of the kid’s snacks hidden in it, but no dice.  I didn’t even have Altoids.  I finished filling our book bag, checked out, and drove home as fast as legally possible.  I walked in the house with wobbly legs, yeah I was that hungry, slammed a granola bar and started some mac n cheese for the kids.

While I was waiting for the water to boil this verse popped into my head.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.

It’s hard to imagine hungry and blessed going hand in hand, especially if you have people in your house that get in really grouchy moods when they are hungry… which in my family is all four of us, but Jesus wasn’t talking about physical hunger, He was talking about spiritual hunger.

Jesus didn’t like people to be hungry for food.  He did some of his most well known miracles to ensure that his followers’ appetites were satisfied.  He turned water into wine and a basket of fish and bread into a meal that fed 5,000 plus people.  Being hungry for food is a curse, one that many of us have never really, truly experienced, but being hungry in your spirit for more of God is a guaranteed blessing!

I love how the amplified amplifies the word “blessed” in Matthew 5:6, Blessed and fortunate and happy and  spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God  enjoys His favor and salvation).

Blessed, fortunate, happy, spiritually prosperous, enjoying favor and enjoying salvation- that kind of life is possible, it just requires being hungry.

We have to develop a serious appetite for spiritual wisdom and revelation.  We need to crave time in God’s presence.  We need to depend on His word for nourishment so much so that when we get busy and forget to eat we notice it.  When we don’t get enough actual food to eat our stomachs growl, our attitudes suffer, our legs get weak, we faint, and if we go long enough we die.  Your body lets you know when you need nourishment, your spirt will let you know too.  When you begin to experience fear, worry, stress, sadness, jealousy, etc. your spirit is hungry for more of God and His righteousness.  You need to satisfy your hunger by feeding your spirit.

2 Corinthians 4:16 (NLT) …Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.

When you care only about feeding your physical body, your spirit will start to shrivel.  Malnourishment will set in and you’ll start losing the fight that God paid a great price to win for you.  To stay spiritually healthy, stay spiritually hungry.  Take time to renew yourself each and every day.

BLESSED are those who are HUNGRY!

  1. Blessed (fortunate, happy, spiritually prosperous, enjoying favor and enjoying salvation) are those who are hungry!
  2. Our spirits will let us know when we need more spiritual nourishment.
  3. We can renew ourselves and feed ourselves everyday if we make spending time with God a priority.
  4. “Hungry” Such a beautiful song.
  5. I have claimed to be starving before, but I’ve never really been starving.
  6. When I was quite hungry this afternoon I was able to come in and grab a granola bar and satisfy my hunger until the mac n cheese was ready.
  7. 24 new books for the kids from the library!
  8. Soda flavored Jelly Bellies.
  9. Drew has learned how to fold up and load Beau’s stroller.
  10. Enjoyed hanging out with all of the kids at the mall today.
  11. I made my way back to the nursery section at Pottery Barn Kids.  Excited to start working on Sunny’s nursery soon!
  12. A lady that works at PBK who knew about us losing Felix saw me tonight and was so excited to see that I was pregnant again.  It’s such happy news to share!  Children are a gift from God!
  13. Beau was super pumped about her new Team Umizoomi book from Barnes & Noble.
  14. Gus found a Ninja Turtle book in 3D.  He was pretty cute in his PJs, wet hair, and 3D glasses while we were reading before bed tonight.
  15. “Operation: No More Tears” from Gus’ Jesus story book Bible.  I love reading that one.
  16. 26 years ago today my nephew Justin was born!!  The world is a better place because he is in it!
  17. His mom, my sister was only 17 when she had him.  So glad she chose life!
  18. Justin served our country in the Navy, brought one of my favorite people into our family when he married Courtney, is one of the most likeable guys I know, and has chosen to live for God.  So proud of him.
  19. In N Out for dinner.  Ridiculously good, as always.
  20. Got our puppy fix at Petland after dinner.
  21. Found a little puppy that looked just like the dog my grandpa had growing up.  Bear was the best dog ever.
  22. I had such an awesome grandpa.  I could see him on his bike with Bear in the basket so perfectly tonight when I saw that puppy.
  23. S’mores Ice Cream cake we made yesterday was even better today!
  24. Beau discovered she can balance on one foot.  She is absolutely adorable showing off her new trick.
  25. Great report from Miriam about the Bible study in Honduras!  Makes my heart so happy thinking about how Felix’s life is influencing people I’ve never even met in countries I’ve never been to!
  26. Beau’s eyes looked so pretty tonight in her blue shirt.  Even Gus noticed them.
  27. We saw a commercial with little babies in it and Gus said, “I can’t wait until my baby gets here.”  Beau & Sunny are so blessed to have such a great big brother.

Day 338

You had to have been living under a rock last January if you’ve never heard about the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax.  In September of 2012 Sports Illustrated did a story about Manti, the Notre Dame linebacker who lost his grandmother and his girlfriend within 6 hours of each other.  His girlfriend had been in a car accident 8 months earlier and she was diagnosed with leukiema while she was in the hospital.  Manti stayed in the relationship until his beloved girlfriend lost the battle to cancer.

People love a good, inspirational story and the fact that Manti was able to have such an amazing season and grab a heisman nomination in the midst of such tragic circumstances, was inspiritational indeed.  Football fans all over the country fell in love with Manti as they heard stories about how the couple met and the phone calls he made to her while she was in the hospital in a coma and how just the sound of his voice would make her vital signs improve.  It was all super sweet, until Deadspin brought some things to light, and then it became super weird.

After a little research, maybe a lot of research, they discovered that the linebacker’s girlfriend never existed.  No death record, no obituary in the paper, no automobile accident reports, no record of her being enrolled at Stanford.  Except for social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter there was no proof this girl was real and that’s because she wasn’t.

The story blew up.  It was on ESPN all day everyday for a good two weeks.  The public, myself included, could not seem to understand how Manti Te’o had such a real relationship with such a fake person.  He claimed he had been “Cat-fished.”

A catfish, according to Urban Dictionary, is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.

I still don’t think his story lines up, but someone did come forward, a DUDE, and he admitted that he was behind the whole thing.  He created a Facebook page, added pictures to it, made up a profile, and began a circle of friends.  Eventually, Manti made it into that circle of friends and they began an online relationship… one the grew and left him heartbroken when he heard the news of her passing.

I still don’t get how you could have such an intense relationship with someone you’ve never met.  You would think before things got serious you would want to at least see the person face to face so you could be sure that they weren’t lying about themselves.  I think sometimes as “Christians” we are satisfied with Jesus’ profile page.  We know what the Bible says about Him.  We remember what our parents told us about Him.  We go to church and listen to what our Pastor says about Him.  We have just enough of knowledge of Him to know He exists and we love Him, but we should desire more.

We should desire to see Him face to face, to go beyond a “profile page” relationship.  We should be more than just Facebook friends with the one who gave His life for us.  We should have the kind of relationship with God that if investigated would prove that He really does exist in our lives and that we really are in love with Him.

Jesus is always in pursuit of YOU and He’s not catfishing around.  He is who He says He is, but if you really want proof, you’ll have to do more than just read the Bible and go to church, you are going to have dig deeper.  You are going to have to seek harder.  You are going to have to knock louder.

Don’t settle for a relationship where you never really meet the person you claim to be in love with.  Jesus wants to be seen, He has nothing to hide.

  1. Deut 4:29 Seek the Lord and you will find Him.
  2. Matt 7:7-8 Ask and it’s given.  Seek and you’ll find.  Knock and He’ll answer.
  3. Matt 6:33 When we seek first the kingdom of God, everything else falls into place.
  4. Got to listen to a great message this morning while I was getting ready.
  5. Jesus is not catfishing around.  The more we find out about Him the more we’ll discover how truly great He is.
  6. Had a fun morning making this awesome S’more Ice Cream Cake with Lindsay.
  7. The smell of sugar and butter baking in the oven.
  8. The cake was delicious.  I will be making it again!
  9. My new springform cake pan.
  10. Hanging out with Lindsay this week has got me excited about having two teenage girls in the not too distant future.
  11. Gus got to play his first game of mini golf and he loved it!
  12. Indoor mini golf!  That I can do.
  13. All the kids had fun in the arcade at Main Event this afternoon.
  14. Beau had enough tickets to get just the squishy toy that she wanted to get.
  15. Lindsay got Beau a Cinderella bracelet with some of her tickets.  Beau loved it.
  16. Yummy Sloppy Joes for dinner.
  17. Ratatouille movie night.
  18. Beau wasn’t very into the movie, but she was into being extremely sweet and letting me hold her.
  19. Received a sweet note from a long time friend of my moms.
  20. Received a sweet Facebook message from a 10kreasons reader!
  21. Received a message from another 10kreasons reader letting me know she was going to be sharing something from one of my blogs in her small group.
  22. I spent 45 minutes putting Beau to bed tonight.  We read lots of books, sang lots of songs, cuddled, prayed, and made a bed for her new little squishy pet to sleep in.  I enjoyed every second of it.
  23. Beau’s prayer tonight:  Thank you God for Jesus, “Helly” Kitty jelly beans, Gussy, Mommy, Daddy, the new baby, and my squishy.
  24. Settlers of Catan game night part 2.  I didn’t win this time, but came pretty close and still had a good time.
  25. Stayed up late to hang out with just Josh.  Good times.
  26. Josh got two more invitations to come speak at churches later this year.
  27. I got an invitation to speak at a church this year.  Not sure if I’m ready for that, but honored to be invited.

Day 337

My husband Josh has always been a hand holder.  Ten years ago when we went to Hawaii for our honeymoon he held my hand every where we walked and since we were both too young to rent a car we walked… a lot!  It’s harder to hold hands when we have our littles ones around, because they need us to hold their hands, or one of us is pushing a stroller, which is kind of hard to do one handed.  But when it’s just us, on a date night, or on vacation, we are hand in hand.

Last week, when we were shopping State Street in Santa Barbara, I had no idea how to get where we needed to go 100% of the time.  I am directionally challenged.  If I were to have lost Josh, I would have had a hard time finding the parking garage we parked in, or the movie theater we were supposed to see an afternoon movie at.  I was trusting him to get us where we needed to go.  I placed my hand in his, we walked side by side, and he led me.  He didn’t drag me (although I did have to remind him a few times that my legs aren’t as long as his) he just knew where he was going and since I wanted to go where he was going, it worked out nicely.

I felt led to read Hebrews 11 this morning, the always impressive faith hall of fame, and to study someone in it that I wasn’t familiar with.  I found my someone in verse 5.

Because of faith Enoch was caught up and transferred to heaven, so that he did not have a glimpse of death; and he was not found, because God had translated him. For even before he was taken to heaven, he received testimony [still on record] that he had pleased and been satisfactory to God.

What was this about?  Someone who literally cheated death!  I had to find out more about this Enoch guy.

He was Adam’s great-to the 7th power-grandson.  He was also the father of the Methuselah, the guy who lived to be 969 years old, and who holds the record for oldest person in Biblical history, but those are not the reasons Enoch got a mention in Hebrews 11.

Genesis 5:24 (AMP) And Enoch walked [in habitual fellowship] with God; and he was not, for God took him [home with Him]. 

He made it into the faith hall of fame along side of Abraham and Noah because he walked so closely with God that when it was time for him to leave the earth, God took him.  Enoch never died.  His body was never found.  One day he was hanging out on planet earth, the next day he was not.  He was seamlessly transferred to heaven, beamed up, not by Scotty, but by his closest friend, God.

Anytime you are willing to let someone else lead you when you don’t know where you are going, it requires faith.  I put my faith in Josh when we were out of town last week.  I was trusting him to get us to all of the places we wanted to visit.  I wasn’t trying to pull him this was when he was going that way, I knew he knew better than me, so I just kept in step with him.  If we want to walk in habitual fellowship with God, we have to decide that he’s our leader.  We have to decide that He knows better than us.  We have to admit that without Him we are directionally challenged, but most importantly we have to be going where He’s going.

Amos 3:3 (MSG) Do two people walk hand in hand if they aren’t going to the same place?

No Amos, they don’t!

If you want to walk as closely with your heavenly father as Enoch did you have to be going where He is going.  Enoch lived differently than the rest of the world, so he was taken out of the world differently than the rest of the world.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the world we live in today let go of God’s hand a long time ago.  They chose to go their own way and continue to get more and more lost as time goes by.  If you want to go where God is going you have to live differently, think differently, and act differently than the world around you.  God, like The Beatles, wants to hold your hand, He wants to hold your haa-aa-and, so grab on to His and don’t let go.  Don’t pull this way when He’s leading you that way.  Trust Him, keep in step, and enjoy watching the plans He has for you unfold.

  1. He wants to hold my hand.
  2. Josh is a hand holder.
  3. I always have someone holding my hand nowadays.
  4. Good Bible study this morning.
  5. “I Wanna Hold You Hand”  by the Beatles.
  6. Had my favorite salad for lunch.
  7. So nice having extra hands around to put place mats down, get ice cream, and carry around Beau today at Chic Fil A.
  8. The kids had a fun afternoon bouncing and sliding at The Jump Zone and I had fun watching them!
  9. Found buy one get one free passes for The Jump Zone.
  10. Beau was so brave.  She was hanging right in there with Gus, Drew, & Lindsay on all the big slides and obstacles courses.
  11. Back to work today.  Last week was a good week to take off.  Emails and voicemails were much lighter than I expected.
  12. Riveting game of Wii bowling.  I came in 1st.  I’m schooling these kids this week and enjoying it.
  13. Awesome praise report from my mother in law.
  14. Baby Sunny was bouncing around a little bit at The Jump Zone too.  Those tiny flutters are so special.
  15. Air Conditioning!!
  16. Waking up Beau from a good nap.  She’s so sweaty and so serious and so sweet.
  17. My nephew Justin was in a car accident and angels totally protected him and his vehicle.
  18. Spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.
  19. Big family dinner around our big dining room table.
  20. Josh helped clean up my big mess in the kitchen.
  21. Beau was loopy exhausted after dinner.  She was laughing hysterically at everything.
  22. Teenagers are pretty fun to converse with.  I’m enjoying having some people around the house during the day to talk to that are older than 5.
  23. Got to catch up on Food Network Star episodes we missed while we were out of town.
  24. Beau’s bedtime prayer.  I know God looks forward to that every night.
  25. Beau read “Pete The Cat” to me tonight.
  26. Josh had a good day back in the office and hired a new awesome intern!
  27. Freebirds, Pei Wei, and MooYeah all open and all just 5 minutes from our house.  Yay for more fast casual restaurants!

Day 336

When my son Gus was three we took him to see a firework show on the 4th of July.  We got to the church that was shooting them off about an hour early so we could get good seats, but the show did not start on time… in fact, it started 45 minutes late!  We were tired of waiting and almost left a few times, but we stuck it out and I’m so glad we did.  When the show finally started, Gus was in awe.  He couldn’t believe his eyes.  He was audibly joyful.  Every time a firework would begin it’s climb into the night sky he would say, “Going up…BOOM!  Firework!”  Every. single. time!  “Going up…BOOM! Firework!  Mamma see the blue one?  Mamma see the green one?  Going up…BOOM! Firework!”  We tried to get him to watch and enjoy quietly, but he couldn’t do it.  He was so loud that a few people sitting around us moved far away enough so that they didn’t have to listen to him and far away enough not to listen to him was on the other side of the parking lot.

Since I am his mom, I enjoyed listening to his joy.  I could see how other people could get annoyed, but it made me happy to know my little boy was having such a wonderful time.

Nehemiah 12:43 Many sacrifices were offered on that joyous day, for God had given the people cause for great joy. The women and children also participated in the celebration, and the joy of the people of Jerusalem could be heard far away.

The joyous day Nehemiah was talking about was dedication day!  The wall the people had been working so hard to build was complete and now it was time to celebrate and dedicate it to the Lord.  They had two thanksgiving choirs and a live band to help the people enter in and enter in they did. They weren’t just singing, they were audibly joyful and their joy, not their song, could be heard from far away.

Whoever it was that heard them far away may have heard music and they may have heard singing but what really stood out was the sound of JOY!

Joy has a sound and if your life is centered around Jesus, your joy should be able to be heard from far away.  It may get on other peoples nerves, but that’s just because they don’t have lives centered around Jesus and they’re probably just jealous of the fact that you always have a smile on your face and a song in your heart… no matter what’s going on in your life.

Some people may move their seat away from yours, but I believe if you’re audibly joyful you’ll draw more people to you than away from you, because joyful people are just more fun to be around than stick in the muds.

One thing is for certain, your father, He’ll never be annoyed by your joy.  I sat there with Gus and smiled the whole way through that firework show because I love my son and it brings me joy to hear his joy.  God is the same way.  He doesn’t care how great your singing voice is or if you are an eloquent speaker, if you are making a joyful noise, He’ll sit with you and smile, because He loves you and it brings Him joy to hear your joy!

  1. Joy has a sound!
  2. Jesus loves me and it brings Him joy when He hears my joy.
  3. When we are joyful we draw people in.
  4. We always have something to be joyful about.  Always.
  5. Josh sent me that verse this morning.
  6. We have some video clips of Gus and his audible joy at the firework show that night.  So awesome.
  7. The sound of my kids laughing.
  8. The sound of my kids crying right after they were born.
  9. The sound of my kids saying mamma.
  10. Got to go to the packed 10:45 service this morning at Gateway Frisco.
  11. The sound of people worshipping all around me.  More people, louder worship.  Loved it.
  12. Drew & Lindsay have been great helpers with Gus & Beau.  They help Gus get buckled up in the car and get Beau in and out of her carseat.
  13. Teenagers can take their plates to the dishwasher!
  14. Cochran’s had safe travels to Hawaii.
  15. Heard a lot of laughter coming from upstairs this afternoon while Gus was playing Ninja Turtles with Drew & Lindsay.
  16. I received so many sweet texts today from family and friends letting me know they were thinking of me.
  17. Josh grilled some yummy hamburgers and hotdogs for us tonight.
  18. Homemade milk shakes. We were going for ice cream, but my freezer bowl must have not been cold enough.  The milkshakes were good though!
  19. Kids all had fun swimming and playing in the backyard this evening.
  20. Josh did bath time and bed time for the kids tonight so I could get a head start on my bath time!
  21. Josh hand washed all of the ice cream maker parts for me.  He knows I can’t stand hand washing stuff.
  22. Settlers of Catan game night… which by the way I won!  Took the 10th point just before Josh had a chance to get his 10th point!
  23. When Beau tells stories.  She is so cute I can hardly stand it sometimes.
  24. My Grandma Newsom is celebrating her birthday today.  She was at all of my birthday parties growing up and always brought me a special gift.
  25. When Gus and Beau fight and then have to make up.  Beau loves getting/giving her bubba hugs.
  26. Gus was perfectly positioned for a kiss on the lips when I went to check on him tonight.
  27. Today was a good day.  God’s grace is more than enough for me!