Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Don't Lose Heart

This month has been a rough one, friends.

Here we are at June 27th, and I've only been able to count 5 semi-good health days.

It's hard, and I'm tired, mentally and physically.
It's hard on my family, too, and that makes me sad.

I'm focusing on these thoughts to get me through...


 I am glad that God has better things planned.

I am thankful for the hope He gives to me for the future, 
even if it's clouded in the present.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Favorites

Here's what some of my favorite peeps have been up to lately!

Cool friends that make cool stuff!!


Making Citrus Smiles!!!





My sweet, dear friend Beth and her awesome husband Nate just made this video.

After 19 months of waiting, God has made them a baby!!

I'm so excited for them and this blessing from above!


And last, but certainly not least...



The Amazing Jones Duo made an Etsy shop called Kiss the Sky!

They are making beautiful prints and canvases with scripture, songs and special dates.
They can even been customized.

You should go visit Denise at Victory Road, because she is doing a give away right now!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bittersweet June

June has been beautiful and bittersweet all at the same time.

Our Josh graduated from sixth grade.  I am still processing that it occurred.
We are so proud of him and all that he has learned and accomplished over the last seven years.


 The last 3 years Josh has had the privilege of being involved in a small homeschool co-op.
It was such a special season in his life and something that we will truly miss.
It has been a huge blessing and gift from the Lord.

The kids celebrated their years together with a major water war.
And a giant water slide. So fun!!


Good thing that there was a lot of water, cause I couldn't hold back the tears 
as we left the parking lot for the last time.


Then my little baby turned seven!! SEVEN!! 
When did this happen??  I can just barely pick him up anymore.
We love our little bear so much.


We sent him on a scavenger hunt for his new fishing pole... you just can't wrap those!!
Which do you think he likes better?  Present or cash??


Last week after these celebrations was a bit rough.  I think it was a big transition week.
It seemed like the kids couldn't stop rubbing each other the wrong way.

I think transitions are like that sometimes.  At least they are for me.
I can get seriously moody when I'm ending one thing and moving on to another.

So we made a "summer bucket list" to usher in the summer.
To help us look forward to the season ahead and make some fun plans.


Hopefully, we can fit it all in and enjoy ourselves!!
Do you have some fun summer plans?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Belle and Blue

WIWW #28

pleated poppy


This post is going to be short and sweet.  Just thought I'd let you know ahead of time.

Top & Sandals: Marshalls; Jeans: Walmart; Necklace: F21
Ring: Jason

I am aware the quality of these photos is awful... sorry, it was late at night.  I happened to mention Belle a few days ago, because out of all the Disney princesses, I pretty much just like her (her and Nala... she counts).  Jason got all excited and said, "Hold on a second.  Oh, oh, oh!  I have something for you.  Austin got this off his cupcake and I saved it for you, cause you love Belle."  And then he just beamed and put it on my finger.  Is it not the perfect accessory?  I'm going to wear it out... my blingy Belle ring, from Jason.

 Tee: Marshalls; Skirt: Goodwill; Necklace: Linkel Designs on Etsy
Shoes: Nine West Outlet Clearance last year

First the Belle ring, and now I'm painting my nails turquoise blue.  My dad said it was ok as long as I didn't paint them black.  Actually, that was the color I was thinking of next.  The turquoise is just to ease me into the black.  I haven't painted my fingernails in years (or at least a lot of months).  I keep seeing Essie everywhere, and this turquoise color was sitting all alone on the wrong shelf at Walmart.  I felt sorry for it, so I took it home and almost died of toxic fumes.  I gotta say I like the color and it's not chipping yet, so it gets to stay.

I wonder what other juvenile mischief I can get myself into this week.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Month 2 ~ Repentance

Part of Man year

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, 
and the truth is not in us. 
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, 
to forgive us our sins, 
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 
1 John 1:8-9

During May of Man Year, Josh focused on the theme of repentance.   

He learned about what repentance is... a deep sorrow for past sin/wrongdoing or regret for a past action.  He also learned that the Greek word for repent is "metanoia" or "a change of mind."  That makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?  God helping us change our mind and behavior.

Josh drew some comic strips that illustrated the elements of being wronged and repenting with a sorrow for the wrongdoing, followed by a change of behavior, forgiveness and reconciliation.  I couldn't photograph and post them, since they are pretty tiny characters!!  But they are very cute!


Throughout the month, Patrick and Josh read and discussed the book "Beautiful Outlaw" by John Eldredge.  They talked about who Jesus is... both fully God and fully human.  I eavesdropped on some of their discussions about what it is to have an intimate relationship with Jesus.  He is not just a religion or part of an organization, but a God who came to sanctify us and make us holy, "walking beside us" throughout our lives, and guiding us by His Holy Spirit. 



At the end of the month, Patrick took Josh on a hike to illustrate the idea of continually walking in repentance, and what to do when you take the wrong path.



Bifurcation became the word of the month.  Essentially, it is like saying "fork in the road," but we think that bifurcation is a really fun word to say, and it gave Josh a good mental picture.  He started thinking about how bifurcations can lead to other bifurcations, and that he should really think about the paths he wants to take.

We also acted out (well, I directed) the story of The Prodigal Son, to illustrate repentance and the heart of God toward His children.




This was really fun to do.  Afterward, we had a good family discussion about the grace and generosity of the father, as well as the sins of both of the sons.  We talked about why the brothers made the choices they did and how their choices and the way they handled their emotions and desires affected their lives.  Ultimately, our heavenly Father wants what is best for us, and rejoices when we repent from our sins and when we are reconciled to Him, and often to others.  We need to look to Him with an abundance of gratitude and thanksgiving, instead of feeling deprived.



Finally, here are some conclusions Josh came to, regarding the theme of repentance:

"I think truly repenting is truly acknowledging your sins and asking God to take care of them, then to right your wrongs and ask for forgiveness. Learning about repentance is sort of freaky, because God is ultimately altering our minds! I’ve also seen He is way more human than I ever thought.  Jesus is not distant, He wants a relationship with us. We shouldn’t hide things from Him, but give Him every detail of our problems and sins. He wants to forgive us, take it away from us, and throw it into the depths of the ocean."

 In a letter I wrote to encourage him, I said this:

"Josh, I see in you a heart that sometimes struggles to repent, but deep down I see that you want to do the right thing.  I see your tears and your sorrow when you realize you have hurt someone or rebelled against God.  I see your contrite heart and your willingness to ask forgiveness.  I see that sin grieves you, as it does God.  I’m thankful that you don’t want it to rule your life."

Friday, June 8, 2012

Delighted

A couple of weeks ago, we were driving up to visit Denise's family for "Macaytion."  I think my brain is still in Bass Lake.  I feel like the past couple weeks have rushed by in a flurry of end-of-the-year school activities.  I am catching my breath this afternoon and reflecting.

Last night as I was singing "I Love You So Much" to my little J-bear, I was thinking about how much I delight in my children.  Sometimes we get angry and frustrated with each other.  Other times, I have to discipline them, and although necessary, it isn't fun for anyone.  But for the most part, I really delight in my children.  I like encouraging them and cuddling them and getting to know the people whom God created them to be.  I love to celebrate their achievements and divide their sorrows.  Sometimes on the way down the hall, when I am headed for bed, I stop and look at the kids' photos on the wall and I say, "I really like our kids."  And Patrick says, "Ya, me, too."  And then I go in and kiss them and make sure they are still breathing... I still do that, even though they haven't been in a crib for years.


One of the things I love the most about Denise and her husband, Michael, is that they delight in their children, too.  Noah, Emilie, and Josie have been loved and encouraged and enjoyed.  Their parents are purposeful about it.  I can just tell. There is love and joy in Josie's eyes, tenderness and warmth in Emilie's heart, and a steadfastness and strength in Noah's character.  They have been delighted in a lot.


Aren't they all so cute there, chillin' on the couch with their blankets in the morning?


They are pretty cute on a boat, too.

Jason followed Noah's lead and tried out the knee board.
He is 6 (almost 7) and he loves to try new things.
Sometimes it scares me, but I also love his adventurous spirit.
His happy, fun-loving attitude makes me smile.
I like that about Jason.

video

Josh has always been more cautious.  
He kind of regrets that he didn't try kneeboarding.
But he did try fishing, and he jumped off the boat in the upper right... TWICE.
I like that he knows himself and what he wants to try.
I like that he is not easily talked into anything... 
and that when he's ready, he's ready.
He's solid and when he decides to try something, he really sets his mind to doing a great job.
I like that about Josh.

One morning at Bass Lake I read Psalm 28.  I love verses 8 and 9.

The Lord is the strength of his people;
    he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!
     Be their shepherd and carry them forever.

I love that our children are a heritage from the Lord.
And I love that He delights in us and sings over us.

It is amazing to me to think that the Lord delights in me as I delight in my own children.
Yes, He disciplines me as a good parent should, but He is also happy to call me His child.

My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline
    or be weary of his reproof,
for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
    as a father the son in whom he delights.
Proverbs 3:11-12 

The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 

I am glad to have such a good heavenly Father.
I am so thankful that I am delighted in... it's almost too much to even grasp.
It makes me feel like smiling and dancing.


video

(Do you like Denise's commentary?)


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