Friday, November 30, 2012

Blogger for Christmas ~ week 2

Bloggers for Christmas

I really love Christmas time.  I love the traditions and the warm, fuzzy feeling I get while shopping for my family and friends.  The excitement that my children get is so precious.  Yes, they enjoy getting gifts, but they also know the reason we celebrate.  It makes me happy to know that Jesus is dear to their hearts.

This time of year causes me to reflect back on my relationship with Jesus.  How has it grown, changed, and hopefully strengthened over the past 12 months?  I am reminded of times He brought me pure laughter and times He picked me up off of the floor when I thought I would always be there.  May we remember to celebrate HIM this season.

Over the past couple of years I have discovered how much I like nutcrackers.  I have started a collection and each one gives me a special memory.
I bought this one yesterday.  I couldn't resist the pink and green beads and the bling sword he is holding.  My daughter was so thrilled when she noticed him after school.  Gotta have a bling nutcracker, right?!

Do you have any special collections?

Have a great weekend and happy!!Photobucket

Thursday, November 29, 2012

What will your legacy be?

Recently, I read a book that dealt with someone's legacy.  It made me start thinking about my own legacy.  When I no longer live on earth, what will people remember about me?  This has really captured my attention and caused me to think about my  life and how I live it. 

Everything we do impacts people.  Whether it be our attitude over a certain activity we are involved in all the way to how we treat the cashier at the grocery store.  As I have thought about this, I have come to realize that my attitude and behaviors greatly affect my family.  If I am grumpy, my entire house tends to be grumps.  However, if I am laughing, everyone generally joins in. 

My questions to myself are:
1.  What am I teaching my children about those around us in need?
2.  What am I teaching my children about friendships?
3.  Am I showing my sons how a godly wife behaves? 
4.  Am I training my daughter in the ways of godly womanhood?
5.  Do I prefer my own comfort over the comforts of others?
6.  Do material items rule my heart?
8.  Can people see God in me?
9.  Do I offer grace to those around me?
10. Do I let the Holy Spirit guide my heart or do I let the world?

I want to be remembered as a loving, godly woman.  I want my great grandchildren to hear stories of me and know I loved well. 

What will your legacy be?


Wednesday, November 28, 2012


You guys are awesome!  Thank you to everyone who sent me kind words yesterday.  My day was nothing short of icky, but today I awoke to a fresh day full of smiles.  I am surrounded by so many blessings and you all are definitely included in my list. :)

Since my post yesterday consisted of sadness, I wanted to share a few giggles with y'all (Texas!) today.

When Jorden turned 15 I took him to the DPS office to get his learner's permit.  He was so excited...and nervous.  We waited for two hours for his name to be called.  Once called, he had to take a test on the computer.  He happily passed the test and went on to take his picture for his permit.  He wanted to drive home, but there was no way I was letting him drive home on a super busy road.  I assured him once we got home I would let him drive around the neighborhood.  I pulled into our driveway, ran inside to get a drink, and then pulled my Suburban into the street so he could take me on a little scary joy ride.  He happily ran to the driver's side and climbed in.  I got in the passenger seat, buckled, and grabbed the door for dear life.  Suddenly he started pushing down hard on the gas pedal.  My Suburban was making that loud vroom sound.  I calmly asked him what he was doing.  He said, "I'm trying to make it go!"  I laughed hysterically and told him he had to put the car in drive first!  We still laugh over that!

The other day I was finishing up drying my hair.  I was wrapping the cord around my blow dryer and accidentally hit the dryer on my bathroom counter.  The end of the dryer popped off and bounced across the floor....all the way into the little room that houses the toilet.  It bounced all the way into the toilet.  I couldn't do that again if I tried!!  It stayed in there until my sweet husband came home.  I figured if he can cut people open and perform surgeries, he can stick his hand into a toilet and retrieve my blowdryer thingy!!  He wasn't as amused as I was....

My mother in law can crack us up sometimes.  Years ago, she bought an alarm clock at the Walgreens near her home.  She took it home and plugged it in.  She was baffled because no matter how many buttons she pushed she couldn't get it to change from 12:00.  She packed it back into the box and took it back to the store.  She told the clerk why she was returning it.  He nicely peeled the sticker off the front for her!!  Hee, Hee!!!!!

Pinned Image

I'm seriously laughing out loud as I picture people reading my post and the reality being the case!! :)

Have a wonderful day filled to the brim with smiles and laughter!! xoxo


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sadness and tears

Today has been one of those days that I wish the alarm clock never went off.  Ever have those days??  I woke at 4:30am (over an hour earlier than my scheduled alarm time) and my eyes flew open at the realization that Luke has been complaining of chest pains lately.  I immediately started praying for peace and guidance.  For those of you who don't know, Jorden has had two heart surgeries so chest pains cause me to want to throw up.

I finally was able to doze off again and then Barry's alarm woke me.  I told him that I was concerned about Luke.  He told me to take him to the doctor today.  I got out of bed, got all three kids off to school, and called for an appointment time.  Thankfully, I was able to secure a morning appointment.

I was naseous about the appointment and sad because I really wanted to see Dr. Twining.  I miss him so much.  I dreaded this day...the day I would need him, but couldn't talk to him.  As I was checking in with the wonderful woman who I adore (we have become friends) I noticed a picture hanging of Dr. Twining with a memorial plaque under it.  Tears.....I didn't expect to look up and see him. 

The doctor we saw was very nice, but she's not Dr. Twining.  She gave Luke a thorough exam and pronounced his heart healthy and wonderful.  For this I am super thankful!!  She talked to him for a long time and reassured him that he was healthy. 

As we got into the car, my sweet Luke started to cry.  He said he missed his Dr. Twining so much and wished he could see him.  We sat in the car and cried together.

I dropped him off at school and decided to go to Walgreens because I didn't want to go home to an empty, quiet house.  I browsed around and picked up a few items.  As I was checking out, my phone chimed that I had an email.  I looked down and it was a stinger of an email.  My feelings were already feeling bruised....

I came home and turned on my computer and across the top of the screen it said, "3 people have unfriended you".  All I could do was laugh....not happy - ha, ha laughs - but pathetic laughs.   It turned out that it was an advertisement for something I could buy so I would know when I had been unfriended.  Seriously, who wants to know?!?

I think I'll go read "Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day".  After that, I will need to pick my feelings up off the floor and realize that I was given great news about Luke's heart.  What a wonderful gift. 

Yes, death is hard.  Yes, people don't always give the benefit of the doubt and assume things about you.  But at the end of today, I will have a wonderful family and a Jesus who loves me even when I am on the floor crying.  For that, I am truly grateful.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Redemption~Doubt (Part 1)

Genesis 3:1-5
1  Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made.  He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You can't eat from any tree in the garden'?"
2  The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden.
3  But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, 'You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.'"
4  "No!  You will not die," the serpent said to the woman.
5  "In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

Satan was trying to fill Eve's mind with doubt.  He asked the question in a way that made it seem like he was looking out for her.  Satan was trying to make God's command appear negative.  He tried to make God look controling rather than loving. 

There are many times when people, and the world in general, fill our heads with doubt.  Christians can be called boring Bettys and no fun Sallys.  We can be made to feel so ignorant and out of the loop that we question what God really wants for us.  Really?  I can't watch that TV program?  We try to be in charge of our lives.  We tell ourselves that we can handle it.  This little bit won't hurt.  We hear ourselves say, "I need to fit in because if I don't, how else will I share Jesus?"  Ah, we turn it around on our Savior.  We are hopeless creatures without Him in front of us leading our every step.  Any time we try and rationalize that something is for Jesus, it is most certainly not.

Doubt, in and of itself, is not a sin.  God made us to have questioning minds.  Because of our doubts, we are able to go deeper in our relationship with Christ.  We are able to search His word and pray about doubts.  If we never doubted, we would believe everything we ever heard and our relationship would be shaky, at best.  Doubt becomes a sin when we act upon it or we turn our backs on God's truths.  When doubt creeps into our minds, we must immediately turn to God's word.  We must determine what He wants us to do.  

Think about a time when you were filled with doubt and began thinking you were too uptight.  (It could be over a TV show, book others were reading, gossip, etc.)  What choice did you make and what was the outcome of that choice?

As I ponder that question, I realize that everytime I have turned my back on Jesus, I have been miserable.  Choosing Him will never disappoint you. 

If you are currently experiencing doubt in your life, turn to Jesus.  He hears His children call every single time.  He will redeem your heart and give you a peace like nothing else can.  When in doubt, choose God. 


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Weekend in pictures

What a wonderful week we had.  I love having my children home from school and my husband had four days off of work....pure bliss! :)  Instead of writing a post about our weekend, I decided to let our pictures do the talking.

My children enjoying their cousins.  They can be so silly!!

Emily and Luke were trying to hold in their laughter.

Chillin' on the ride home from visiting their Papa Bob.

Walking in to pick out our Christmas tree.  I'm not sure what had them so giggly. :)

This is Luke and Emily's first year to have a real tree.  For years we had an artificial tree due to Jorden having allergies when he was younger.  They were quite intrigued by the feel of a real tree.

Decorating the tree. 

The boys worked together to decorate our yard.  They did a great job!  I will post pictures of the completed job later this week.

Last Christmas Barry bought me Christmas plates and bowls.  They are all different patterns and I love them. 

I bought this burlap wreath from one of my friends.  She didn't glue down any of the decorations and the plan is to change out the decorations throughout the year.  I hung it on my pantry door in my kitchen.  I smile everytime I see it!!

These things in my home make me smile.  :)

Wishing you a wonderful week filled with love, hugs, and good times.Photobucket

Friday, November 23, 2012

Bloggers for Christmas

Bloggers for Christmas

As I happily :-) read through blogs this morning, I came across the Bloggers for Christmas link up.  Head to Just the Two of Us and check it out.  I am excited to link up and will continue to do so every Friday in December.

Today I am so excited!!  We have a family tradition of decorating our home for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.  We turn on Christmas music and pull everything out of the attic.  It never fails, every year I find something I had forgotten about and get thrilled.  Our children get a new ornament each year. As I look through them as they are placing them on the tree, I have been known to get a tear or two in my eyes.  So many memories invade my mind as I remember my sweeties picking out particular ornaments.  I love this day!


Redemption~Searching for worth

For years, I had no idea who I truly was.  I thought I was what people made me out to be.  I was beautiful when someone would look at me, I was worthy when someone paid attention to me, and I was worthless when someone rejected me.  I allowed the world to define me.  While I pretended to be all that and more, I was secretly miserable.  Anytime we allow ourselves to be defined by others, we will never be fulfilled or satisfied.  We will be left needing more and wanting more. 

I am thrilled to say I no longer live this way. Because I have experienced life on both sides, I am more aware of women who are living for the world's approval over God's approval.  It saddens my heart when I see women searching for their identity.  Some look to men, others look to money, some look to their children's activities, while others pretend to have it all together because they would feel like failures if they admitted they needed help. 

Recently, I was around a woman who wants everyone to think she has it going on.  She is very into status and what other's think of her and her family.  She is quick to look down upon anyone who threatens her feelings of worth.  As I watched her and listened to her, I felt so sad for her.  She desperately wants others to believe she has it all together.  Sadly, nothing will satisfy her and quench her soul like the love of Jesus. 

Thankfully, when we come to Jesus, He will define us and complete us.  He redeems lives lost in the hustle and bustle of this world.  We will never find our worth in anything but Jesus.  When we compare ourselves to others and/or look for our worth in our surroundings, we will be miserable and lonely.  True peace and worth come from Jesus.  He doesn't care what size your home is, what kind of car you drive, how much money is in your bank account, and what activities your children are involved in.  He cares about your heart.  When we let go of the world's view of status and focus on status with Jesus, it is so freeing. 

Today, I pray for each woman by name that I know who is searching for worth.  I also pray for those I don't know.  May all women know that they are worthy and loved by Jesus.  May they slow down, take a breath, and realize the freedom to be Jesus's girl.  I can promise you that there is nothing more defining and wonderful than the love Jesus gives. Nothing will bring you more joy, peace, and fulfillment than when He whispers in your ear that He is proud of you for choosing Him over this world. Photobucket

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Face full of smiles thankful!! :)

I have not been blogging much this week.  My children are home from school and we have been hanging out.  I love my kids so much, but you know what?  I really like them too!!  They are hoots and make me laugh, smile, and cry all at the same time.  We are a close family and really enjoy each other.  I hope to catch up on some great blogs later today.  I really enjoy all of the blogs I read and like commenting on them too.  I promise I haven't forgotten you wonderful peeps!!  I am quickly writing this post and then I am off to run errands and go to a high school basketball game with my family.  My son's high school is playing the high school that Barry and I went to.  The coach of the high school we went to played basketball with Barry and he was one of my good friends.  This should be a fun game!! 

5 things that I am Thankful and Grateful for:

1.  Friends who truly love Jesus and love me too.
I am so grateful for the friends that God has placed around me who are true friends.  They love Jesus and treat people with kindness and respect.  These women are positive and fun.  They do not backstab friends, nor are they petty and judgemental.  They are happy and fun.  When I leave them, I feel happy and filled with joy. 

2.  God's wonderful conviction when my heart strays.
Recently, I had a negative day.  I looked to the negative rather than the blessings and love God has placed all around me.  Yuck!  I hate when I do that!!  Thankfully, God lovingly convicted my heart and brought to my attention my attitude.  He urged me to admit to those I had talked negatively with and ask for forgiveness.  I am so thankful that He guides me without condemnation.  He shows me my ways and leads me to freedom.  I'll take a free heart over a negative heart any day!!  Thanks Jesus!! :)

3.  The beauty that God has placed all around me. 
Since we are a Texas family, we are outside a great deal this time of year.  Our weather ranges from the high 60's to the low 80's.  I truly appreciate the beautiful things that God places before me and my family this time of year.  This squirrel was hiding an acorn in his (or her I guess) mouth.  It was so close to me and my children.  It wasn't afraid of us at all.  We were able to observe it.  We all thought it was really neat....and cute too!  The same thing happened with the butterfly.  It was feasting on our lantana bushes.  It fluttered a bit when we walked up, but it never flew away.  It immediately went back to eating.  I really love experiencing these things with my kiddos.

4.  My family!
I am head over heels in love with my family.  I am so grateful that my children are all close to each other.  They truly enjoy being together.  They have even said that when they grow up, they want to live near each other.  That makes this mama's heart so happy!!  The other night they were upstairs playing Mario Cart on the Wii.  They were laughing and carrying on.  My little one said, "Guys, I love when we do this.  It is so much fun!!"  I can't tell you how happy it makes me that our 16 year old still enjoys his siblings. 
After our sweet Dr. Twining died, my husband and I were talking about heaven.  We were discussing how wonderful it is and that it is full of love.  He told me that heaven to him is being with our family and if he were to die he would want God to let him continue being with us.  I love my sweet husband!  He is the greatest father and husband a girl could ask for.  He is a hard worker, but loves his family way more than his work.  His priorities are right were God wants them.  I'm pinching myself right about now!!!!!

5.  Thanksgiving food, of course!!
I am looking forward to hanging out with my family and eating some yummy food!  My children will assist in making the meal.  Wait, I mean in tasting the meal!  I am going to have everyone write 5 things they are thankful for on index cards.  As we are eating, I am going to choose one at a time and read it aloud.  They have to decide who wrote it.  It should be quite fun. :)

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.  May you enjoy your family and all of God's blessings.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Redemption~closed mouths

Esther 4:14
If you keep silent at this time, liberation and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father's house will be destroyed.  Who knows, perhaps you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.

I love the story of Esther.  She saves the Jewish people from destruction because she has courage and strength.  She did not come from a strong home.  Both of her parents died and she was raised by her cousin.  She easily could have hidden behind her insecurities and the things life had dealth her.  She didn't.  She chose to take a stand for God's people.  She is an example of a woman who knew what was right and did it, despite the fear of severe consequences.

Let's look at someone else from the Bible who loved the Lord, yet did not stand up for Him or His people.  King Jotham became king after his father, King Uzziah, died.  For most of King Uzziah's life, he did what was right in God's eyes.  However, towards the end of his life, he became arrogant and went into the Temple to burn incense.  He was told to leave by the priests.  He became angry and refused.  A terrible skin disease immediately came upon him and he died due to the disease.  He was remembered for the disease rather than his accomplishements.

2 Kings 15:34-35
34  He (King Jotham) did what was right in the Lord's sight just as his father, King Uzziah had done.  
35  Yet, the high places were not taken away; the people continued sacrificing and burning incense on the high places.  It was Jotham who built the Upper Gate of the Lord's temple

King Jotham did was right, except (big except) he didn't speak up when people were disrespecting God and going against His ways.  

Beth Moore puts it this way, "Jotham sought God faithfully and walked steadfastly before Him,  but he refused to demand respect for the one and only God.  Jotham was boss.  He could have destroyed the high places, but he obviously feared the people more than he feared God."

Ouch....big ouch!

As I read and studied King Jotham, I quickly saw myself in him.  I love God with all of my heart and I try and live a life that honors Him.  However, how often do I keep my mouth closed when people around me are mocking Him and blatantly disobeying Him?  Sadly, I have to admit a lot.  I don't want to appear to be sister Christian who thinks she is holier than thou and judging all those around me.  I struggle with what to say.  More often than not, I walk away feeling icky.  Instead of relying on the Holy Spirit to give me loving words to speak, I clam up for fear of offending the person.  I wonder, is merely serving God with a closed mouth so not to offend others offending Him?

My prayer for today is that I open my heart to God completely.  May I love Him with all I have and all I am.  May I be more like Esther than like King Jotham.  I pray that I will trust the Holy Spirit to lead me in situations where I am too weak to speak.  May I trust my Redeemer to give me everything I need, including loving words that have just the right amount of salt to be loving, yet honor God.  I pray this for all of you too.  May we all be Esthers today.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Redemption~Evil's Disguise

Satan used the serpent to tempt Adam and Eve.  He was full of manipulation and deceit, just as he is today.  Satan was not out to make friends with Adam and Eve.  His desire was to make certain that they were no longer friends with their Creator.  He made sure that he made them believe he was on their side and for their good.  In fact, he was only looking to his own agenda.  His goal then and now is seperate us from God.  Satan is crafty and sly enough to convince us that we must look out for ourselves.  He tries to tell us that number one is us and not God. 

Satan is forever angry that he lost his position in heaven.  He is beyond mad, he is humiliated and wants revenge.  He will stop at nothing to turn anyone he can away from God.  He wants us to be seperated from our Father by following our egos rather than following our Maker.  Charles Stanley says it this way, "If Satan could not defeat God the best thing was to defeat His prized creation."

Good ol' pride brought down Satan.  Funny, he uses pride to bring us down too.  Satan whispers in our ears that our choices to honor ourselves won't hurt anyone.  In fact, if we are happy, he tells us, then everyone around us will be happy too.  We hear the "I am" statements and believe them. 

I am unhappy with my spouse.  He's not fun anymore.
I am tired of pleasing everyone else.  It's time to focus on me for a change.
I am important, therefore, I can do what makes me feel good.
I am a child of God. (True)  He wants me to be happy so I choose to ___________(fill in the blank with selfish decisions.)
I am overweight so I choose to starve myself to feel better.
I am not my family's maid.  I refuse to keep my house tidy.
I am a good person so it's okay to make this choice.

We must never forget that there is only one I AM and that is Jesus Christ.  Proverbs 16:18 tells us that pride comes before destruction and an arrogant spirit before a fall.  I don't know about you, but that scares me.  Who on earth plans for destruction to enter her life?  Sadly, we do any time our hearts are full of pride.  Any time we puff ourselves up and think we are it, we have a prideful spirit.  We are to love ourselves as Christ does, but we must never think higher of ourselves than others.  Jesus blesses us in so many ways.  May we always give credit where credit is due.  May we boast in our Lord and Savior and not ourselves.  May our eyes be constantly on our Redeemer.Photobucket

Friday, November 16, 2012

Hodge Podge, Catch Up Friday :)

It has been a busy week at the Smith house.  I didn't post a weekend update on Sunday because my husband and I decided our family would have little to no screen time.  We wanted to hang out as a family.  It was super duper wonderful! 

This week has been full of school activities and such.  Luke's school hosted a Scholastic book fair and my friend and I were the coordinators, besides our WONDERFUL librarian, of course.  It was a lot of fun spending time at the school and visiting with a group of wonderful women. I was fortunate to visit with some ladies that I haven't really had the opportunity to sit and really talk to before.  I am so grateful that God is showing me a variety of women to be friends with. 

I didn't even turn on my computer yesterday.  That hasn't happened in forever!!  I stayed at Luke's school all day and was exhausted when I got home.  I immediately put on yoga pants and a long sleeve t.  Comfort makes me happy!!  I was able to have a Thanksgiving lunch with Luke yesterday.  It was a lot of fun eating lunch with him and his friends.  Boys are so much different than girls.  They were cutting up and laughing.  One of his friends told me his whole life story and then some.  I think Luke may have payed him off to talk to me so that he could play around and act silly.  :)

If you've read my blog this week, you know that Emily didn't make the basketball team.  She picked up a ball for the first time a few weeks ago.  She was sad that she didn't make it.  Thankfully, she has her club volleyball team.  She is looking forward to playing tournaments and learning even more of the game.  I told her I was so proud of her for trying out.  She put herself out there and I know that can be quite difficult.  I am super proud of my girl!!  She has gotten so much support from friends.  They have said all the things that a girl needs to hear.  Thankfully, she hasn't heard the is for the best, blah, blah blah, nonsense.  Her friends have told her that it stinks and she looked really great on the court.  I know from experience that it is much better to be told that something stinks than to be told sugar coated nonsense.

Barry is coaching Luke's basketball team this season.  Last night, the coaches drafted their teams and practice will start the week after Thanksgiving.  Yes, I know....drafting nine year olds seems a bit much, but it really is exciting for them.  I haven't figured out who is more excited, Barry or Luke!  (This picture was taken from our church gym last Sunday.  We have an amazing gym area with two full basketball courts and raquetball rooms too.)
When we walked into church last Sunday, we were greeted by a beautiful sight....Christmas decorations.  I was so excited!!!  I carry my camera with me so I made the kids pose in front of the tree.  Aren't they crazy precious?!
Here are a few pictures from our week...

Emily was in the musical "High School Musical" last Friday.  She was so cute to watch.  Of course, I snapped dozens of pictures of her!  She makes fun of me because I always have my camera.  I tell her she will be thankful one day. :)
I will write a redemption post tomorrow.  I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!!