Thursday, June 30, 2011


I cannot believe that June is ending!! I know I cannot be the only who feels as though this month has fallen away from me, like sand through my fingers. Half of 2011 is gone! Ugh...

This is a brutal reminder that I need to "get on a stick" in some areas of my life. God has pricked my heart in several areas. Some are simple things that I could just do better: like playing with my boys, time management things. Others are personal growth areas: such as eating better and spending more time in God's Word. I've been reminded time and time again about some of these areas, and I'm ashamed to say I've been dragging my feet. Well, it's past time to listen up! And, not only listen, but obey.

Most recently, the boys and I have been talking about acknowledging God, with the main focus on
Proverbs 3:5-6.
"Trust in the Lord, with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths."

It's a commonly quoted passage, one of the first verses many church goers learn. I've known it since childhood, but have never really pondered the entirety of what the verses say. I mean, I get the "trust in the Lord, with all your heart". But, what about the "lean not on your own understanding"?

Are there times when I've made decisions based solely upon my own knowledge?

Then, we're told to acknowledge Him, in ALL our ways. And, He'll direct our paths.

I don't know why, but until recently, I'd never thought about the order of those events. We all want guidance and direction from God. But, we must first acknowledge Him.... in ALL ways.

How many times have I missed an opportunity to acknowledge Him?

Do I do this while going through my mundane daily life? Is He my constant focus while cleaning, cooking, playing, weeding, folding laundry or shopping? How about when I'm interacting with my children, husband, friends or neighbors?

I can't help but to think of times when I've messed up, gotten upset with the boys, or not talked to a neighbor simply because I was too tired. There are other examples, I assure you. These are just the ones that come to the forefront of my mind. Anyways, I think of those times, and realize that I did not acknowledge Christ in the midst of them. And, consequently, I missed the path He chose for me in those moments. While these small moments may not be earth shattering, or lead me completely off the path and work God has for me, they are stumbles. I think of it like walking on the curb and having one of my feet miss it as I step. There are times when I can put my foot right back up on the curb, or path, so to speak. But, there are other times when I get a sprained ankle, and find myself trying to recuperate. Those are the times when I feel angry, sometimes bitter and hardened. And, my eyes fall completely off of the path He has for me.

I don't know if any of this makes sense to any of you, but plain and simple, my desire is to obey this verse. I want to acknowledge in ALL ways, in ALL things, in ALL circumstances. And, I'm excited to see the path He has for me.

I praise God for His forgiveness and patience. He's promised to finish the work He's begun in me to completion. I know that despite my best efforts, I will fail on my own. Any good that is in me is only Christ living through me.

On this note, my boys recently reminded me of some ways to acknowledge Christ in all ways. One wouldn't think that there would be many times at a major league baseball game to do so... but, they proved there are...

As soon as we got to the level of our nosebleed seats :-), the boys ran over to the side. They exclaimed, "Look at the view!", "That's amazing!", "Look at the sky God made!"

While a thunderstorm kept us underground during a rain delay, they commented, "This is fun! God's allowing us to be here longer with the whole family."

And, my favorite of the evening, "God made peanuts the perfect snack. They have their own case, and they are YUUUUUMMY!"

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

We've completed yet another season of baseball. Whew!

Every Spring is busy due to this sport. But, with 3 of our boys playing this year, it was the busiest we've ever experienced. It was a good season though. All 3 boys improved in their skills, did well, and most importantly, shared their faith with their teammates. Each of our boys were a consistent example of Christ's love and reflected Him, even in the midst of playing a game.

As hectic and frazzled as I felt getting to the games some days, there was always a moment of peace to be had.

At the beginning of every game, the announcer gets on and asks everyone to please rise for the playing of  our National Anthem. Everyone does rise, and stops.... everything stops. Whether there are games getting ready to start on every field (t-ball, 7/8's, minor league, senior league), a couple of them, or only 1... everything and everyone stops what they're doing, and turns to salute the flag.

This is my moment to pray for our country. I pray for our leaders, both current and future. I use this time to thank God for the freedom we have, and pray for it to continue. While I'm proud of the great country we live in, I'm more thankful to God for allowing me to live in it. He is the One who causes the leaders to rise and fall, sometimes taking nations with them as they do.

Our National Anthem was taken from a poem, originally written in 1814, by Francis Scott Key. He pinned 4 verses to this poem. We sing the 1st, but I love the 4th verse, and thought it may interest you....

"O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Plants and Praises

I've mentioned my garden a few times, but have failed to update about it. So, here's a full update...

The collage of pictures shows the progression of the plants, from seedlings we began indoors, to how they're doing now in the garden and greenhouse.

I absolutely LOVE my time outside in the garden! There's nothing quite as therapeutic as digging in the dirt, getting a little muddy, tending to plants and then eating the fruits of your labor. My favorite time out there is early morning, when the birds are singing loudly, announcing another day, and the dew is still fresh on the grass. We live close enough to a few farms that, when the wind is blowing just right, I can even hear a rooster! Standing there, taking a deep breath of fresh morning air, feeling the soothing breeze and morning sun on my skin, I'm reminded that God has given me a new day. A new, fresh start to give Him glory and praise. I'm also reminded that He is the One who allows the food to grow, the beans and cucumbers to wind themselves around the trellis', the large leaves to shade the fragile roots. Every detail is part of His plan and points directly to His creativity.

And they sing His praises.

"Thou dost make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy." Psalm 65:8

"The meadows are clothed with flocks, and the valleys are covered with grain; they shout for joy, yes, they sing." Psalm 65:13

God's creation, animals and plants, rolling valleys and hills. They all shout and sing His praises! This takes my breath away every time I think about it. What hits me mostly though is this. If His creation sings His praises, how much more should I, as His child? I, who knows what He did for me and how much He loves me?

"Shout joyfully to God, all the earth; sing the glory of His name; make His praise glorious. Say to God, "How awesome are Thy works!" Psalm 66:1-3a

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Beach Bums

I've been a terribly negligent blogger. I am sorry.

While I think of things throughout my day to share with you all, somehow my brain doesn't want to function when I finally have the opportunity to sit down to the computer.

I've missed you all though, and am going to try and be better!

We've been busy trying to wrap up the school year, as well as the activities of Spring. It's hard to stay focused on schoolwork these days. The sunshine and warmth seem to have a magnetic draw on all of us. We find ourselves outside for at least a part of each day. When we're not at baseball, we're usually outdoors playing and tending to our garden. I was able to get a small greenhouse this year. I'm very excited about it! The plants inside of it are all doing very well. It will be interesting to see how long we can extend the growing season into the Fall. I'll be sure and post more about our gardening adventures.

We were also able to sneak in an early family vacation! In homeschooling our boys, we're able to get to the beaches before schools let out, and beat the big crowds.  This was a WONDERFUL year for us at the beach! It was really the first year that all 4 of our boys were "in to" the beach, enjoying the waves, boogie boarding and playing in the sand. All 4 of them are now pretty good swimmers in the pool as well. So, this was a more relaxed year, playing with the boys and watching them have fun. There were no "little ones" to watch over... a bittersweet realization. There were many moments during this vacation that I found myself watching my boys... who are really now 2 boys and 2 young men. D, especially, has changed so much in the past year. I love watching each one of them grow and change. They're each so wonderful and such a blessing in my life. But, watching them grow sometimes just makes me feel... well... old. I marvel at how in the world I became the Mommy of 4 incredible boys... and where have the past 13 years gone?? How very gracious of God to have blessed me with them.

Anyways, enough pondering... I don't need to start crying.

Bottom line-- we had a wonderful vacation!
We're so thankful for the opportunity to have this special time with our family!

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