Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 23

He walks with me... 10,524 steps

He talks with me... "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you." -Hebrews 13:5

He tells me I am His own... "So we can confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?" -Hebrews 13:6

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 22

He walks with me... 10,369 steps

He talks with me... "But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious." - 1 Peter 3:4

He tells me I am His own... "And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places." -Isaiah 32:17-18

Lost & Found

Yesterday was "Day 21". The first day of the second half of this journey. A momentous occasion for sure.

I lost my pedometer.
I lost my patience.
I lost my temper.
I lost control.
I almost lost my mind.

At three o'clock this morning, I cried out to the Lord. "Please help me! I can't live another day like yesterday. I just can't. What can I do? I don't want the sun to rise..."

He seemed to be shushing me. But not merely as a mother tenderly shushes a crying child. He seemed to be providing the remedy for my plight: as if to say, "Cari, just shush...don't speak and your day will be fine."

It was the middle of the night, and thoughts are strange in the drowsy darkness. But I could swear He quoted "Princess Diaries". As if to lovingly encourage this daughter of a King: "A Princess never raises her voice. She speaks in hushed tones."

As the light of day beckoned me to consciousness a few hours later, I remembered the midnight conversation. I calmly brushed my teeth and happily made my bed. When I was prayed up - good and ready - I ventured down the hall to utter my first whispered words of the day. "Kiddos, it's time to get up."

After a few minutes, different children began to ask why we were all whispering. I had no idea why THEY were whispering. Personally, I had taken a bit of a vow. I didn't really have to respond to the inquisition concerning my hushed tones. One child spoke up on my behalf and supposed that my "throat was soar like last year from singing in that radio thingie". Another more accurate, less tender soul offered the theory that I perhaps lost my voice yesterday in all the fit throwing. Indeed I had.

Lost it.

Today I found it...and I kept it under considerable restraint.

I found control.
I found temperance.
I found patience.
I found my pedometer.

Within the first hour of the day, there was literally fire, pestilence and flood in my kitchen. And I responded with hushed tones of peace and grace. After I extinguished the flames, swept away the debris, and mopped up the mess of such an unthinkable disaster, I thought about the supernatural calmness that had surely possessed me. I felt empowered to face any further frustration with similar courage and quietness. And so I did.

All the day long.

THIS is how we know the power of the cross. THIS is evidence that Christ is risen indeed! I navigated the torrent of circumstance and no one heard a peep from me. Thank You, Jesus! Victory!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 20

He walks with me... ? steps (I totally forgot to don my pedometer in all the excitement of beginning our day. oops!)

He talks with me... "A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished." Proverb 28:20

He tells me I am His own... "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." John 15:15

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 19

He walks with me... 2,200 steps (a pitifully sedentary day, yet pleasingly productive and enjoyable none-the-less)

He talks with me... "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23

He tells me I am His own...
"Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the LORD.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it."
Song of Solomon 8:6-7

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 18

He walks with me... 5,377 steps

He talks with me... I did most of the talking today...and it was not neccessarily filled with grace. Lord, forgive me.

He tells me I am His own... New mercies due first thing in the morning. Thankya Jesus:)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 17

He walks with me... 7,201 steps

He talks with me... Tonight we walked while the banana bread was baking. The elderly woman who lives at the bend in the road, lives alone, and often she will come outside just as I pass her driveway. Merely coincidental timing cannot account for the dozens of times this has happened. Many times I stop and talk. Many times I pass her by with an energetic wave and cheerful hello.

As I approached her house, she was in the driveway looking around her property. I briskly walked by and waved. I knew in that instant, that the Lord would have preferred my stopping, but I took six more steps, and then I was too far to turn around without looking weird. I double checked with Him. Yep. She needed someone to talk to and I needed to be available more than I needed to rack up more steps.

I looked back over my shoulder only to see her returning inside. I begged for forgiveness and promised to visit with her on the way back around...if He could get her to stay outside. By the time I reached the end of the road, and turned around, I noticed that she had stopped just by her walkway. "Oh good! Keep her there...I'm walking as fast as I can to catch her before she goes inside."

As soon as my mind uttered "inside", that's where she headed. I felt terrible. I wished I had stopped earlier. Then, as I passed her driveway for the second time, I saw her sweeping the steps in her carport. I darted in with the stroller and a smile. "Hello! How is everything?"

That's all I had to say. She talked for almost 30 minutes. As though she had a chapter book from which she had been waiting to read aloud to me, she told me of the day's events. "Today is the day that marks six years since my sweet husband died...six years ago today..." She went on to tell me about her doctor's visit, the termite crisis, NOT having chicken for dinner even though it was Friday (because Terminix stayed so late) and how her daughter was coming to visit tomorrow.

I was "quick to listen and slow to speak". She seemed pleased to be able to process her eventful day. I could have lingered even longer, but I suddenly remembered my banana bread and had to excuse myself. I missed out on the last thirty minutes of daylight where I might have tracked 3,000 more steps, but I feel fulfilled that I was able to be obedient...even if it took two tries:)

He tells me I am His own...
Take heart my friend the Lord is with us
As He has been all the days of our lives
Our assurance every morning
Our defender in the night
FERNANDO ORTEGA

Sweet Victory

After learning the disturbing facts about High Fructose Corn Syrup, I knew it was something I should live to avoid.

I steer clear of the obvious junk: jellies, processed cookies, cakes, sodas and "juices". I've become more savvy as I provide pure condiments like vinegar & oil dressings and pure maple syrup.

Recently I was saddened to realize even my beloved Blue Bell was heavy laden with HFCS. I had lived for decades in blissful ignorance. The happy cow in the spring meadow and the cheerful delivery men blinded me to the danger. If I had any interest in giving up the celebratory cream, I might have investigated its ingredients. But somehow, I was always too enamored by the deliciousness to be proactively concerned. Until the day, my brother - with little care for my deep-seated emotional connection to "Groom's Cake" - he just spouted it out like it wouldn't alter the course of my life. "You know Blue Bell is made with HFCS, right?"

Now I know. So, now it doesn't matter if or when it goes on sale, no happiness, uhhh, I mean, no Blue Bell for the Johnsons.

Yesterday, I read the label on the bar-b-que sauce in my fridge. WHAT?? Who bought this? Did they not read the label? How did this get into my home. HFCS is EVERYWHERE!!

This side of Glory, I will never be RID of it. But perhaps truth, diligence, honesty, and perseverance can be the key to a good, long life.

Does this make you think of sin? Not the ice cream...this whole "flee from" scenario...

You know the obvious biggies...and many times you successfully steer clear of them. But what about the stuff that seems unimportant but you end up smothering everything in your life with them. Purity? Or that fake, killer junk? If you're not paying attention, they can seem VERY similar.

What about the stuff you've enjoyed for years - only to find out the truth, that was ironically available the whole time? (It would have taken a little reading, though:)

Then there are times you had no idea it had even made it into your life. "Where did that come from? Who brought that in? We don't do this!!"

This side of Glory, we will never be RID of sin. But perhaps Truth, diligence, honesty, and perseverance can be the key to a good, long life.

Thank You, Lord, for forgiveness. Your gracious, miraculous ability to apply Christ's payment-in-full on our account gives us the victory over sin. Help me keep a watchful eye for things in my life that displease You. I really wish You had a way to reverse the effects of fructose on my body, but I find comfort that even if I live to be 100, it's just a vapor. This body is only temporary. But You have given me eternal, abundant life through Your mercy and love. Thank YOU:)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 16

He walks with me... 11,507 steps. Git. It. Guuuurl!!

He talks with me... For the first 23 years of my life I relied heavily upon my dad for wisdom and courage. Sixteen years ago today, in the early hours of morning, my mom called to say that Dad was not breathing. Logic told me that if she was not instructing me to meet her at the hospital, I could assume he was gone. I hastily dressed and calmly drove to their house.

As I drove across town, I talked to the Lord. More than sadness, I felt a heavy sense of "who will be there when I need to talk...who will teach me truth and show me love...who is going to tell me when I'm great and who will gently tell me I've fallen short? Who will laugh with me and listen as I dream my dreams?".

And among other words of comfort, my Heavenly Father whispered, "I will."

He tells me I am His own... Two days later I sang "Great is Thy Faithfulness" at Dad's memorial service. I meant it will all my heart. God is SO faithful. He never changes. I am His. He is mine.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Too Good NOT to Share

Thursdays are my favorite! Today is the day that my dear, sweet, Kathy posts "Thoughts for Thursdays". She pairs one of her lovely photos with with a passage of scripture. I am ALWAYS blessed by her offering of worship.

You will be too! She is not nearly as verbose as I, so you can scroll through her beautiful blog with expeditious ease to see photographic journaling of her fun-filled days as a mom.

Enjoy today!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 15

He walks with me... 6,072 steps
Unexpected, yet welcomed, interruptions postponed my "big walk" all day long. I am pleased, however, that my daily average has more than doubled over the last two weeks. Thank You, Jesus!

He talks with me... Proverbs 23:29-35. I have no recollection of ever knowing this passage. Philip has always held more strict convictions in this area. This passage pretty much nullifies most of my justifications. Interesting.

He tells me I am His own... "Taste and see that the Lord is good...those who seek the Lord lack no good thing." - Psalm 34:8-10

Talking to Ourselves

My two oldest girls and I are helping one another be more like Jesus. We each have our struggles.

One is struggling to pursue peace. Though she can quite easily be characterized as "sweet and kind", she often chooses to escalate a troubled situation with returned accusations and elevated pitch and tone.

The other, who is known for her cheerful work ethic and acts of service, is often choosing laziness and poor effort.

And then there's me. One of my MANY challenges is to treat those closest to me with the calm kindness I easily share with the UPS guy or my neighbor.

The girls and I tearfully confessed our plights the other morning and agreed to hold each other accountable to choosing God's best for our lives. I told them, "We just need to constantly have these questions rolling through our minds, so that we stay tuned in to how we are living."

Here's what's on our minds and under our breath.

"Am I being helpful?"

"Am I making things better or worse?"

"Is my gentleness evident to all?"

Thank You, God, for these young women in my home. Help me disciple them and continue to guide us. You have redeemed us. We are NOT lazy. We CAN be a blessing. We CAN be gentle. Help us claim YOUR perspective. Thank You for Your patience:)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 14

He walks with me... 7,052 steps (the happiest of which were shared with my sweet friend, Celina, as we circum-strolled the ballpark)

He talks with me... I was neither a good listener nor a good sharer today. Today felt crowded. I had a fruitful meeting this morning, happy times with the kids this afternoon, and enjoyed this evening... but I didn't have that "close" feeling like I really paid attention to God or what He might have been trying to say. ok. just figured it out. Didn't read Bible today. Duh. That explains A. Lot.

He tells me I am His own... "Saved me. Forgave me. Now I believe. I belong to the King of Kings!"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 13

He walks with me... 5,712 steps ( I wanted so desperately to lay around all day. Physically, I don't feel well, and my emotions were poised and ready to fully support a give-up lazy day. But I trudged ahead. So I am pleased that -even though it's barely 8pm and I'm calling it a day- that I came in above average.)

He talks with me... "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again; Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near." - Philipians 4:4-5 (He and I've been talking about this one for a WHILE:)

He tells me I am His own... "You make everything glorious. You make everything glorious. And I am Yours...what does that make me?" -dc

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 12

He walks with me... 4,053 steps **totally forgot to wear the pedometer to church this morning...so this is for PM only. (silly girl)

He talks with me..."The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.

Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but
lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.

A man's steps are directed by the Lord.
How then can anyone understand his own way?.

The lamp of the Lord searches the spirit of a man;
it searches out his inmost being." - Proverbs 20

"Then God said to man,
'The fear of the Lord --that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding."
-Job 28:28

He tells me I am His own..."If any of you lacks wisdom, [s]he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to h[er]." -James 1:5

Bright Spot

Philip and Luke are enjoying this gorgeous day at the ballpark with their team.

Elizabeth is basking beneath the nap time breeze of her ceiling fan.

Landen rode across the road to trick some bass with a lure on a line.

Each of my three future family managers is completing her single spring break organization project.

Mari is straightening the left drawer in my bathroom: the "hair thing" drawer. With all the ponytails and clips and bows used each day, that place can get Cuh-razy!

Ashlin is tackling the arts and crafts cabinet - the one more adequately described by Mari's mispronunciation, "Arts and Craps".

Ardyn is busy cleaning out the hall bathroom cabinets...the high-traffic area where pigs fear to tread.

I have a looming deadline for a planning project so I came to the computer to get to work...but I simply prefer to blog.

Such a peaceful, dutiful, and delightful day must be recorded in some way!

And so it shall:)

**In a spirit of equality, Landen and Luke have agreed to organize the garage and lower kitchen cabinets respectively...and respectfully:)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 11

He walks with me...7,094 steps *whine of the day: my back hurts.

He talks with me...Through difficult moments of discipline with the girls this morning, in sweet words from those same precious children, while shopping and cleaning and as we walked around the block...God seemed so near to me today.

There were multiple opportunities for me to lose my cool, and it was as if He was physically stroking my shoulder, reminding me: "easy...gently now..." When raising my voice seems like the only method of clear communication, I find that whispering or singing works almost as well. And it sometimes makes us giggle, so that's good too:)

He tells me I am His own..."Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth would care to know my name, would care to feel my hurts...I am Yours. Whom shall I fear? Whom shall I fear? I am Yours!"

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 10

He walks with me...6,609 steps

He talks with me...The Father exposed me to some really exciting ideas. He listened while I rambled on and on about all the possibilities. If anyone could work out the details, He certainly could. But I'm asking for His best...whatever that looks like:)

He tells me I am His own..."With long life will I satisfy [her] and show [her] my salvation." - Psalm 91:15

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 9

He walks with me...9,331 steps. BooYa!!

He talks with me...I have set a horrible example for my children in the areas of kindness and gentleness. For years. So often, I require that they speak blessings while I refuse to refrain from an incessant spewing of negativity and strife. My children can be argumentative complainers, who react with arrogance and rudeness. And they learned it all right here.

I need forgiveness and the strength and patience to stop this awful cycle.

He tells me I am His own..." I will be with [her] in trouble, I will deliver [her] and honor [her]."- Psalm 91:15

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 8

He walks with me... 7,028 steps

He talks with me..."What if [My] people pray?"

He tells me I am His own..." [She] will call upon me, and I will answer [her]." - Psalm 91:15

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 7

He walks with me... 7,647 steps (Thank You, Jesus!)

He talks with me..."Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord." - Psalm 89:15

Cool breezes chase floating pear tree blossoms while tiny blades of freshly cut grass fly across the tidy lawn. Smoke from piles of burning brush washes the sky with a wonderfully hot pink color. He makes all things new:)

I sing "Hallelujah, hallelujah! How awesome is the Lord most high!"

He tells me I am His own..."Because [s]he loves me,' says the Lord, 'I will rescue [her]." -Psalm 91:14

Sync

I was running late to church. The route is a straight shot up the highway. My window of time within which to arrive without tardiness, was closing quickly. As I approached the first of many intersections, the red light turned green before I even applied the brake. "Smooth sailing!"

I imagined for a moment if that had gone differently. What if I was forced to stop at intersections and wait for green lights. Man, would I have been frustrated!

No construction. No detours. No traffic. A straight road leading directly to my destination. But timing seemed to be everything. A string of green lights made the difference in my mood and my punctuality.

Timing. What if I could flip a switch as I left my driveway and all the lights through town would be synchronized with my drive so that I never had to stop along the way. Cool?

I think that's what I secretly want from God sometimes. "I'll follow you, but if we could get right to this... and I really don't have time to stop and start...I've wasted time, I'm in a hurry, and now I need You to make this really easy...green lights all the way."

I confess I find God's "perfect timing" curiously challenging at times. I wonder how often I've refused to synchonize with Him. Is that why life is so frustrating at times? Not enough margin to allow for stops along the way. Not enough patience to endure the interruptions with joy. Not enough gratitude to receive a simple journey.

I think I might need to wake up a little earlier on Sundays.

And I need to try to view life's "red lights" as neccessary moments of pause.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 6

He walks with me...6020 steps (I could keep wearing it and drum up some more, but I'm super pleased with the upward spiral:) Gonna call it a day.

He talks with me...I left the stroller and the baby girl at home and invited David Crowder to join us this morning...by way of the ipod. Thoughts turned toward Japan...

When clouds veil sun
And disaster comes
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul
When waters rise
And hope takes flight
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul

Ever faithful
Ever true
You I know
You never let go
You never let go

Oh, what love, oh, what love
In joy and pain
In sun and rain
You’re the same
Oh, You never let go

He tells me I am His own..." I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its seting men may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things...Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other." -Isaiah 45

Reverse

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 5

He walks with me...3456 steps. (up from yesterday, so that's good.)

He talks with me..."We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life." - Romans 6:4

What sets us apart from the world? Power. Resurrection Power. I've heard this phrases so often in Easter music, the wording has seemed to have lost its impact.

The power that raised Christ from the dead. Raised him from the dead. He was dead and gone. Then he returned. To life. THAT power is alive in me as I walk in faith and "newness". Incredible. I claim YOUR power, Almighty God...kinda afraid of what that looks like. I believe. Help my unbelief.

He tells me I am His own."The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." - Romans 8:16

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 4

He walks with me...3066 (downward spiral needs to be busted in half.)

He talks with me..."For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave." -Psalm 86:13

He tells me I am His own... My love is GREAT...I will help you think about it more.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 3

He walks with me...4648

He talks with me..."I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever." - Psalm 86:12

He tells me I am His own...All your heart. Every part of you. Even the part that gets aggravated with the kids. Even the part you don't want anyone to know about. I know, don't you? All your heart.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 2

He walks with me...4811 (not bad. not really great.)

He talks with me..."Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." -Psalm 86:11

He tells me I am His own...Tonight I walked into a smokehouse. It smelled fantastic. But I had already bathed, and I didn't want my hair to smell like bacon, so I dashed back out. THAT's the strong, contageous, wonderful aroma of roasting meat. So much to learn!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Day 1

He walks with me... (wow! In true form, I start off strong...wait for it...slacker in 3,2,1...)

He talks with me..."And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." -Ephesians 5:2

"fragrant offering"...I'm sure I don't know what that means. The first believers knew of sacrifice and burnt offerings. I can't imagine the aroma of burning flesh being a pleasing thing. I need to study.

Jesus, help me walk in love. Would talking to you about the ones I love - more than I talk about myself - be "giving myself up"? Please show me.

Starting Point

I recently began wearing a pedometer. This has led to a shocking discovery. I am a sloth. A highly productive, busy busy sloth. The average woman walks 5,000 steps per day. I am NOT the average woman. I had no idea. I've been walking around the block for exercise more days than not...and even then I'm coming in just around average.

The pedometer does not lie. It doesn't even stretch the truth. It even keeps a week-long record. I've read that for weight-loss and improved cardio-vascular health, one should track 10,000 steps per day. Whoa Nelly.

I have a theory: Over the last 15 years, I've spent 70% of my time either pregnant or nursing or on physician-ordered bed rest. Throughout those circumstances, I found a way to run my household from a stationary posture - whether seated or standing. Rarely stepping.

The good news here is that I do not have a hyhpo-metabolic issue. I have a
mega-couch-potato syndrome....without the potatoes or the couch. I honestly would have never guessed.

In terms of food, I wasn't sure what else to give up. There are no sweets in this house. There are very few simple carbs, period. There are many leafy greens and fiber-rich foods. I rarely eat after 7pm and beyond my two cups of coffee, I drink water all day long. I wasn't sure what else to do nutritionally. I simply don't burn enough calories.

With Easter approaching, I asked the Lord, "What could I deny myself that would cause me to look toward You and go deeper in our love?"

"Therefore, I urge you, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God --this is your spiritual act of worship." - Romans 12:1

***

I'm often convicted that I do not tap in to the power of God. I read in scripture that He has offered me access to His might and strength and supernatural power. Do I take Him at His word? Rarely.

Over the holidays, we managed to destroy 3 or our dining room chairs. Two instances involved testosterone surges at mealtime...Neanderthals with whom I live and dine...and the other was a mopping mis-hap.

I took a walk one afternoon and the chairs made it into my conversation with the Lord. "What should I do? Be patient and wait for Philip to do something? Go out to the shop and build my first bench ever? God, You know it would be SO simple and cheap if someone was getting rid of their chairs...but who would sell chairs without a table and how would I know about it?" I laid it at His feet and finished my second mile.

That very night, 9 minutes before I logged on to facebook, my friend across town posted, "6 Broyhill dining chairs for sale. $100 for all."

Seriously? I yelled for Philip, asked his for the go-ahead, and quickly typed, "SOLD!!!" The Creator of the Universe knows my deepest desires. If I'll talk to him about chairs, and He'll almost immediately show His might and mercy to work it out, what am I missing? What should I be pleading with Him about? Stuff more important than a place to rest a bottom?

What if I talked to Him every day about my husband and my kids? What if I trusted Him for specific victory in their lives? What if I "have not because I ask not"?

Lord, help me.

****

I've been in crisis mode before on several occasions. This is not one. Physically and Spiritually, I have a deep, nagging need for consistent, deliberate, purposeful living. One step at a time. Walking & Talking with the Lord, my Friend and Father.

No quick fix.
No grand reveals.
No enormous undertakings.
No restrictions or deprivation.

Just reality, revelation, truth and action.
Sacrifice.
Step by step.

"So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law....Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep IN STEP with the Spirit."Galatians 5:16-18&25

40 Days IN STEP....here we go:)

SeeSeez Peetzah:)

Today, Philip's parents came to take us to lunch. Yay!

Mari Alice & Ashlin

Elizabeth - who was always on the move...thus the blur:)

Ardyn wishing for more quarters
AND the teens: Landen, Luke & their cousin, Raynie

Thank You, God, for sweet family and supreme pizza...and Nonnies who take pictures:)

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Web Master

I'm a google NERD.

I love research, but the Internet makes it almost too easy. You can find huge amounts of information with very little effort. (This can be good AND a not-so-good.)

I frequently scoot over to dictionary.com and bible.com. But my favorite is the good ol' google box. For this reason...

Every day, the kids ask me all kinds of weird questions. The answers to which I either can't remember or don't know. SO i google.

"Why are m&m's called m&m's"

"Why is the mockingbird our state bird?"

"Is there a casting crowns concert we could go to?"

"what's that little dip in your upper lip called..the dent between your nose and top lip?"

"Is Dr. Seuss dead?"

"Who thought of hot dogs?"

Just this evening, Philip was marveling how his ear infection may have came from congested sinus passage ways. "Why would God design it that way?"

Having not even a clue, I immediately googled, "sinus cavities and ear canal", and began my report: "Well, dear...where shall I begin??"



By his abrupt exit, I assume his curiosity was rhetorical. And oddly enough, I have no sense that my efforts were in vain.

Knowledge is bliss.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook



FOR TODAY Thursday, March 3, 2011...

Outside my window...teen boys talk trash while a basketball thumps against the ground and pops off the backboard then swings through the net, little girls giggle and scream as they chase each other around the yard, and the poor, sensory-overloaded dog barks his hairy head off.

I am remembering...how hasty and elusive East Texas winters seem.

I am thankful for...friends who call and say those special three words, "Let's have lunch!"

I am creating...notta lot. sniff, sigh.

I am going...walk around the block "one mo time agin now".

I am reading..."Made to Crave" and March magazines

I am hoping...that the MP3 concert goes well Sunday night and that all who attend receive a blessing.

On my mind...Easter dresses for 4 girls. ok, not really the dresses, but all the possible paraphanalia...shoes with or without hosiery, bows, slips, etc. (random)

From the learning rooms...we have had a great week. good effort + good grades + good attitudes = good stuff.

Noticing that...fewer Johnsons are coughing now than at any point this year. Clearing up the respitory system just in time for seasonal allergies. yay!

Pondering these words... "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable --if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." Phil 4:8 (AND on Glory Revealed II which makes it FAR easier to ponder:)

From the kitchen...need. groceries. soon.

Around the house...clutter in every room gives testimony to the fact that I have been in and out all day. Everyone seems to be enjoying the last few warm moments of daylight, so I'll postpone "Operation: Clean Sweep" for another hour or so.

One of my favorite things...is Casting Crowns music. Speaks to me:)

To participate or simply enjoy more daybooks, visit The Simple Woman.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Meditation on Proverbs 3:5-6

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,"

Confidently place your hope in God...

The One who made you,

who loved you first,

who has plans for you,

who is working everything according to His purpose for your good.

"and lean not on your own understanding."

and don't depend upon your own intellect or discernment.

Don't rely on your own personal interpretation of life's perceived circumstances.

"In all your ways, acknowledge Him,"

In everything.

In all your methods and means and manners and modes...

In every action and every choice...

be careful to

realize the truth of God's character,

express gratitude for His mercies, and

recognize His sovereignty in your life.

"and He will make your paths straight."

The Creator and Sustainer of the universe

will exert comparable power and

incomparable kindness

as He

prepares, shapes, changes, and produces a pathway

for you to traverse

according to His perfect guidance.