Saturday, March 26, 2011

New Days

Just when I think I can’t take on any more responsibilities, either physically or emotionally, my circumstances change. I don’t know about you, but I am learning what it means to depend on the Lord through each moment each day. Some days I’m faithful to keep my awareness on my need for Him and talk with Him “without ceasing,” other days I fall into bed at night and realize I haven’t even thought about the Lord once. How discouraging sin can be! But He is faithful. I’ve always found great comfort in Lamentations 3:22-23, “Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” I love the renewal that comes with a brand new day!

I’m reading through a book for the second time that talks about simplicity and a verse that was shared in a chapter I read this week was,

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

How often I forget to go to the Lord with my “load.” He twice tells us that we will find rest. When I spend the day talking to Him throughout the circumstances that arise, I have a sense of peace that I’m not carrying the burdens alone and that if I keep my eyes on the Lord, He will guide me in the way I should go. It’s so much easier and lighter. His way = His yoke. Every new day is an opportunity to walk with Him faithfully and learn of Him. I hope that encourages you!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Project 365: Week 12

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It's been a fun-filled week! Tj and Ashley came home for spring break from Wednesday to Sunday and we kept them busy and well-fed.

Here's a few of the things we did!

If you'd like to join in the fun, stop over at Sara's blog to see more pictures.

Sunday, March 13th

The flag at church caught my eye. So beautiful in the wind!


The girls attended their weekly American Heritage Girls troop meeting Monday night.


Empty house + hunger = early birthday dinner with family for me.


Playdate with friends. It was warm enough to play with sidewalk chalk in the cul-de-sac.


My handbell class taking a "field trip" to Starbucks.
They've worked hard!

We took Tj to a late lunch at a Washington landmark, Ben's Chili Bowl. See my previous post here.


Meet Spartacus! (Tj's lizard.) He is so adorable!  BIG personality. The poor thing was probably ready to go back to school after all the attention he got while at our house.  Who knew I'd like lizards!


My fridge is bulging. I love cooking for the kids when they come home.
We'll definitely have a few days of leftovers.  Not a problem.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Project 365: Week 11

I've missed the weekly postings for P365 since the end of January because of Dad's death. I spent the first part of February in CA without my computer. The following weeks, I've dealt with grieving and trying to get back in the swing of things. The good news: I still took pictures every day! I'm so proud of myself! Go, Me!

In today's post I will share all of March's photos with you and then later this week, I'll give you a recap of February.

Tuesday, March 1st

We were sent condolences flowers. One side was purple (Tara's favorite), one side pink (Katie's favorite.) It was not intended this way, but was a fun surprise.


A new dessert. The base is Swiss Cake Rolls.


Another new recipe - homemade blueberry muffins. Yum.

No Picture! (oops.)

Playtime at a local park

Trying a new camera out on the boys at Mimi's Cafe.


Making fleece blankets with the girls for charity.

Thinking about teaching this course...just thinking and researching.


Katie took a picture of her breakfast. Delicious!

Puppy Dogs and Lady Bugs!

It's not shorts weather yet, but she was comfortable. 
Mom's shoes were a nice touch to the ensemble!

A little poison on a plate.
Mark and I enjoyed salads at a restaurant and then paid for them later. Ugh.

Two beauties with newly pierced ears!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Piercing Ears & Heart

I had an early breakfast meeting this morning before most of my family was out of bed. After the meeting I had to get home to pick up the girls and drive them to the mall to attend a friend's Build-a-Bear birthday party. When I walked in the door at home, I was greeted with shouts of, "Dad said we could get our ears pierced at the mall!" I replied, "I don't know. It might be too much money."

(I was thinking on my feet, give me a break.)

Daddy and girls campaigned until I gave in and this is what happened.

Tara up first:

Katie to follow:

Yes, I've watched these videos a few times and feel like a rotten mother every time, but they were so excited BEFORE and AFTER, that it more than makes up for the drama in the middle.

The extra girls holding hands were friends from the birthday party that came along for support!

Two happy bedazzled babes!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Answered Prayer, Part 2

The Saturday following Dad's death was pretty quiet. On Sunday morning the kids and I went to church. Hard. I did a lot of crying with friends, but shared the blessings and the details of how the Lord was orchestrating everything perfectly. The kids and I were so numb. I was struggling to wrap up my responsibilities, both at work and at home.

I have a team of volunteers at church that receive a weekly email from me with scheduling information and a small Scriptural challenge, usually stemming from something the Lord has been saying to me during my personal devotions. I had two weeks of emails to cover while I would be gone and I needed to get them written up and sent to my supervisor who would be covering for me. In the email for Feb 13th (the second week) I included a challenge on Ephesians 3. I had been thinking on the phrase "abundantly above all we can ask or imagine..." The Lord had been displaying this verse to me that week and I challenged them to look for ways the Lord was revealing Himself in their lives. How was He doing more than they could ask or imagine for them?

I shared this challenge with my college-age daughter as we travelled to California and she told me that in the Fall she had changed her life verse to a verse in Ephesians 3. It had great meaning for her, as well.

Fast forward a couple of days...

Wednesday morning we're sitting in Dad's funeral service and the speaker mentions that the passage Dad was studying when he died was Ephesians 3.

Ephesians 3.

Moments before he took his last breath, he was reading the same Scripture that the Lord had impressed on our hearts and minds.

Ashley and I looked at each other and started bawling. We were so amazed that God had directed us all to the same chapter in the Bible. What a huge blessing that was to us!

I was beyond excited to come back to work and share with my volunteers how the Lord had used this passage, but I had to wait the two weeks, because they wouldn't even receive my initial email until then. You can imagine how excited I was to share in the February 20th email, the revelation that moments before the Lord took Dad home, he was studying the same passage. If that didn't highlight "abundantly above all we can ask or imagine" I don't know what would.

When the volunteers finally heard the whole story we got some goosebumps together and praised the Lord! I'll never forget it!

The past month has been hard. We're grieving. We're trying to imagine how to move forward and the Lord gives us glimpses every day. Some moments are pure joy, some just back to routine. Others are sad. Others lonely. But He is faithful. He is there for us abundantly above.

He's given us others to care about and pray for to help us get our minds off ourselves. I'm reminded how thankful I am to be a part of His Kingdom work.

If you've gotten this far, you're probably thinking, "that story is so cool," but what would bless me even more is if you took a moment to search your previous week and see if you can find where the Lord revealed His abundance in your life. Where did He do more than you could have ever asked for? How did He go far and above anything you imagined?

He loves to reveal Himself.

If you didn't see Him. Look for Him this week.

When you seek Him, He will be found. He promises. (Proverbs 8:17)