Monday, December 31, 2012

My 2013 plans

2012 is one that I will look back on with fond memories.  I had numerous laughs, smiles, tears, and learning moments.  I started this blog and have become quite attached to it.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy writing and expressing myself.  Our family has experienced good times as well as bad. 

Tonight when the clock hits 11:59, I will be grateful for ALL that I have experienced and learned.  I know that Jesus has been with me through everything.  I haven't always been the best student, but I know I have learned from my Teacher and Redeemer.  He is so patient with me, and for that I am ever grateful.  May my heart be open even more to Him as the clock strikes midnight and I am ever His princess.

My friend who blogs here chooses a word for each year.  (Her blog is wonderful.  She is creative, a fabulous cook, and a Jesus lover.  Swing by and check her out!)  As she started hinting around at her 2013 word, I began really thinking about this.  I immediately thought that my word would be family.  I am in love with my family and I believe they are such a gift from my Father.

However, I believe God has another word for me this year. 

My word this year will be truth

My plan is to be completely honest in posts this year.  Not that I haven't been, but I want to tell my story over the course of this year.  I want to share how I came to love God so much and trust in Him.  My desire is to be completely transparent.  I am not out to give satan any glory.  I will not write things to intentionally hurt people.  My goal is to bring glory to God.  

I choose to write about TRUTH for various reasons.  
1.  God strongly placed it on my heart.
2.  One day my children will be able to read my story and truly know their mama's heart.
3.  It will be therapeutic for me.
4.  My story may speak to someone and bring healing.

I look forward to sharing from my heart. 

I like keeping journals, but I am not always great about writing.  I tend to feel pressured (by ME) to write everything down.  I came across a different kind of journal and I am smitten.

It's a 5 year journal.  There are only about 5 lines for you to record on for each day.  It's perfect!  I ordered mine off of Amazon.  You don't have to start on January 1st.  I started writing in mine in November. :)

I am having so much fun learning my way around my new camera.  I discovered this challenge and I am so in!!  Anyone want to join me??
January Photo-a-Day 2013 final
At the end of January, I will post a few of the pictures from this challenge.  I'm excited!! :)

Lastly, here are a few pictures from the past week.

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Barry and his single brother....any single ladies?? :)
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No more Christmas decorations.  Now on to Pinterest again to find new ideas for decorating!!  It's like crack for a decorating junkie! :)
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I've been playing around on photobucket....good times!
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Much love to everyone.  I am so blessed by all of you!! xoxo

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pride....that annoying tag along

Pride likes to follow us wherever we go.  At times, it tags along and we don't even realize it.  It is never a good thing and should not be a welcomed guest.  Pride's goal is to seperate us from our Creator.  It tries to place us higher than God.  Impossible!

As I thought about pride, I came up with a few examples. 

I want my hair to look just right today.
I need to be a certain size so that I look good for __________.
Man, I rock!  I just accomplished __________________.
I refuse to forgive completely.  The other person is in the wrong.
Looking past our faults and finding fault in others.
Building walls.
Glorifying our children's achievements so that we can feel like a wonderful parent.
I need _____________ to accept me so that I will feel good.
Striving for popularity.
Comparing blog follower numbers.
Keeping up with the neighbors.

I could keep the list going and make it a mile long just from my own experiences.  The thought of that stings! 

Isaiah 42:8
I am Yahweh, that is My name;
I will not give My glory to another,
Or My praise to idols.

A gigantic obstacle in having an abundant life is pride.  Glorifying ourselves rather than God will only bring heartache.  God desires that we look to Him and glorify Him.  We MUST acknowledge Him.  He is not narcissitic in any way, shape, or form.  His desire for us  to glorify Him is for our own benefit.  He knows that when we set ourselves aside and look to Him, our lives are greater and freer than we could ever imagine.  When our focus turns to God, our life changes forever.  Looking good to others no longer matters.  Pleasing and praising God is what our life becomes.  Nothing is sweeter and more peaceful than giving God EVERYTHING. 

Prior to having a true relationship with Jesus, I wore pride everywhere I went.  I was greatly concerned with what other people thought.  I lived to please people over God.  When I would walk away from someone, I would play our conversation over and over in my head.  Did I say anything foolish?  I wanted to look just right for everyone I was around....physically and personally.

I am a walking, talking poster child for what pride can do to someone.  I used to have major stomach issues.  I did whatever it took to please people.  I have come to realize that I must have been one annoying girl!!  Releasing myself to Jesus and putting my concern in Him alone has made a huge difference in my life.  My relationships have meaning and my health is so much better.  I don't fret about my encounters and am free to love people the way Jesus wants me to. 

Does that mean I never deal with pride?  Absolutely not!!  It will sneak up on me and invade my thoughts and behaviors.  The difference now is that I recognize it much sooner and give it straight to Jesus.  I think that's the key to a relationship with our Savior, our Redeemer.  We must stay in constant communication with Him. 

Pride is nasty and brings nothing good.  It will steal, kill, and destroy our hearts.  May we look to Jesus and His opinion of us.  I love the thought of Him looking at His children and saying, "Well done my beautiful girl!!"

Have a wonderful weekend.  My love to everyone! xoxo


Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas in pictures

Like many bloggers, my time in the blog world has been interrupted.  I have been spending great times with my family.  It has been so wonderful hanging out with my kids and my husband.  I truly do love all of the blogs I read and my absence doesn't mean that I have forgotten any of them.  I hope that you all are enjoying this season and making great memories.  I am looking forward to becoming active again in my posting and reading.  All of you are truly amazing!!

I could write many paragraphs about our Christmas happenings.  However, I will just post some pictures of our good times. :)

My kids look forward to the day we make Christmas cookies every year.  They are some serious decorators!

Barry's family came over on Christmas Eve to eat, open gifts, and play.  Yes, it was shorts weather...crazy, huh?!  Our sister-in-law is one of the volleyball coaches at Texas State University.  Emily really enjoyed playing volleyball with her.  She even helped Emily practice her jump serves.  Free coaching!

All prettied up for Christmas Eve church service.  :)

It's a tradition for the kids to sleep in Jorden's room on Christmas Eve.  Luke and Emily usually sleep in sleeping bags on the floor.  This year they wised up!  They carried, pushed really, their mattresses into Jorden's room.  Every Christmas Eve Barry reads "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to the family.  This year as he was reading, Emily decided she needed to act out all of the pages.  She and Barry took a bow after the reading...goofballs!!


Christmas morning...7am.  The pictures aren't great...uugg!  Yippie though....Barry gave me the camera I've been pining over.  Yea!!! 

Christmas morning with my new camera.  I am excited to learn how to use it properly.

We went to Barry's mom's house on Christmas evening.  It is always nice to catch up with Barry's big family.  His mom is one of five children and a lot of the extended family gathers at her house on Christmas night. 
I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and created great memories that will make you smile for years to come.  My love to all of you!!! xoxo



Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thank you letter

Can you believe Christmas will be here in a few days?!  We are done with the shopping...phew!  I am looking forward to this weekend because my oldest doesn't have to work and we will spend some great family time together.  Here we come "It's a Wonderful Life"!

I wanted to write a Thank You letter to Jesus this morning.  I am in awe of how wonderful He is and how He has led our family this year.  When we have stepped out of the way and allowed Him to lead us, we have been overwhelmed by love and peace.  I am so grateful for His forgiveness, love, and leading.

Dear Jesus,

You are absolutely amazing.  You have placed your arms around me numerous times this year and comforted me.  You have led me to great places, even when I was certain I'd never see the greatness of it.  You have blessed my family with love and devotion.  Because of you, we know the meaning of true love and we desire to share it with each other and the world.

Thank you for the protection you have provided our family this year.  Jorden received his driver's license in June.  It has been scary watching him drive away without his mama or dad in the car, but I know that You are always in the car with him.  You have calmed my nerves many times! 

Jesus, thank you for removing guilt from my life.  For years I felt guilty over a situation that I couldn't control.  You have lovingly shown me that I am not in control of other's behaviors or actions.  You have asked me to live a life that honors you.  You have not asked me to take on guilt for other people's actions and behaviors.  As you know, for years I carried guilt and shame.  It affected my health and my mental well being.  I am so grateful that you have given me freedom to live my life for YOU. 

Thank you for my friends, new and old.  I am so thankful for their love towards you and their love for me.  Their character and love of life are contagious.  They are selfless and desire to serve you by serving others. 

 I am so very thankful for my friend Robin.  She is like a sister to me.  We can complete each other's sentences.  We can literally talk for hours upon hours and never run out of things to say.  She never judges me or makes me feel inadequate.  Her support and love are so selfless.  I can tell her anything and I know, without a doubt, that she will never tell a soul.  She has my back, as I have hers.  We have experienced many things over the years....pregnancy, her sweet boy's preemie birth, death, laughter, anger, hurt feelings, etc, etc, etc.  I am so grateful, Jesus, for her friendship and love. 
Robin is one of those fabulous teachers who goes above and beyond for her students.  She is not beneath wearing a crazy Christmas hat to make her students smile!

Thank you for the wonderful blogging community.  I am so blessed by so many of the blogs I read.  I have met some wonderful women.  It thrills me to see the support and love given through the blogs.  What a fabulous group of ladies!!

Lastly, thank you Jesus for loving me and making your presence so clear to me.  I am far from perfect, yet you continue to love me and lead me.  I am certain I have disappointed you numerous times.  You never bring me condemnation only conviction.  You lead me in the way of the Truth.

 I look forward to serving you in 2013 and growing even closer to You.  I praise you with all I have!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In Awe

My head and heart are all over the place today.  In the midst of such sadness and grieving for Newtown, CT, I have seen Jesus so clearly over the past couple of days.  I want to share my experiences with you.

On Monday, my daughter Emily had a Christmas choir concert.  She attends a public school.  The concert was held at a nearby church.  As I walked into the church, I felt the Lord's presence so greatly.  I found a seat and bowed my head and thanked Jesus for various things.  I reached for the Bible and opened it to Revelation 21:4.  This is one of my favorite Scriptures.  It brings me such peace.  Prior to the concert starting, a preacher from the church stepped on stage to welcome everyone.  He stated that he was going to say a prayer.  My heart began to race because I had hoped that a prayer would be said, but I wasn't sure since it was a public school event.  As I bowed my head,I felt my eyes fill with tears.  I could feel Jesus in that sanctuary.  After the prayer ended, people began to applaud.  I wanted to stand up and cheer and fall on my face in awe of our Savior at the same time.  Our world has just experienced a terrifying  event.  It brought me hope that the preacher was not afraid to recognize God and that people applaued him.  Praise Jesus!

A few weeks ago, the top to my blow dryer fell into the toilet.  My husband and I could not get it out.  It sank down into the little hole.  We called a plumbing company and were told it would probably be pretty expensive to retrieve.  We procrastinated setting up an appointment for a few weeks.  We have two other toilets, so it was not an emergency.  Finally, I called yesterday and the plumber came this morning.  We were told that a service call would be around $180.  It was believed that the toilet would have to be removed and that would be at least $190 more.  The plumber was not in my bathroom more than a couple of minutes when he came out holding the culprit.  He said he prayed before he tried and he was able to easily reach it with his special tool.  It ended up costing a total of $160.  As the plumber was leaving, he shared his testimony with me.  I have Scripture hanging in my home so I'm certain he knew that I love Jesus. I am so grateful that he shared his testimony with me.  It was amazing.  I am reminded how important it is to share Jesus with everyone, not just those we know are lost.

Last night Emily had volleyball practice.  As she was playing a game, she turned quickly for a ball and fell.  She immediately got up and continued to play.  I noticed her favoring her foot for the rest of practice.  I truly just assumed her shoe was bugging her.  When we got into the car, she began to cry and told me that her foot really hurt.  Emily is not a complainer by any means.  When she says something hurts, it hurts.  Thankfully, Barry is an orthopedic PA, so he knew exactly how to examine her.  The bone on the side of her foot was very tender.  He told me that I would need to take her for x-rays.  He was a bit concerned there was a crack somewhere.  He iced it for her and put a brace on it.  She was very discouraged because she is quite a serious volleyball player.  She doesn't want to lose anytime on the court.  When I woke this morning I became worried about her foot.  All kinds of scary things entered my brain.  I began praying and crying out to Jesus for complete healing of her foot.  I pictured Him standing over her as she slept and healing her.  I could physically feel Him in our home.  When I woke her up, she no longer had a pain AT ALL.  The side and top of her foot were tender, but the bone area was fine and there was no swelling.  My husband had her wear a brace today.  He said she may have a sprain, but this morning he is no longer concerned about a break.  Jesus is so very good.  My eyes fill with tears knowing that He healed her foot.

Emily had a volleyball tournament last weekend.  Her team came in 3rd place out of 52 teams.  Such excitement.  Here are a few pictures, she is #5.

Lastly, I want to share a wreath with you that my friend made for my family.  Talented doesn't begin to describe her.  She rocks!!

Have a beautiful week.  May you see Jesus all around you.  Let's be His lights in His big world.  My love to you all.